Key details of the new 2017 Kia Rio have been revealed for the European market, giving an indication of what we can expect when the new hatch arrives Down Under early next year.
A squarer, more upright front-end features new U-shaped LED daytime-running lights, while out the back the theme continues with a cleaner, squarer rump with an arrow-shaped LED tail-light signature – however, these are likely reserved for high-spec models.
As with all Kia models, the Rio sports an updated version of the company’s tiger nose grille.
Inside, the new hatch is noticeably more upmarket in its design, with a sporty new steering wheel and a standard 5.0-inch floating tablet-style touchscreen infotainment system, that can be upgraded to a larger 7.0-inch unit with satellite navigation.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility will be available for the first time, while the larger 7.0-inch navigation will also offer European buyers access to Kia’s Connected Services – which includes real-time traffic updates, speed camera locations and alerts, points-of-interest search along with weather forecasts.
Customers who specify the connected services option will get a seven-year subscription free of charge.
The Rio will be the first-in-class to be equipped with USB ports in both the front and the rear, allowing passengers to connect a mobile device to the car’s infotainment system or charge their devices on the move without having to fight over one port.
Kia’s new hatch will also be available with convenience features like keyless entry and start, heated seats and steering wheel, auto wipers and headlamps, adaptive cruise control, rear-view camera (finally) and rear parking sensors.
The Rio’s seats can be trimmed in black or grey cloth, along with black or grey artificial leather. An optional ‘Red Pack’ features black-on-red artificial leather seats.
Bottle holders feature on all doors, allowing for 1.5-litre bottles in the front and 500mL bottles in the rear.
Safety-wise, the new Rio available with an optional Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) package, making it the first car in its class to feature autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian protection – using a long-range radar system to detect potential collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians. Lane departure warning is also included.
Other safety features fitted as standard include six airbags, ISOFIX anchor points for the front and rear passenger seats, along with vehicle stability management and stability control
With the optional ADAS package, Kia hopes the Rio will achieve a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
The new Rio is 15mm longer (4065mm), 5mm wider (1725mm) and 5mm lower (1450mm) than the model it replaces, while its wheelbase is 10mm longer (2580mm) than its predecessor’s footprint.
Powering European versions of the Rio will be a selection of four engines; three petrol and one diesel.
First up is the company’s 1.0-litre T-GDI three-cylinder turbo petrol, which comes in two states of tune – 73kW/172Nm and 88kW/172Nm.
The 1.0-litre turbo triple will come equipped with idle stop/start technology, and Kia claims both versions should undercut the 100 g/km CO2 barrier – which equals tax benefits for European customers.
Second in the petrol range is a naturally-aspirated 1.25-litre four-cylinder unit, producing 62kW of power and 122Nm of torque.
The final petrol offering is a 1.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, which offers outputs of 73kW and 132Nm.
Additionally, the European market will be offered the choice of a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, in both 52kW and 66kW tunes. Both diesels are claimed to emit less than 90 g/km of CO2 – though final figures are still to be released.
Maximum torque for the higher output oiler is rated at 240Nm, however, a torque figure isn’t quoted for the 55kW version.
All models send power to the front wheels, shifting gears via a five-speed manual transmission for the lower-output 1.0-litre and the 1.25-litre petrols, while the remaining variants use a six-speed manual.
A four-speed automatic is also available, though only with the 1.4-litre petrol.
Based on the engine specifications and transmission offerings it’s unlikely we’ll get any of these powerplants with the exception of the 1.4-litre petrol – due to Australia’s power-hungry and auto-biased market.
It is possible, however, that Kia may bring the high-output 1.0-litre turbo triple here as a sporty GT-Line offering – though a manual-only model is unlikely to get many sales here.
A likely powerplant for Australia will be an updated version of the current 103kW/167Nm 1.6-litre aspirated petrol mated to a six-speed automatic transmission for higher-spec variants.
Underneath, the Rio rides on fully-independent front suspension system with MacPherson struts, along with a torsion beam setup at the rear.
Wheels range from 15 inches to 17 inches. A tyre mobility kit is standard while a space saver spare wheel is optional for the European market.
It still remains to be seen whether the Rio will be offered in three-door hatch and sedan body styles in addition to the sole five-door hatch revealed in the photos.
The all-new 2017 Kia Rio is scheduled to make its way Down Under in the first quarter of 2017 – around the same time as Europe.
Using previous Kia launches as a guide, the Rio will likely debut here around late January during the Australian Open tennis tournament – of which the company is a major sponsor.
Local pricing and specifications will come to hand closer to the car’s launch.
The new Kia Rio is set to make its public debut at next-month’s Paris motor show, so stay tuned to CarAdvice for our coverage.