This might be the sexiest new small hatch on the market.
Less than one month before its live unveiling at the 2016 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris, Kia has lifted the lid on the freshly baked Rio with a full set of images of its new hatchback. The Rio comes with Kia's signature "tiger-nose" grille along with bi-function projection headlights with a U-shaped LED shape. The car itself is 15 mm longer, 5 mm wider, and 5 mm lower than its predecessor. In short, the new Rio looks sportier and is more practical than the model it replaces.
The new Rio has a very premium look and this doesn't just stop on the exterior. Inside, Kia has reduced the number of buttons on the dashboard by designing what it calls a "floating HMI (human-machine interface)." Kia says that the interior layout gives the cabin a wider appearance which increases the sense of space for occupants. Drivers and passengers will sit on standard cloth seats, but black or grey faux leather is available. There will also be a "Red Pack" with sporty Red faux leather upholstery. Kia didn't specify which engines will be available, but production should begin (for the UK) in late 2016.
The Rio is often overlooked when compared to rivals like the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, and Toyota Yaris. However, we think that this new Rio puts Kia in the perfect position to leapfrog the competition. The new new Rio has a far more upscale feel than other sub-compact hatchbacks, and should still remain competitive on price. Kia has even hired an ex-BMW M division executive to help the company build a range of sporty GT models. A 200 horsepower turbocharged version of the Rio would fit this mold completely and could give the Fiesta ST some much needed competition. With the new Rio's handsome looks and some turbocharged power, a new Rio GT could be a game changing hot hatch.