The first official images of the all-new Kia Rio have been released, with the Korean city car bigger, boxier and more posh than ever before.
A product of Kia's German, American and Korean design centres, the fourth-generation Rio sports more traditional light hatch styling than its predecessor. Kia has farewelled the adventurous, swooping styling of the current Rio, replacing it with a boxier, more athletic and eminently more German-looking vehicle.
An updated version of design chief Peter Schreyer's "Tiger Nose" grille splits new U-shaped LED headlights, while the front-end has been redesigned to give the car a more planted road stance. A series of sharp body creases and a lower beltline give the Rio a more balanced side profile, while new rear lights with "arrow-shaped" LEDs complete the external makeover.
It's grown in all directions, too. The all-new Rio is 5mm wider (now 1725mm), 15mm longer (now 4065mm) and sits on a wheelbase that's grown by 10mm. The only measurement that's dropped is the Rio's height, which has fallen by 5mm.
There's a decidedly Germanic feel to the top-spec interior, too, with chrome and gloss black highlights, premium-look switch gear and a sculpted dash insert. A driver-angled dash houses a new high-resolution touchscreen that controls the audio, navigation and yet-to-be-disclosed "new connectivity" functions, but which are likely to be the inclusion of Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Kia refers to the system as a worryingly Skynet-sounding HMI, or human-machine interface.
Full details are expected to be revealed later this month, ahead of the new Rio's international reveal at the Paris Auto Show on September 29.
While the 'Light' segment's popularity has taken a hit in Australia, the Rio is an incredibly important international model for Kia, with the city car proving the brand's top-seller globally. In Australia, Kia has managed 4,166 sales so far this year.
Full details are expected to be revealed later this month, ahead of the new Rio's international reveal at the Paris Auto Show on September 29. Production kicks off soon after, ahead of an early-2017 launch in Australia.
"Rio has been a long-standing plank of Kia's model line-up in Australia, and it's always exciting when a new model of a mainstay arrives," said Kia Australia PR chief Kevin Hepworth.
Powertrain specifics are yet to be revealed, but the new Rio is likely to arrive with a choice of two petrol engines, one of which is sure to be the brand's turbocharged 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine, which will likely be partnered with the current model's 79kW and 135Nm 1.4-litre petrol. While a diesel option will be offered internationally, Kia Australia has ruled it out for the local market.
Pricing details are yet to be revealed, but we expect minimal change from the current model's $15,990 starting point.
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