The brand new 2017 Kia Rio is set to shake up the B-segment when it debuts at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September.
The new fourth gen Rio has a lot riding on it, it’s the the brands best selling model globally. In 2015 alone, they shifted 473 000 Rio’s across the globe, accounting for 16% of Kia’s annual sales.
When it comes to exterior design, the previous Rio was quite a handsome thing, and the new model is no different.
The signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille makes its appearance once more, this time thinner in height and going wider across the car. This, together with the redesigned ‘bi-function’ headlights with LED accents makes the front of the car look much sharper than before.
In profile and from the rear the new Rio appears longer and more squat than before thanks to a 10mm longer wheelbase with longer front overhangs while sitting 5mm lower to the ground with a short pronounced rear overhang and near vertical boot and rear windscreen, featuring signature LED rear taillights.
The change to the dimensions as well as the repackaging of the interior promises to make the Rio more spacious inside and also gives the Rio a boot that’s 13% larger than it’s predecessor, at 325 litres.
The good news continues on the inside where Kia have added some nice sporty touches like the new three spoke steering wheel and by placing the dash slightly angled towards the driver giving the car a sporty and premium feel, according to Kia.
They have also cleaned up the dash using a new ‘floating’ 7″ high resolution touch screen, that handles the car’s infotainment functions and newly designed heating controls that sit just below.
Speaking of Kia’s new HMI touch sensitive interface, entry models come with a 5″ unit, while buyers can also opt for a 7″ version with the integrated navigation system including Kia Connected Services powered by TomTom®, giving you the latest traffic info, speed camera locations, point-of-interest information and weather updates.
Connecting and charging your smart phone will be a cinch as Kia have added multiple USB ports (a segment first) in the front and the rear of the car that will connect your smartphone to the infotainment system. The HMI system also offers buyers full smartphone integration services powered by Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, both of which are becoming in-car essentials these days .
Safety and Convenience
The Rio has always been a bargain when it comes to packing in loads of features for your money, and this time around Kia have added even more for bang for the buck.
The new model is available with features such as keyless entry and ignition, heated seats and steering wheel, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, and automatic headlamps.
Also available is Automatic Cruise Control, with a speed limiter, and Rear Park Assist with a rear view camera.
On the safety front, Kia promises that the new Rio will be one of the safest cars in its class and judging by the addition of new safety equipment normally seen on larger, more expensive vehicles, I have no doubt that it should be five-star Euro NCAP safe, as Kia are targeting with the new Rio.
In addition to the six airbags and ISOFIX child-seat anchor points, the Rio can be had with Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems that incorporates a, B-segment first, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system with pedestrian recognition as well as a Lane Departure Warning System.
These features are now combined with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems, ensuring that you stay on the road and in control no matter the conditions.
When it comes to powerplants, Kia has lagged behind the pack when it comes to downsizing with smaller turbocharged motors.
This is set to change as the new Rio will adopt the new three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDI engine, as used in the 2015 Kia Cee’d.
This engine will come in two flavors, one slightly spicier than the other, with respective outputs of 73 and 88 kilowatts. Both engines share an impressive torque figure of 172Nm from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm, that will give the car enough mid-range punch for highway cruising and overtaking.
Also available will be the familiar, naturally aspirated, 1.2 and 1.4-litre four pot units as well as two 1.4-litre diesel versions. Higher powered engines will feature a six speed manual while the others make use of a five speed unit.
The new range of engines together with Kia’s Idle Stop & Go (ISG) system, promises to give the Rio improved fuel economy and better emissions figures.
The all-new Kia Rio will go on sale across Europe in the first quarter of 2017, with the company’s unique 7-Year warranty as standard.