New Kia B-Segment crossover spied.

Auto Express has spied Kia’s upcoming B-Segment SUV ahead of its release in late 2017. The new vehicle is set to rival the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke in terms of size and is expected to have styling influences from the Rio and Sportage. According to recent reports on the web, the new model could be call the Stonic.

The car in the pictures is still heavily masked, but it’s possible to spot that the test mule rides on the same set of 17-inch alloy wheels available on the Rio hatchback. The shape of the car’s windows – known as the day-light-opening – is similar, especially the three-quarter windows. Under the masking it appears to sport a chunky C-pillar as well, another design trait lifted from the new hatchback. Prices should start around £14,000 when it goes on sale.

The spy shots we’ve seen of the disguised Rio SUV test car would appear to indicate that the Rio SUV will indeed have key differences to its new hatchback sibling. The raised ride height is evident from the spy shots, while a slightly roomier cabin and bigger boot will also feature.

Despitse the desire for the car to be different from the Rio supermini, Design boss Peter Shreyer is still expected to work within the brand’s existing styling framework for the new model, injecting some bulk into the supermini’s bumpers, boot and sills. “We have built up a design identity,” he said. “Future cars will follow on from that”.

Key Kia styling cues such as the ‘Tiger Nose’ grille will feature, along with sporty design touches to help the car rival the funky Nissan Juke. The cabin, however, will be carried over largely unchanged from the new supermini. Unlike the established Sportage, the smaller SUV won’t be offered with four-wheel drive.

In addition to the familiar petrol and diesel engines available at launch, Kia is expected offer plug-in hybrid power a little later in the product life-cycle. It’s highly likely engineers will attempt to mate existing hybrid tech from the Niro with a more efficient plug-in unit.

So far little is known about the styling of the new model but it’s believed the car was birthed from the Kia Provo concept (below) which was unveiled at the Geneva motor show back in 2013. It was designed as an ultra-modern B-segment car built for enthusiasts.

For more info and developments on this new addition to the Kia range, watch this space!