2017 Kia Rio presented at Paris Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on October 7, 2016

South Korean carmaker Kia Motors has unveiled the fourth-generation Kia Rio at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The latest generation of the Rio is calling out to B-segment customers to carefully consider this newly designed great ride that boasts of first-in-class safety technology and new connectivity features as well as high levels of practicality and convenience.

The B-segment is currently the biggest segment in the new car market in Europe, and Kia expects to sell over 100,000 units of the newest iteration of the Rio on its first full year. Such a sales figure will place the Rio alongside the carmaker’s other hit models in the continent like the Sportage and cee’d.

In 2015, the Rio ranked as the brand’s best-selling model in the world selling over 473,000 units or 16 percent of its annual sales. Kia sold 12,115 Rios in the United Kingdom in the same year, which account for around 15 percent of overall sales in the country.

The fourth-generation model has been designed and engineered to comply with the demands and wants of a wider group of customers, making it a key player in the carmaker’s model line-up. Kia will build the newest Rio at its Sohari manufacturing site in South Korea, and commence global sales in the first quarter of 2017.

Michael Cole, chief operating officer for Kia Motors Europe, quipped that the Rio – as Kia’s best-selling model globally – is an important car for Kia as its third-generation model helped introduce more customers to the brand than before.

He noted that the B-segment is considered as one of the most competitive in the new car market. The design of the new Rio – both its exterior and interior -- was created by Kia’s design centers in Germany and California, in cooperation with the carmaker’s design facility in Namyang, South Korea.

Exterior Design

Overall, the exterior of the Rio is laden with smooth surfacing and straight lines, which endow the B-segment with new characteristics and a more mature appearance than its predecessor.

Up front, the Rio is marked by the latest version of the brand’s tiger-nose grille that is now thinner in height and wider across. Featuring a gloss black grille cover, this grille has been integrated with more sculpted bi-function headlights that don a new U-shaped LED daytime running light signature.

Compared to their position in the third-gen Rio, the front fog light surrounds in the fourth-gen model are now located further up and out in the front bumper, making the front end visually wider.

The Rio’s longer bonnet comes with bracket-shaped creases flowing from the base of the A-pillars to the car’s grille and headlights. When viewed from the sides, the new Rio looks longer and more balanced thanks to its 10-mm longer wheelbase (up to 2,580 mm), long bonnet and longer front overhang yet shorter rear overhang. In addition, the car features a thinner, more upright C-pillar as well as straight defined lines running across the Rio’s shoulder and along its doors.

At 4,065 mm in length and 1,450 mm in height, the new Rio is around 15 mm longer and 5 mm lower than its predecessor. On the rear, the new Kia Rio features a near-vertical rear windscreen and a shorter overhang.

The straight line coming from the grille and running along the top of the doors is also apparent on the rear. This line -- along with thinner, more sculpted rear lamps featuring a new arrow-shaped LED light signature – gives the rear design a wider and stronger appearance.

At launch in Europe as a five-door car, the Rio could be finished in any of the eight available exterior colors. Customers could also choose from any of three aluminum alloy wheel designs, with sizes of 15, 16 and 17 inches.

Interior Design

On the other hand, the interior of the new Kia Rio comes with a modern new cabin that features a more ergonomic layout and more sculptural forms than the previous model, as well as a range of the latest technologies.

Straight lines also define the interior of the new Rio, this time running across the width of the dashboard to perceptively make the cabin wider and more spacious. Lateral lines could be found on the dashboard. Kia has replaced vertical vents of the third-gen Rio with horizontal vents on the fourth-gen, which also makes the cabin appear wider.

The dashboard – featuring a central section with gloss black trim lines – has been angled towards the driver for a sportier, more driver-focused design. Located at the center of this dashboard is a ‘floating’ human-machine interface (HMI) that could be availed with a high-resolution touchscreen. The center console has fewer buttons but more concave switches and rotator dials for controlling heating and ventilation.

Meanwhile, the seats of the new Kia Rio could be wrapped in cloth upholstery (black or grey), or in artificial leather (black or grey). Kia is also offering a ‘Red Pack’ that wraps the seats with black artificial leather with red trim. Interior comfort and convenience comes courtesy of heated seats and steering wheel as well as keyless entry and ignition.

It is also provided with automatic headlamps and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. The South Korean carmaker is also offering a number of features like Rear Park Assist with a rear view camera and Automatic Cruise Control with a speed limiter.


For the latest generation of the Rio, Kia will be offering a powerful yet efficient range of petrol and diesel engines. For instance, the Rio could be powered by three-cylinder 1.0-liter T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) engines that are not only lightweight but are also compact.

Rio models powered by these downsized, turbocharged engines -- first launched in the in the upgraded Kia cee’d in 2015 – are expected to generate majority of sales upon introduction. Since these T-GDI engines are lightweight powerplants, the Rio has less mass and inertia to manage, resulting in sharper front-end handling. Two versions of the 1.0-liter T-GDI engine are available upon launch.

