All-new Kia Rio raises the bar for design, space and dynamics

  • Latest version of Kia’s popular B-segment model, one of the brand’s global best-sellers, enters production at new Mexico manufacturing facility
  • Progressive exterior design and modern cabin with ‘floating’ interface
  • New in-car technologies and connectivity features
  • Significantly stronger steel bodyshell for improved safety
  • Engaging handling and more comfortable ride, with 1.6-liter and 1.4-liter gasoline power
  • Class-leading cabin spaciousness and 325-liter cargo capacity
  • On sale during the second quarter of 2017

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The all-new Kia Rio will go on sale during the second quarter of 2017, following its world debut at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris. The B-segment car is the Korean manufacturer’s second best-selling model globally, with just under 450,000 units sold around the world in 2016, accounting for 15% of Kia’s annual sales.

Now in its fourth generation, the new Rio stands out thanks to progressive design, class-leasing practicality, more engaging ride and handling and greater safety credentials.

Spencer Cho, Director of Overseas Product Marketing, Kia Motors Corporation, commented, “As one of our best-selling models worldwide, the Rio is an important car for Kia. The B-segment is a hotly-contested area of the new car market, and the third-generation Rio has introduced more people to the Kia brand than ever before.

“The Rio’s attractive design, low running costs and practical nature have made the car a ‘gateway’ to the brand, an entry point into Kia ownership for hundreds of thousands of buyers around the world. It’s for these reasons that the outgoing model has sold in record numbers. The all-new Rio builds on these strengths and has been designed and engineered to meet the needs and desires of a wider range of buyers – it is now even more desirable thanks to a more enjoyable drive, a striking new design and improved safety.”

Exterior design: Defined by straight lines and smooth surfaces

The Rio’s progressive new exterior and interior design was led by Kia’s design centres in Germany and California, in close collaboration with the company’s domestic design base in Namyang, Korea. The 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.

At the front, the Rio wears the latest evolution of Kia’s ‘tiger-nose’ grille, now thinner in height and wider across the front of the car, with a gloss black grille mesh and surround. The grille is integrated with the newly-designed headlamps, more sculpted for a sharper look, and featuring an optional new U-shaped LED daytime running light signature. The Rio’s side vents – which house the car’s front fog lamps, depending on market – are moved outwards and upwards in the front bumper compared to their position on the third-generation model, adding greater visual width to the front of the car for a stronger overall look. The longer bonnet features bracket-shaped creases that run down from the base of the A-pillars to the grille and headlamps.

In profile, the fourth-generation Rio’s lengthened, more balanced stance is achieved with a long bonnet and longer front overhang, a 10 mm longer wheelbase (up to 2,580 mm), a thinner, more upright C-pillar, and a shorter rear overhang. Overall, the new car is 15 mm longer than its predecessor, at 4,065 mm in length, and 5 mm lower (now 1,450 mm tall). Straight, clearly-defined lines run down the full length of the car’s shoulder and along its doors, further stretching the appearance of the car for a more confident look.

The rear section of the Rio is now more upright, with a near-vertical rear windscreen. The straight line that runs from the grille, through the headlamps and along the top of the doors, continues around the back of the car, paired with thinner, more sculpted rear lamps, available with optional LEDs which feature a new arrow-shaped light signature. Like the wider-looking ‘face’ of the car, the rear design of the new Rio gives the car a stronger overall appearance.

The new Rio is manufactured as a five-door model, and is available in a choice of 10 exterior colours, with two different aluminium alloy wheel designs, ranging from 14- to 17-inches in diameter. At the car’s entry level, the Rio is equipped with 14-inch steel wheels and stylish wheel covers.

A 4-door sedan variant will be added to the all-new Rio lineup in the second half of 2017.

Interior design: Modern cabin with new floating HMI

The new Kia Rio features a modern new cabin, with sculptural forms and a more ergonomic layout than its predecessor. The interior has also been designed to accommodate the Rio’s new infotainment system.

Like the exterior, straight lines running the width of the dashboard characterise the shape of the interior, giving the cabin a wider appearance and increasing the sense of space for occupants. As well as long, lateral lines that govern the shape of the dashboard, horizontal vents further add to the visual width of the cabin, replacing the vertical vents of the third-generation model. Gloss black trim lines the central section of the dashboard.

The dashboard itself is now angled towards the driver, a layout which provides the car with a sportier, more driver-focused design and a more premium character. At the centre of the dashboard is a ‘floating’ HMI (human-machine interface), available as a 5.0-inch touchscreen audio system with six speakers.

Below the infotainment system, the driver-oriented centre console features fewer buttons, with more ergonomic, concave switches and rotator dials below to control the heating and ventilation.

