The all-new 2017 Kia Rio has been spied testing once more, this time with a far lighter layer of camouflage at the front end revealing a good deal more of the hatch’s finer details.
Last spied in January, the new Rio is expected to debut later this year or early in 2017 as a timely replacement for the current third-generation model that first appeared at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
Although much of the new Rio’s profile and rear remains covered in heavy vinyl, it’s clear the front end look will borrow styling cues from the much larger Optima models.
A stretched look for Kia’s familiar ‘tiger nose’ grille sits above a larger main grille, flanked at the top by long headlights with integrated daytime lights, and at the bottom by tall fog light slots.
The side window line is slightly upswept, and there’s a character line running along the flanks. At the front, the headlights have been slimmed down. The new Rio will also ditch the current generation’s flagpole-style wing mirrors and front quarter light.
It’s not yet clear which motors will power the next-generation Rio, but Hyundai’s latest engines, such as the new 88kW/172Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in the Hyundai i20 Sport, may figure into Kia’s plans.
Other engines available in the second-generation European Hyundai i20 include 55kW/180Nm 1.1-litre and a 66kW/240Nm 1.4-litre turbo-diesels. Petrol options include a 62kW/122Nm 1.3-litre engine and 74kW/134Nm 1.4-litre.
Rumours indicate that the new Rio won’t make its full public debut until at least the latter part of 2016. The Australian launch will occur early in 2017.