Don’t get too attached to it because you might just end up disappointed

Kia South Korea has unveiled the Mohave a few weeks after the SUV’s official release in its motherland. The production model’s looming arrival comes a few months after the Korean automaker unveiled the Masterpiece, the concept SUV from which the Mohave is based on. There are striking similarities between the Masterpiece and the Mohave, though, more importantly, the new SUV’s design is a massive departure from the outgoing model, which is on its last legs after an exhausting 11-year run. The most significant upgrade, however, can be found inside the SUV. The changes are significant, to say the least. That bodes well for future owners of the Mohave in South Korea, though not so much for us here in the U.S. because the likelihood of the Mohave returning to the American market — it had an uneventful one-year stint in ‘Murica as the Borrego in 2009 — isn’t something that we’d bet on.

New 2020 Kia Mohave Interior

Here's a Look at the Interior of Kia Mohave that Has About a 2-Percent Chance of Coming to the United States
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The Kia Mohave is a nice SUV piece. I dig its looks completely. The four-point headlamps and the vertical bars grille look great on the SUV. The overall stance is SUV-proper, too. It doesn’t look like it’s hunched; it looks like it’s standing tall, shoulders abreast like how an SUV should look like. Don’t get me wrong, though. There’ still a bit of blandness in the Mohave design, though - especially when you look at it from the side. But the front section — and rear section, too — looks great. It’s unique in a refreshing kind of way, and I actually wouldn’t mind buying one if it ever came here in the U.S. But more on that later.

As good as the Mohave’s exterior looks, the SUV’s interior is on another level.

Granted, we only have “official” sketches to work with, but based on the said sketch, the new Mohave’s interior represents a huge improvement from the outgoing version’s cabin. Let’s start with how clean it looks. The dashboard looks smoother and sleeker. There’s a stunning flat wood surface on the lower part of the dash, running from the edge of the steering tunnel all the way to the passenger side A/C vent. In between these two layers is a flat surface where the SUV’s 12.3-inch infotainment screen resides. I like that Kia got rid of the cluttered center console that’s one of the eyesores in the current Mohave. In fact, part of the console is located in the tunnel just below the dashboard. You can find the automatic gear shifter and the drive mode selector there. Buttons for the hill start assist and other systems are also located there, right next to a pair of cup holders and the center compartment. We don’t get a good look at the Mohave’s three-row seating layout, but Kia said that quilted Nappa leather will be part of its offerings.

Here's a Look at the Interior of Kia Mohave that Has About a 2-Percent Chance of Coming to the United States
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The SUV isn’t getting short-changed in tech offerings, too.

It comes with a head-up display, multi-zone climate control, a surround-view monitor, smartphone wireless charging, and a premium audio system.

It is a bit surprising for a mid-size SUV to have an interior that looks more premium than its status dictates. But that’s what Kia has with the new Mohave. It is a bit of a pity that we’re probably not going to see the Mohave in the U.S. market anytime soon. Sure, Kia hasn’t made a final decision on the matter, but considering the automaker’s already robust crossover/SUV lineup in the U.S., finding a place to slot the Mohave is far easier said than done. You can’t position it as a mid-size SUV because Kia’s already selling the Sorrento in America. The Sorrento traces its roots to the Mohave by way of succeeding the ill-fated Borrego in 2011. It also happens to be Kia’s best-selling model in the U.S. — 107,846 units sold last year — at least when you look at the automaker’s total sales volume by model in 2018. For the record, the Sorento barely beat the Soul, which accounted for 104,709 units sold in the U.S. in 2018. Kia’s not going to mess around with the Sorrento’s mojo by bringing in another mid-size SUV that will, in reality, compete directly with the automaker’s biggest moneymaker.

Here's a Look at the Interior of Kia Mohave that Has About a 2-Percent Chance of Coming to the United States
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What if Kia packages the new Mohave to sit above the Sorrento in its SUV lineup? Would that work? It would if Kia didn’t already have the Telluride, which already occupies that spot. Not only is the Telluride’s big boy SUV, but it also happens to be an all-new model. It only hit the market this year, and while it hasn’t approached the sales volume of the Sorrento, it’s sales volume is sitting pretty at more than 5,000 sold units per month. It’s only been in the market for six months, so it doesn’t have its sea legs yet.

Give the Telluride a full year in the market, and sales of the model could shoot right up in the vicinity of the Sorrento.

Simply put, there’s no place for the Kia Mohave in the U.S. market, at least unless Kia starts getting greedy. So enjoy the Kia Mohave’s debut in South Korea and all the best and whistles that come with it. Chances are, that’s as close as we’ll get to actually seeing it.

Further reading

2019 Kia Mohave Masterpiece Concept
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Read our full review on the 2019 Kia Mohave Masterpiece Concept.

2020 Kia Telluride
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Read our full review on the2020 Kia Telluride.

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