The latest Kia Rio goes on sale this month with the car maker declaring that it is the most technologically-advanced version it has ever produced.
Here is a compact hatchback with new cabin technologies, safety systems, and connectivity features making it an extremely desirable proposition.
It offers both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration and is the first car in its class featuring Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition.
The Rio is the Korean manufacturer’s global best-selling model, with more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015 and accounting for 16% of the brand’s annual sales.
Now in its fourth-generation guise the model builds on the outgoing Rio’s key strengths by being a good-looking compact car with low running costs and most practical into the bargain.
In addition, the manufacturer has set out to make it more desirable and more enjoyable to drive while incorporating some of the most advanced safety features in its class.
Kia’s design centres in Germany and California worked in close collaboration with the company’s domestic design base in Korea in giving the car a fresh look both externally and internally.
The car has more distinctive bodywork cloaking a driver-oriented cabin which is also the most spacious in its class. A larger, 325-litre capacity boot makes it more practical than before.
The model’s petrol and diesel engines include Kia’s latest three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) power plants 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.
Its introduction into UK showrooms follows the arrival of facelifted versions of the Kia Carens and Soul, which were launched at the Paris Motorshow last autumn. The upgraded Soul line-up includes a T-GDI version of the compact SUV.
Next month’s Geneva International Motor Show will mark the public debut of the all-new Kia Picanto, mirroring the latest Rio in having bold fresh bodywork while also featuring a new ‘floating’ touchscreen infotainment system.
Kia’s UK sales set yet another new record in 2016 with registrations totalling 89,363 led by strong demand for the Sportage, Picanto, cee’d, Rio and Venga. Private buyers accounted for 49% of the total – a much stronger performance than the overall UK car market.