Kia will reveal its Nissan Juke rival before the end of this year, with the Frankfurt motor show the most likely venue.
Kia has confirmed the project exists, and that it has the internal codename SE, although the ‘Stonic’ has been trademarked.
A Kia spokesman confirmed that the Stonic will sit slightly below the Soul in Kia's line-up. We've spotted Hyundai, Kia's parent company, testing its SUV of the same size, with which the Kia is likely to share components.
Despite the model's small size it will be a more fully-fledged SUV, where the Soul blurs the lines between MPV and SUV.
1.4-litre petrol and diesel engines and the car's platform will be shared with the Rio, while more powerful versions will share engines with lower-end Sportages, such as the 1.6 GDI. Four-wheel drive will be reserved for high-spec cars.
When it's launched, the as-yet-unnamed Kia small SUV will rival the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, as well as the upcoming Polo-based SUV from VW and the Seat Arona. Prices will match rivals'; expect around £17,000.