The first in class to offer this feature

While concept cars and sports cars are usually the ones that steal the show at events like the Paris Motor Show, sometimes it’s the smaller and less powerful vehicles that deserve the extra attention. Such is the case with the fourth-generation Kia Rio, which broke cover at the French event with two first-in-class safety features.

Specifically, Kia’s small hatchback will be the first car in its class to offer Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Recognition when it arrives in showrooms. Not only that, but it will also come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. Granted, the latter are already common on larger cars, but the Rio is among the first to get both connectivity apps. Owners will also find a "floating," high-resolution touchscreen on the dashboard, smoother plastic surfaces, and a varied selection of upholstery colors. The hatchback still doesn’t get real leather in its more expensive models, but this should be good news for buyers looking for an affordable sticker before comfort.

Interior and technology aside, the new Rio also benefits from a new exterior design with styling features borrowed from the company’s larger vehicles. The result of a collaboration between Kia’s design centers in Germany and the U.S., the hatchback features more straight lines and smoother surfaces, which give it a sportier appearance. With the new bodywork, Kia also managed to get rid of the somewhat cheap look of the outgoing model.

Under the hood, it will get both gasoline and diesel engines, with the most important addition being the new turbocharged, 1.0-liter three-cylinder. A revised version of the previous 1.6-liter four-cylinder and the 1.4-liter diesel should also be offered. All these units are shared with the Hyundai i20.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

The fourth-generation Kia Rio is a significant departure from its predecessor in terms of both design and technology. The small hatchback finally received the update it deserved and all these new features will make it a better competitor for the popular Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. Kia has made tremendous progress over the past years and this is finally visible in their smaller vehicles, starting with the new Rio.

NEW VS. OLD RIO

New Kia Rio Arrives In Paris with Autonomous Emergency Braking
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2012 Kia Rio High Resolution Exterior
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Up front the new Kia Rio gets the latest tiger-nose grille, redesigned headlamps and bumpers
New Kia Rio Arrives In Paris with Autonomous Emergency Braking
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2012 Kia Rio High Resolution Exterior
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The rear is also redesigned with thinner taillights, revised roof spoiler and a new diffuser

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Rio here.

Press Release

The Rio is the Korean manufacturer’s global best-selling model, with more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015, accounting for 16 per cent of Kia’s annual sales. Now entering its fourth generation, the new Rio will offer B-segment buyers a compelling package – designed and engineered to appeal to more people than ever before. The new Rio will build on the outgoing model’s key strengths – design, low running costs and a practical nature – with higher desirability, a more enjoyable drive and some of the most advanced safety features in its class.

The Rio’s progressive new exterior and interior design was led by Kia’s design centres in Germanyand California, in close collaboration with the company’s domestic design base in Namyang, Korea. The exterior appearance of the new Rio is defined by straight lines and smooth surfacing, giving the car a distinctive new look and more mature character than its predecessor. Its driver-oriented cabin is also the most spacious in its class, and – with larger, 325-litre cargo capacity (VDA) – it is more practical than ever before.

The new model will be the most technologically-advanced Rio ever produced, and is equipped with new cabin technologies, safety systems, and connectivity features. The Rio will offer both Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ integration, and will be the first car in its class to offer Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition.

It will be powered by a range of petrol and diesel engines. In particular, the Rio features Kia’s latest three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) engines, offering high efficiency and low emissions. The lightweight nature of the new downsized T-GDI engines means the Rio benefits from keen front-end handling, with less mass and inertia for the car to work against under cornering.

The new Rio will be manufactured at Kia’s Sohari manufacturing facility in Korea. The fourth-generation Rio will go on sale globally during the first quarter of 2017.

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