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May 13, 2020

Should Kia PH Bring in the Land Cruiser Prado Rivaling 2021 Mohave?

Kia may have the World Car of the Year winning Telluride to service the U.S. market, but for the rest of the world, the Korean automaker also has a mid-sized SUV that slots above the Sorento in terms of size and positioning: the Mohave.

If the name’s familiar, it should be because; it was brought in some years back as part of Kia’s then distributor to position the brand more upmarket. Suffice to say, the market didn’t respond that well and it was subsequently killed off. Now, if Kia’s new distributor, Ayala-owned AC Motors is gusty enough, the good news is that the second-generation Mohave is available for export outside Korea, including the Philippines.

Previewed as the Masterpiece Concept in 2019, the “HM2” is officially the second-generation Mohave. The larger-than-life, boxy design is penned by Peter Schreyer, when he was still directly in charge of Kia’s design. The full-width “tiger nose” grille incorporates the LED headlights which are echoed at the back with the vertically-arranged cube taillights connected by a full-width reflector (aka heckblende) that incorporates the “Mohave” badge. At each corner are 20-inch wheels.

Now, while Kia calls this the second-generation Mohave, its guts are actually carried over right from the decade-old first-generation model. With that, it retains its traditional body-on-frame architecture though its all-terrain prowess has been beefed up thanks to Kia’s own version of a dial-based driving mode control with six driving modes. It also has an electronic low-range 4WD system. There’s only one engine available, and you’d be glad that it’s a diesel. The 3.0-liter V6 diesel generates 260 horsepower and 560 Nm of torque. The only transmission is an 8-speed automatic.

The guts maybe carried over, but you don’t realize it when you’re sitting inside. The Mohave’s interior has been completely retrofitted with cutting-edge tech like all-digital gauges, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, three-dimensional mood lighting, built-in air ionizer, wireless phone charging, and more. A newly launched “Gravity” trim adds even more goodies such as Alcantara and ambient lighting. As for seating configuration, it’s available in three versions: a two-row 5-seater, a three-row 6-seater, and a three-row 7-seater.

Safety features have also been beefed up for 2021. Aside from the full range of airbags, ABS with EBD, and traction control, the Mohave adds Highway Driving Assist that gives it semi-autonomous driving ability on single-lane roads, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision prevention assist.

Now, as for the price, the Mohave’s not exactly cheap. Prices for the base version starts at 47.90 million won (P 1.962 million~) and it goes up all the way to 57.55 million won (P 2.357 million~). By comparison, the Sorento in Korea starts at just 27.85 million won (P 1.140 million~) and tops out at 34.36 million won (P 1.40 million~). In short, the Mohave’s more of a competitor to the Land Cruiser Prado rather than the Sorento. Regardless, would you want AC Motors to bring some in?

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