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The wraps have come off the 2017 Kia Rio five-door hatch today, a month out from its global debut at this year’s Paris motor show.

For this all-new generation of Rio, Kia has returned its light hatch to a more conventional two-box design, moving closer to the traditional hatch shape.

Gone is the lean-back face, fast-rising belt-line and bubble-like proportions of the outgoing model, replaced with a more upright snout and a steeper C-pillar shape.

The front view shows a long bonnet, narrow new headlights and styling cues from the larger Optima, while the profile looks to European favourites like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class for some premium inspiration.

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Although lacking in identifying badges, the model shown here is likely the kitted-out GT-Line variant, with LED lighting at both ends, sports-styled bumpers and relatively large alloy wheels.

In dimensions, the new model is visibly longer than its predecessor, growing 15mm longer overall to a new length of 4065mm. The 2017 Rio is also 5mm wider at 1725mm and rides on a 10mm longer wheelbase of 2580mm.

By comparison, the popular Mazda 2 rides on a 2570mm wheelbase and measures 4060mm in overall length (hatch). And, at 1695mm, the 2 is noteably narrower than both the old and new Rio.

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In the cabin, the Rio gets Kia’s latest steering wheel design, traditional dials flanking a tall multi-function display, and a large main display in the centre of the dash that follows the current trend of a docked tablet-like mounting.

The new Rio’s engine range is still to be detailed, although the Hyundai Kia group’s 88kW/172Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, as featured in the overseas i20 Sport, could feature.

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.

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As for body styles, the new Rio has so far been revealed in five-door form only. It remains to be seen if three-door hatch and four-door sedan variants, as featured in the current range, will figure in the new-generation model plans.

Watch for the new Rio to make its official debut at the Paris motor show early next month.

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