Official pictures: Kia Rio
Sitting on the same front-wheel drive platform as the Hyundai i20, the new Rio departs radically in appearance from its generic looking predecessor, sporting a cleaner and more contemporary look created at Kia’s European design studio under the guise of the Korean car maker’s design boss, Peter Schreyer.
While full details are yet to be released, the new hatch is said to be 55mm longer and 25mm wider but 15mm lower than before. It also rides on a 70mm longer wheelbase that, according to Kia, provides the new model greater interior accommodation and a larger trunk.
The smartening up of the exterior design is mirrored inside, with a much more stylish dashboard and higher quality trims. The new interior was designed at the company’s US based design studio in California.
The third-generation Rio’s engine line-up will be revealed at Geneva. Already confirmed is a base 1.2-litre four-cylinder gasoline unit. It will be joined by larger 1.4- and 1.6-litre gasoline engines. Also planned are 1.1-, 1.4- and 1.6-litre common rail diesels. Gearboxes will include five and six speed manuals, along with an optional five-speed automatic.