Aims to deliver "class-leading practicality and safety technology"
Kia has released a couple of teasers of its all-new Rio supermini. It turns out we were correct in our assumption about the prototype being a regular model, even though the aggressive front fascia might have tempted a few to say it’s the rumored GT version.
As you would expect from teasers, the B-segment five-door hatch is riding on a set of oversized wheels which certainly won’t be as big on the production car. The design represents a significant departure compared to the outgoing Rio and dare we say it looks a lot better from all angles. The fresh styling represents the work of Kia's design studios in Germany and California, with input from the main design center at home in Namyang, South Korea. And it’s not just the exterior, as the cabin also seems to bring a vast improvement and overall it gives the impression Kia has plans to move the supermini slightly more upmarket.
It’s a crucial model, taking into account it represents the company’s global best-selling model, with more than 473,000 units delivered last year. Kia isn’t sharing a lot of technical details about the new model, but it does say the wheelbase is longer than the one of the current Rio, which spans at 101.2 inches (2,570 millimetres). That can only mean there is going to be more legroom, especially for passengers sitting in the back.
The South Korean marque promises its all-new supermini will offer best-in-class practicality, so look for a more spacious trunk than what the outgoing model offers, which is 288 litres with the rear seats up and 974 litres once folded. Kia goes on to specify the 2017 Rio will be equipped with the "latest connectivity features" and that likely means it will benefit from Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
On top of that, fans of the model will be glad to hear the new version will provide "more assured and engaging ride and handling characteristics." It will share most of the hardware with sister model Hyundai i20 (not available in Canada) from where it will likely borrow the turbocharged, three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDI engine available with 100 horsepower and 120 hp outputs.
Debuting on September 29 at the Paris Motor Show, the fourth-generation supermini will enter production for the European market towards the end of the year.