Kia says the Cross GT is to crossover vehicles as its GT concept was to large sport sedans. We’re not sure the Cross GT is as stunningly sexy as the GT was – that is, after all, a tall hurdle to clear – but it is still quite fetching in person.
We read Kia’s promises of this thing being long, low, and wide, but those proportions aren’t fully realized until viewed in the flesh. This feels less like a crossover or SUV, and more like a long, low station wagon placed on stilts. In this manner, the Cross GT reminds us a bit of the forgotten Chrysler Citadel concept from 2000. We also detected a hint of Citadel when staring at the large glass-intensive tailgate, but Kia’s boomerang LED tail lamps – which almost manage to perfectly line up with the bumper’s cut lines – lend it an identity of its own.
Press photos suggest the Cross GT’s sheet metal is as rippled as a silk sheet in front of a hair dryer. Yes, there are plenty of curves to be found, but the fender and door surfaces look far smoother than images lead you to expect. As a whole, the exterior form is clean, well balanced, and thankfully devoid of overwrought details.
The Cross GT’s interior is virtually invisible through the darkly-tinted windowpanes – a pity, considering it’s as seductive as the Cross GT’s exterior. The leather-clad bucket seats seductively wrap around an occupant’s torso and seamlessly into the center console. The recycled wood trim dominates both dash and door panels, and looks and feels a bit nicer than the renewable wool fabric used as a trim element throughout the cabin.
Kia notes the vehicle is purely conceptual, and that it’s less indicative of a particular future product and more an indication that Kia wants to play in the world of large, luxury crossovers. We can only hope that when it finally does, the finished product is as swoopy and swanky as the concept shown here in Chicago.