By on March 28, 2019

Image: Kia Motors

When your author hears the word “Masterpiece,” his mind conjures up images of a coveted line of K-frame Smith & Wesson revolvers, one of which still exists on the market. Kia’s not thinking about guns, though the themes of toughness, precision, and premium appeal carry over to the automotive world.

Masterpiece is the name applied to one of two Kia concept SUVs unveiled Thursday at the Seoul Motor Show, but it’s the second of the two vehicles that might be most relevant to North American buyers.


The Masterpiece is a brawny midsize SUV that also carries the Mohave name. While this moniker might be unfamiliar to domestic audiences, Americans will remember its brief stint in Kia’s U.S. lineup as the Borrego — a body-on-frame model whose lifespan was cut short by the recession. Mohave soldiers on overseas, and the concept certainly looks like a sneak peek at its successor.

The second concept, called the SP Signature, is a very fleshed-out small utility vehicle that’s the latest in a line of SP-badged concepts. Kia’s Signature is clearly more than just a design exercise; the company says it “previews a production-ready compact SUV from Kia, due to be revealed for the first time later in 2019.”


Debuting the same week Kia’s corporate cousin, Hyundai, teased its upcoming small Venue crossover, it looks like this could be that model’s twin. For now, Kia’s staying tight-lipped about the Signature’s U.S. availability. One thing’s for sure, though — we’ll see the signature’s styling carry over to other vehicles in the Kia utility lineup.

The next Mohave, as previewed by the Masterpiece, is a question mark. Kia missed its chance to capitalize on U.S. SUV demand a decade ago, but it made up for it with this year’s release of the three-row Telluride. Reintroducing a similar-sized SUV, even a more rugged (and possibly BOF) one, might cannibalize Telluride and Sorento sales.

Then again, having too many utility vehicles is hardly a problem facing automakers these days. Just the opposite, in fact.


[Images: Kia Motors]

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19 Comments on “We’re Almost Sure to See One of Kia’s Two ‘Concept’ SUVs...”

  • avatar

    Sorry Kia, but these look like every other crossover on the market. So, unless it’s especially well made, well appointed or very inexpensive I don’t see these rising above the pack

    • 0 avatar

      They may look rather similar to what’s out there, but I think these concepts are styled well enough to be at or near the head of the pack.

      Now, will the rest of the vehicle be compelling enough to buy? That, I don’t know.

  • avatar

    I try to stay away from comments like this, but that Kia SP looks like something Ford would try to squeeze in between the Escape and the Ecosport.

  • avatar

    That Mohave looks like an unfinished feud between the overbite and underbite grill engineers.

  • avatar

    The Koreans are back to their derivative ways, with the Signature having a very French/Peugeot front end and Euro Ford rear. It looks too big to be related to the Venue, which will slot beneath the Kona.

  • avatar

    The only people who would consider this type of vehicle are men and strong-willed women (think Jeep). If you make it look like it was designed by 9 year olds, it won’t sell very well.

  • avatar

    I dig the Mohave. I wouldn’t buy one myself, but I wouldn’t object to seeing them on the road. This time the timing might be right.

  • avatar

    PLEASE bring us the Mohave. Give the market a fresh choice for a BOF SUV that’s smaller than a Tahoe/Expedition but bigger than a Wrangler. Something truly macho underneath, not just styled like it on the outside (Telluride).

    Btw, I cant help but be amazed that the “Telluride” name made it to production. “What time should we get my mom to pick us up?” “Tell u ride to be here when school gets out.”

    • 0 avatar

      The Mohave wouldb’t be a “fresh choice” as it’s just a 2nd more extensive facelift of the Borrego/Mohave, and not going to see it return.

      H/K are working on a new BoF platform that will underpin pick-ups and presumably SUVs, but there’s a question if we’ll ever going to see them (depends on where they will be built).

  • avatar

    The quality should be better than anything GM builds. That should not hard thing to do. Under Barra quality and styling are not a top priority anymore.

  • avatar

    Well the Telluride is selling like bottled water in Flint, MI (too soon?) so why shouldn’t Kia continue to crank out various SUVs/CUVs?

    It would be interesting though to see if the Mohave would get the Genesis V8 or the twin turbo 6 from the Stinger.

  • avatar

    The SP concept has been out for some time (debuted in Feb. of 2018) and previews the Tusker – which is what we’re getting in lieu of the Stonic.

    As for the Masterpiece, it’s nothing new either as it’s just the same Borrego/Mohave but w/ a more extensive 2nd refresh (and needless to say, we won’t be seeing it return here).

  • avatar

    The orange one looks too much like Geordi La Forge porked an Evoque. The long chrome unibrow is a bit much.

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