On October 2, 2014 at the Paris Motor Show, Kia will be unveiling to the global public an enhanced version of the Kia Rio, which now comes loaded with an array of improvements that should help it remain competitive around the world.
Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer at Kia Motors Europe, noted that the Rio was the brand’s best-selling nameplate around the world in 2013, with total sales pegged at 471,000 units. He added that the new Rio is one of Kia’s top 3 units in Europe with 56,821 units sold. He remarked that Kia considers the improvements made to the new Rio as significant.
Cole quipped that the massive popularity of the nameplate is proof that Kia’s designers and engineers managed to get most things 'right' when creating the fourth generation of the Rio in 2011. He added that for 2014, the Rio is building on the core attributes that made it popular with customers, while adding a number of enhancements to give the B-segment challenger a fresher appearance inside and outside.
For instance, the new Kia Rio is provided with a new rear bumper and is now available with three new alloy wheel designs (15 inches to 17 inches). Its color palette has also been expanded by two additions: Digital Yellow and Urban Blue paint finishes.
Inside, the new Kia Rio now has chrome accents around its four dashboard air-vents. It is also provided by a newly designed center stack around the audio system. Top-of-the-range models feature a new cloth trim as standard, while grey faux leather upholstery is optional.
For the 2015 model year, the new Kia Rio is equipped with a new DAB digital radio and a new generation of the carmaker’s AVN (audio-video navigation) system featuring a 7.0-inch display screen. This next-gen system boasts of improved processing speed as well as faster route calculation.
Depending on markets where it will be offered, the 2015 Rio will be available in Europe in any of the four highly efficient engines with power outputs pegged at between 55 kW and 80 kW. Power is sent to the front wheels through a five- or six-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission.
Each of these engines could be availed with Kia's optional second-generation Start/Stop (ISG) technology. Along with low-rolling resistance tires, this technology – featuring an automatic start-stop, advanced alternator control and upgraded starter motor systems -- could help save more fuel during a trip.
In Australia, the 2015 Kia Rio will be equipped with any of the two available engines. The 1.4-liter engine is mated to a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, while the 1.6-liter engine is paired as standard to a six-speed automatic gearbox. Kia won't be offering the ISG technology in Australia at launch.
Built at Kia’s Sohari manufacturing site in South Korea, the Kia Rio hatchback will be sold in Europe in early 2015. Country-by-country availability will be decided depending on location.