After confirmed it was the third gen Kia K7, the first pictures of an early prototype of the next-gen Kia mid-size luxury sedan. Today we have new high quality pictures, thanks to our colleagues at AutoPost, from a new prototype that has production taillights and allow us to see more details, as the big grille coming under the headlights like the K5 or the diamond pattern found in the shark fin C-pillar insert featured also around the fake exhaust and wheels.
What we know so far?
When I saw the first spy picture of this car, I refused to believe this was a new generation of Kia’s midsize sedan, the K7. Why? Because I think was to early for it, but now this pictures from our colleagues at AutoPost allow us to confirms that Kia is already working, urgently, in the third generation K7 (known as Cadenza in some overseas markets) codenamed as GL3.
What could be the reason for this urgency? Well, the problem is inside and it’s called Hyundai Grandeur. Since Hyundai launched the Grandeur facelift which was already like a full model change the sales of the K7 have dropped significantly. If you compare it, during March in the local market, the Grandeur sold 13,544 units in March, while the K7 sold only 3,863 units.
Then in April this situation was repeated as Grandeur sold 11,566 units and the K7 only 3,379 units. The K7 went through a successful facelift last year and once surpassed the Grandeur sales, but after the new Grandeur was released, it was unable to beat it again. The report says Kia Motors has become urgent in preparing a new model, and a test car was first caught in South Korea.
The Kia K7 went through a facelift in June last year with the launch of K7 Premier. The K7 Premier, which was the first facelift model to be released after the release of the second generation K7 (codenamed as YG) in January 2016, is armed with a refined design and outstanding specifications such as 2.5 gasoline engines, a guess room monitor system and a digital instrument panel that were not available in the previues Grandeur IG for example.
In November last year, the Grandeur also faced a facelift, and the advanced specifications applied to the K7 Premier were also applied to the Grandeur, and many consumers who were waiting for a new car stood in a long queue to purchase the Grandeur instead of K7. As of May 2020, the Grandeur and the K7 are not actually in the right race, as their sales are more than three times higher.
The existing replacement cycle, which was 5-6 years, has been shortened to 4-5 years. Since the news of the full-change already within less than a year since the facelift model appeared, many consumers said, “Hyundai Kia’s model replacement cycle is too fast.” He said, “How long have I been in the K7 Premier already, are we going to do a full change already?” So the 3rd gen K7 is expected to be released in the first half of next year.
Until now, Hyundai Kia’s model change cycle has been around 5 to 6 years, but recently, the replacement cycle has been shortened to around 4 to 5 years. Avante (know as Elantra in overseas markets) had a full-change model (codenamed as CN7) in 2020, five years after 6th gen Avante (codenamed as AD) launched in 2015, and Kia’s medium-sized sedan K5 also received its third gen model (DL3) last year, 4 years after the launch of the 2nd gen model in 2015.
Some claimed it was a Kia K4 test car (me too) that was a China-only model between K3 and K5, but who took the picture said, “I have checked the prototype label and was labeled as GL3.” so that corresponds to third generation K7.
What can be seen is that the front part design has a significantly larger grille than the previous one. There are some customers who are disappointed by the new grille or the style grille that can be compared to what we have seen in the Santa Fe facelift, rather than the vertical grille, which was the symbol of the previous K7 generations.
The details such as the shape of the headlightss or taillights are not known yet, but we expect something like the K5 but more upscale. We have spotted an interesting details on the side style of the new K7, which has new exterior mirrors now attached to the door like in the K5 and an extended C-pillar line now has a shark fin antenna premiered on the Kia Proceed and followed by the all-new Kia Sorento.
What Kia wants to make with this earlier launch of a new generation K7? Well, follow the success of the new K5 which already beated the new Sonata DN8 in terms of sales.