Are You Ready For: A Neo-xB… With A Twist?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

See that? Looks a bit like a first-generation Scion xB, doesn’t it? It’s actually a new Kia, codenamed “Tam,” built on its new A-segment Picanto Morning platform, but featuring first-gen xB-style tall-body MPV packaging. The Picanto’s wheelbase is actually slightly smaller than the xB’s, and there’s another key difference here as well: see that rear door? Look where the handle is placed. That’s right, it’s a slider! But that’s not all…

Here’s where things get kooky: on the driver’s side the rear door is a normal front-hinger. At least, that’s what it looks like here. And with Hyundai experimenting with asymmetrical door configurations on its B-segment Veloster, would it be so surprising for Kia to do the same with this wilfully funky little thing? As far as this blogger is concerned, the only thing about this new Kia city-hauler that would be truly surprising would be hearing that it’s coming to the US. A smaller, more-efficient ur-xB with sliding door(s)? Keep dreaming… although a Veloster/Soul/Tam lineup would pretty much show Scion how it’s done.

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8 of 20 comments
  • Shaker Shaker on May 26, 2011

    That windshield is too tall and upright for highway speeds (especially with a small engine) and will likely return poor HWY mileage; so my guess is "not for US" unless it's marketed as an electric city-box/taxi.

  • Zackman Zackman on May 26, 2011

    Is there a new trend beginning here? I notice the windows are large - that must mean - I'm speculating here - that you can actually see what's outside when you're driving! Truly a revolutionary concept that will take the industry by storm! It's about time, too.

    • See 3 previous
    • MoppyMop MoppyMop on May 26, 2011

      Most of the high beltline/tiny windows trend is driven by styling, not safetly regs. Corvettes and Miatas, even one-box hatchbacks like the Fit and Golf don't have either of these issues and they pass the same standards everyone else has to. This is because they are designed, at least in part, for car guys rather than for idiots who think "more visible metal" = "safer".

  • Nickeled&dimed Nickeled&dimed on May 26, 2011

    Funny, the presser photo (black body, grey background) has the slider on the driver's side (too?). Sliding doors just make a lot of sense, actually, for accessibility and getting in and out in tight spots... I'd like to see them make their way to non-minivans. They're no longer like the '80s econoline sliders that kept jamming.

  • OmarCCXR OmarCCXR on May 26, 2011

    I may have puked inside my mouth a bit. I think every Toyota nowadays makes me sick, you would think by now I would have it under control.