The Rio is Kia’s best-selling model globally with 473,000 sold in 2015, 16 per cent of the brand’s total volume. In the UK 12,115 were sold last year, 15 per cent of total volume.
Highlights of the fourth-generation model are a new exterior design, more space, safety upgrades and new technology including connectivity.
The look of the car, which involved Kia’s design centres in Germany, the USA and Korea, is said to feature a combination of straight lines and smooth surfacing to give the car “a more mature character” than its predecessor.
It measures up 15mm longer than its predecessor, at 4065mm, with a 10mm longer wheelbase. The bonnet is longer, as is the front overhang, while the rear overhang is reduced.
Inside there is more space – Leg room is now 1120mm in the front and 770mm in the rear, while shoulder room of 1,375mm in the front and 1,355mm in the rear is claimed to be among the best in class, as is the 325-litre boot, 37 litres more than previously.
Most popular powertrains are expected to be Kia’s latest three-cylinder 1.0-litre direct injection turbo petrol units first seen in the larger cee’d. They will be offered in 100 or 120hp outputs, while there will also be non-turbo 1.25-litre 84hp and 1.4-litre 92hp petrol options and a 1.4 diesel with either 70 or 90hp and CO2 emissions levels dipping under 90g/km.
Safety upgrades include what Kia says is the first application of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian recognition to a car in the supermini sector, and the brand is confident of a five-star rating when the Rio is crash-tested by safety body Euro NCAP.
Amongst the technology on offer, meanwhile will be a new infotainment system, housing Kia’s latest HMI (human-machine interface). A ‘floating’ 5.0-inch touchscreen audio system with six speakers will be upgradeable to a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system. This will include full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration and Kia’s Connected Services package.
Powered by the TomTom navigation Kia Connected offers drivers a wide range of up-to-date information, including live traffic updates, speed camera locations and alerts, local point-of-interest search and weather forecasts. Kia Connected will be offered free of charge for European buyers for seven years after the car’s purchase.
The Rio goes on UK sale in the first three months of 2017, at prices still to be announced.