The lower-powered version provides 98 bhp of max output at 4,500 rpm and 172 Nm of torque between 1,500 rpm and 4,000 rpm. Meanwhile, the higher-powered version delivers 118 bhp engine of max output at 6,000 rpm and 172 Nm of torque between 1,500 rpm and 4,000 rpm.

Both engines are now in the final phases of testing and development, and are expected to return carbon dioxide emission levels of sub-100 g/km (NEDC, combined). Pending homologation, the Idle Stop & Go (ISG) system in the Rio should further lower this emission level.

The new Rio will also be offered with a naturally aspirated 1.25-liter engine and a 1.4-liter MPI (multi-point injection) petrol powerplant. The 1.25-liter engine delivers 82 bhp of peak output at 6,000 rpm and 122 Nm of max torque at 4,000 rpm while the 1.4-liter unit develops up to 90 bhp of output at 6,000 rpm and up to 132 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.

Pending final homologation assessments, both units are expected to emit below 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. Two variants of a 1.4-liter diesel engine will be available, delivering either 69 or 88 bhp of outputs and are expected to return carbon dioxide emission levels of under 90 g/km when ISG is equipped.

Power is sent to the front wheels of the Rio via a five-speed manual transmission (1.25-liter and 98 bhp 1.0-liter T-GDI gasoline engines) or through or a six-speed manual transmission (1.4-liter gasoline engine, 118 bhp 1.0-liter T-GDI unit, and both 1.4-liter diesel powerplants).

Press Release

Kia Reveals All-New Rio Ahead of Paris Motor Show Premiere

The all-new, fourth-generation Kia Rio will make its world premiere on 29 September in Paris, at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile. With a progressive new exterior and interior design, the Rio is revealed for the first time globally today through an exclusive set of images.

Design of the new Rio was led by Kia’s design centers in Germany and California, in close collaboration with the company’s global design headquarters in Namyang, Korea. The appearance of the new Rio is defined by straight lines and smooth surfacing, giving the car a distinctive, confident new look.

Progressive exterior design
At the front, the Rio wears the latest evolution of Kia’s ‘tiger-nose’ grille, now thinner in height and wider across the front of the car. Integrated bi-function projection headlamps – again, thinner and more sculpted than those of its predecessor – project a new U-shaped LED light signature. Changes to the front of the car, including moving the fog lamps’ position outwards within the front bumper, are designed to add greater visual width for a more stable overall look. The new Rio grows by 5 mm in width (to 1,725 mm), further adding to this effect.

In profile, the fourth-generation Rio’s lengthened, more balanced stance is achieved with a long bonnet and longer front overhang, a 10 mm longer wheelbase (up to 2,580 mm), a thinner, more upright C-pillar, and a shorter rear overhang. Overall, the new car is 15 mm longer than its predecessor (now 4,065 mm long), and 5 mm shorter in height (to 1,450 mm). Straight, clearly-defined lines run down the full length of the car’s shoulder and along its doors, further stretching the appearance of the car for a more stable, confident look.

The rear section of the Rio is now more upright, with a near-vertical rear windscreen and a shorter overhang. The straight line that runs from the grille, through the headlamps and along the top of the doors, continues around the back of the car, paired with thinner, more sculpted rear lamps, which now feature a new arrow-shaped LED light signature. Like the wider-looking ‘face’ of the car, the rear design of the new Rio gives it a stronger overall appearance.

Modern, driver-oriented cabin
The new Kia Rio will offer motorists a modern new cabin design, featuring sculptural forms and a more ergonomic layout than its predecessor.

Like the exterior, straight lines running the width of the dashboard characterize the shape of the interior, giving the cabin a wider appearance and increasing the sense of space for occupants.

The dashboard itself is now angled towards the driver, and at its center is a new infotainment system, a ‘floating’ HMI (human-machine interface), with a high-resolution touchscreen to power the Rio’s audio, navigation and new connectivity systems. The new HMI has allowed Kia to reduce the number of buttons on the center console.

The new Rio is available with a choice of black or grey cloth seat upholstery, or with black or grey artificial leather. A ‘Red Pack’ for the Rio gives buyers black with red artificial leather-trimmed seats throughout the cabin. The cabin itself features gloss black and metallic trim throughout, for a more modern finish.

Production starts at the end of 2016
The all-new Rio will offer buyers class-leading practicality and safety technology, the latest connectivity features, and more assured and engaging ride and handling characteristics.

The Kia Rio is the Korean manufacturer’s global best-selling model, with more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015. The next generation will enter production towards the end of 2016 for Europe, with production timings for other regions to be announced closer to launch.

Kia’s 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile press conference will start at 14:45 CET on 29 September. Kia’s stand will be located in Hall 3 of the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.

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