It's just been cleared for take-off in Korea and will land at the Geneva Motor Show at the start of March. The car has a much bolder look than the current Rio, with the new Kia 'face' already seen on the flagship Optima, and seems more substantial than the model it will replace.
But the downside is a price that is likely to jump over $15,500. The Kia pictures only show the five-door hatch but this car will be followed by a four-door sedan and a baby three-door. Kia's follow-up cars are also expected to be displayed at major motor shows, most likely including the headline Frankfurt show in September.
Kia is expecting big things for the new Rio in Australia and also admits the car opens the way for the smaller-and-cheaper Picanto, which would become a $13,000 price fighter.
The Rio is built over the same mechanical package as the Hyundai i20 but, like the company's Sportage and Optima, is substantially difference in visuals.
"It's in character with all the cars that Kia is rolling forward. They are not going to go backwards," says Kia spokesman, Kevin Hepworth.
Kia Australia currently only has the bare basics on the new Rio but is expecting more concrete information following the Geneva show.