The fourth-generation model, which unlike its predecessor will be offered only in five-door form, sports a bold new look. This says Kia is the result of a collaboration between the brand’s European, US and Korean design centres.
At the front Kia’s now signature tiger-nose grille appears in a slimmer, wider version, as are the projector headlamps. Their more sculpted design produces a U-shaped LED light signature.
The new car is 15mm longer than its predecessor at 4,065mm, with a wheelbase extended 10mm to 2,580mm. Width grows by 5mm to 1,725mm while the height drops by the same amount to 1,450mm.
A long bonnet, longer front overhang, a thinner, more upright rear pillar and shorter rear overhang, combined with clear lines down either shoulder are aimed at producing a more stable, confident appearance. The rear screen is almost much more upright compared to the outgoing Rio.
The official pictures reveal a new interior with an improved, more upmarket layout, again relying on straight lines to increase the impression of width.
The dash will be dominated by a new infotainment system, the HMI (human-machine interface), with a high-resolution touchscreen to power the Rio’s audio, navigation and new connectivity systems.
Kia says fitting the HMI has allowed a reduction in the number of centre console buttons, producing a less-cluttered look.
No details of powertrains have yet been announced, but the car is predicted to use new versions of the existing 1.25 and 1.4-litre petrol engines, along with a 1.1 diesel and the new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine launched in the larger cee’d.
A hot hatch GT model is also likely at some point in 2017, most likely using a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that Kia unveiled in 2015.
The Rio makes its public debut on Kia’s Paris show stand on 29th September.