Even though Kia first announced their 2017 Rio earlier this month, details about its engine lineup, connectivity features and safety technologies have just surfaced.
Designed at multiple Kia centers on three different continents, the fourth-gen supermini is now bigger and more comfortable than ever while also broadcasting a new design with a longer bonnet, an updated tiger-nose grille, a longer front overhang and a shorter rear overhang.
Sold as a five door model in Europe, the new Rio will be available in a choice of 8 exterior colors, with three aluminum alloy wheel designs, ranging from 15″ to 17″ in size.
Inside, you’ve got the new and sportier dashboard layout, black or gray cloth seat upholstery, but also black/gray artificial leather. Those who want their Rio’s interior even flashier can go for the black with red artificial leather-trimmed seats.
Boot-space has also grown to 325 liters (11.4 cu ft), which Kia says is among the highest capacities in the segment – despite the Rio’s rear overhang being shortened by 15 mm (0.6 in). The new Rio also comes with a split-level boot floor, split-folding rear seats (as standard) and a tire mobility kit situated under the boot floor. The spare wheel, however, is an optional extra.
Powering the new Rio will be a range of petrol and diesel engines, providing high efficiency and “willing acceleration”, according to the Korean automaker.
Introduced for the first time in the upgraded Kia cee’d, the latest three-cylinder 1.0-liter T-GDI units are expected to account for the majority of Rio sales. They’re rated with either 98 HP or 118 HP, while sharing the same peak torque of 172 Nm (126 lb-ft). Alongside the T-GDI units, the Rio will also come with naturally-aspirated 1.25-liter and 1.4-liter MPI petrol engines, rated at 82 HP and 90 HP respectively, plus a 1.4-liter diesel engine with either 69 HP or 88 HP – good for just 90 g/km of CO2.
On the road, the Rio will look to offer more driver engagement with more agile and immediate handling while also providing better comfort. Thanks to the stiffer body shell, Kia’s R&D team was able to develop a more compliant suspension system with a revised spring and damper setup – thus improving compliance and comfort at all speeds. Also, the new vertical front & rear shock absorbers lead to a more linear handling and better suspension response over poor road surfaces.
In terms of safety, the new Rio is targeting a five-star Euro NCAP rating and it’s systems such as its Autonomous Emergency Braking tech with pedestrian recognition that might help it hit that mark. It also has Lane Departure Warning, an Advanced High Strength Steel body shell, 6 airbags as standard throughout the cabin as well as ISOFIX child-seat tether and anchor points for both the front and rear passenger seats.
As for connectivity, the Rio comes with full Android and Apple smartphone integration, a 7″ touchscreen infotainment & sat-nav system for well-spec’d models, plus Kia Connected Services which offer live traffic updates, speed camera locations and alerts, weather forecasts and so on. Also, according to Kia, the new Rio is the only car in the B-segment to be equipped with USB ports in both the front and rear of the cabin.
The 2017 Kia Rio is set to go on sale in the first quarter of 2017, featuring the company’s unique 7-year, 100,000 mile warranty as standard.