The all-new Kia Rio is on sale in the UK today at a price of £11,995, with first deliveries due next month.
2017-model is available exclusively as a five-door model with a new design over the current car; the three-door version was dropped due to lack of demand.
Highlights of the new Rio are its higher quality and more spacious interior, improved infotainment, and a new lightweight three-cylinder engine and ride and handling, the improved claimed compared to the current model.
Trim and prices
Four trim levels introduction with names 1, 2, 3 and a limited-run First edition in the market. The starting price is for the class 1-cars with air conditioning, front electric Windows, heated and electrically folding exterior mirrors, as well as a 3.8 in screen with the Bluetooth connectivity as standard. There are also automatic lights, stability control and hill-start assist technology.
Over these 2 models 13,745 start at £and win things, such as 15in alloy wheels, DAB radio, and larger 5in screen. Rio 3s start at £16,295 and add 16in alloys, a 7-inch screen, rain-sensing wipers, sat-nav and Apple Carplay/Android Auto to the mix.
Top offer from the Start is the First issue. It is 17in alloys, smart key entry system, stainless steel pedals, black and red faux leather upholstery and LED rear lights. The prices for these start at £17,445.
The engine and transmission
Headlining the engine range in the new Rio, a new three-cylinder 1.0-Liter Turbo-unit, which is tilted, is the best seller. It’s available in 99bhp or 118bhp power outputs, with two engines, the same 127lb ft of torque to produce.
The engine is light weight and should help improve the handling, Kia claims. It produces 102g/km of CO2.
Two naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol, a 84bhp, 90lb ft, 1.25-litre and a 99bhp, 97lb ft 1.4-Liter will be offered alongside a 1.4-Liter turbodiesel with either 69bhp or 89bhp. The diesel is the most economical Rio in the range, and a CO2 output of 92g/km.
The car manual (manual)-only at launch, with a five-speed gearbox on the 84bhp 1.25 and 99bhp 1.0 petrol and six-speed used on all other versions.
The new Rio was a 10mm increase in the wheelbase to improve cabin space as part of a 15mm increase in the length. The Rio is also slightly lower than before, while the width remains the same. Trunk volume has increased from 288 litres to 325 litres, the eclipses biggest rivals, including the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo.
The car is built on a completely new platform, with a MacPherson-strut front suspension and a torsion beam at the rear. The body shell has been made stiffer than the existing Rio, the suspension was made stiffer, the new dampers were installed, and there are revised spring and damper settings, which leads all the Kia claims to have more comfort and “more agile and quick editing”.
Martins said that the Fiesta was the benchmark for handling for the new Rio and the Polo was the benchmark for comfort.
Kia’s European design chief Gregory Guillaume told Autocar that he wanted to have a “quality look” to the car.
“We are trying to build on the momentum of the current generation with this new model,” he said. “It was a big step from the old Rio, the current; now we have a good base, and it is another step that we do.”
Guillaume said significant work has been done to give the Rio the proportions, it is a cleaner, higher quality look.
“The has different proportions, there is more cab in front was the front and wedge-shaped, and looked ready to ‘bounce’. Now we have more self-confidence, the cabin is to the rear, the bonnet is longer, and accentuate the short rear overhang. It looks more stable and has a more solid look to it.
“We are trying to take us to a sense of quality to the car. We are not a premium, but we want to give as much quality as we can to the price.”
Guillaume, it would be confirmed no three-door version of new Rio, as the demand for this version was the dwindling of the whole industry. So Guillaume said Kia focused on the design of a five-door Rio added, in the heart of the segment and with great appeal.
“We wanted a proper B-segment vehicle,” he said. “Not to be fashionable or trendy, a good product with style and a clean design. We spend the most time on proportions, not loud, shouty elements.”
Kia equipped the new Rio with a variety of new safety-reach equipment as part of the request, a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, including the Autonomous emergency braking. The body is also improve largely from high-strength steel for safety. Martins said that the buyers of city cars and super minis were “really worried about security, so we put a lot of effort into this” in the new Rio.
The Kia Rio is the best-selling model worldwide, but it is only the third in Europe, where it is surpassed by the Sportage and the Cee’d. Kia’s European marketing boss Artur Martins told Autocar that the company wants to go, from the sale of 70,000 Rios a year in Europe to 100,000 per year.
“It is the largest European segment, so the opportunity for growth for us,” he said.
Kia’s European chief operating officer Michael Cole described the fourth-generation Rio as a “step forward “again” for the brand as it heads in the direction of selling half a million cars per year in Europe up to 2018. This year, it should sell 430,000 cars, its eighth consecutive year of growth.
“The Rio has been sharpened, matured, has a better interior and more technology,” he said to Autocar. “The car is a step, a good step forward.”
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