On road to classy Rio
KIA has unveiled images and some details of its fourthgeneration Rio light hatchback.
It will be bigger in most areas and start rolling off the production line late this year for arrival in Australia before March.
The Rio (above) will be shown at the Paris motor show later this month.
It looks and is wider and longer with stylists tweaking the headlights and grille.
The five-door hatch sits on a new platform with the wheelbase stretched 10mm to 2580mm, overall length by 15mm to 4065mm and width by 5mm to 1725mm.
While the front overhang is longer with a bonnet, the rear overhang has been cut shorter.
The “glasshouse” gets a boxier look, thanks to a more upright rear hatch glass and thinner, more upright C pillars.
The headlamps now incorporate U-shape LED daytime running lights, while at the back, the tail-lamps are described as “more sculpted”.
It looks like a mini Audi A3, which is not surprising as their chief design officer Peter Schreyer used to work at the German luxury car maker.
Inside the dashboard is more angled towards the driver. The Euro-style “floating” infotainment touchscreen reduces the number of buttons on the centre console.
There will be choices of black or grey cloth or leather upholstery, matched with gloss black and metallic trim. A red pack with faux leather seats will also be available.
Kia says the all-new Rio will offer “class-leading practicality and safety technology, the latest connectivity features, and more assured and engaging ride and handling characteristics”.
Engine choices have not been detailed but are expected to be 1.4 and 1.6 litre capacity with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
The Rio is the Korean manufacturer’s global bestselling model, with more than 473,000 sold worldwide in 2015.
The next generation will enter production towards the end of 2016 for Europe, with production timings for other regions to be announced later.
It is probable the Rio will be launched at the Kia-sponsored Australian Open tennis tournament in January.