Wednesday, 12 October 2016

2017 Kia Rio Unveiled With Class Leading Features

While concept cars and supercars are usually the ones that steal the show at events like the Paris Motor Show, sometimes it’s the smaller and less powerful vehicles that deserve the extra attention. Such is the case with the fourth-generation Kia Rio, which broke cover at the French event with two first-in-class safety features.
The new Rio takes the sober design of the current model and adds a smeck of aggression, it is slightly longer, lower, and wider than the outgoing model with a marginally longer wheelbase as well.  At the front is a thinner and wider version of Kia's "tiger nose" grille, and headlights that incorporate a new U-shaped LED daytime running light signature getting rid of the somewhat cheap look of the outgoing model.
With the complete makeover, the Rio is entering its fourth generation this year with production slated for the end of 2016. Kia tells us it has been designed in both California and Germany. They promised lots of tech and they have fulfilled just that by making the small hatchback the first in its class to offer Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Recognition. Not only that, the Rio will also come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Smartphone integration. Yes, the latter is already common on larger cars but the  Rio is among the first to get both connectivity apps. Owners will also find a “floating”, high-resolution touch screen on the dashboard, a varied selection of upholstery colours and smoother plastic surfaces, but in an apparent case of “you can’t have it all” the hatchback still doesn’t get real leather in its more expensive models.

Headlining the engine range in the new Rio is a new three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged unit, which is tipped to be the best seller. It’s offered in 99bhp or 118bhp power outputs, with both engines producing the same 127lb ft of torque. Kia has yet to confirm economy or CO2 figures for the new Rio, but this engine is expected to come in below 100g/km in both power outputs. The engine’s light weight should also help improve the handling, Kia claims. Two normally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engines – an 84bhp, 90lb ft 1.25-litre and a 99bhp, 97lb ft 1.4-litre – are also offered alongside a 1.4-litre turbodiesel with either 69bhp or 89bhp. The diesel will be the most economical Rio in the range and will have CO2 emissions of less than 90g/km.
Kia brought the new generation Rio in the 5-door hatchback body style in Paris; the 4-door sedan and 3-door hatchback versions should follow next year, if planned.

The Korean manufacturer moved 473,000 Rios across the 6 continents last year making the Rio its biggest global seller. Whether the next gen will beat the class leading Ford Fiesta ST to its game still remains to be seen, we shall be watching.
ETA: 2017


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