The new Rio is available with optional USB and auxiliary-in ports, enabling occupants to connect a mobile device to the Rio’s audio and infotainment system, as well as recharge batteries on the move. Buyers can also specify steering wheel-mounted audio controls, as well as a pair of Bluetooth systems – with or without voice recognition – to make hands-free phone calls.

The new Rio is available with a choice of black or grey cloth seat upholstery, or with black or grey artificial leather. A ‘Red Pack’ gives buyers black with red leather-trimmed seats for the front and rear. Buyers can also enhance the interior with a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearstick. As standard, all seat headrests can be moved up and down, while buyers can specify tilting front headrests for maximum comfort. The steering wheel can also be moved up and down, and a telescopic steering wheel function is available to allow motorists of any height to find a comfortable driving position.

New technologies further boost the appeal of the Rio’s cabin. Designed to improve comfort and convenience, the new model is available with keyless entry and ignition, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, heated and electrically-controlled door mirrors, tilting and sliding sunroof, electric windows, and automatic headlamps. Buyers can also specify a Rear Park Assist system, and a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines.

Careful thought has been given to improving the cabin’s isolation from wind, road and engine noise. New dashboard soundproofing materials have been adopted to reduce engine noise levels in the front of the cabin, while a stiffer front subframe minimises vibrations from poor road surfaces. Changes to the exterior further enhance interior refinement, with the fourth-generation Rio adopting new front wheel air deflectors, a full under-body cover and vertical ‘blades’ extending downwards from the trunk spoiler, each serving to reduce wind noise and aerodynamics.

Practicality: Greater cabin and cargo space, with improved all-round visibility

Achieving high levels of practicality was a key focus for Kia’s development and engineering teams, and the result is a car with one of the most spacious cabins and highest cargo capacities (325 liters) in the B-segment.

The Rio’s 10 mm-longer wheelbase and 15mm-longer body contribute to larger cabin and cargo area dimensions. Leg room grows to 1,070 mm in the front and 850 mm in the rear, while the new model offers more shoulder room than most other cars in its class – 1,375 mm in the front and 1,355 mm in the rear. Despite the new Rio being 5 mm shorter in height than the outgoing model, front and rear headroom (987 mm and 964 mm, respectively) are among the best in the B-segment.

These improvements to space in the cabin have been achieved with a series of changes to the Rio’s packaging. These include re-profiled door trims, the adoption of new headlining materials, and changes to the shape of the dashboard, as well as more significant changes to the bodyshell of the Rio – such as the longer wheelbase.

Furthermore, thinner C-pillars – reduced in width by 87 mm – and relocated door mirrors (moved up to the base of the A-pillar) help minimise the size of the driver’s blind spots and improve all-round visibility. A lower window line around the cabin and new quarterlights at the tail end of the rear doors also give the driver and passengers a better view out.

The Rio’s cabin offers more storage space than before. At the base of the centre console is an open double tray to store mobile devices and other small items, and the overhead console includes an area to store sunglasses. The glove compartment is also a single-box shape. The new Rio has bottle holders in every door (to accommodate 0.7-liter bottles in the front and 0.5-liter bottles in the rear of the car) and two larger cupholders in the front. The doors also feature closed-bottom storage holes in the door handles, useful for small items such as a phone or coins. An optional armrest is available, adding further storage capacity to the cabin.

Luggage capacity is increased by 37 liters to 325 liters (VDA; +13%), among the best in class. This extra space has been achieved in spite of the Rio’s rear overhang being shortened by 15 mm to 655 mm, a key element of the car’s new design. The new Rio features a split-level trunk floor, enabling owners to change its height to fit items under the floor to prevent them rolling around, or to keep them out of sight. The Rio is fitted as standard with 60:40 split-folding rear seats and a spare wheel beneath the trunk floor – an optional full-size spare wheel is available. The fuel tank is located under the rear bench, and with a capacity of 45 liters (two liters larger than the previous model) Rio now offers greater driving range in-between fill-ups.

Powertrains: Lightweight 1.6 and 1.4-liter MPI engines with choice of transmissions

The new Kia Rio is powered by a a choice of lightweight naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter or 1.4-liter MPI (multi-point injection) gasoline engines. The DOHC 16-valve D-CVVT (dual continuously variable valve timing) 1.6-liter engine drives the front wheels and produces up to 123 ps at 6,300 rpm and 151 Nm maximum torque at 4,850 rpm. Meanwhile, its 1.4-liter counterpart produces 100 ps at 6,000 rpm and 133 Nm maximum torque at 4,000 rpm.

Either engine is coupled with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission.

Safety: stronger, reinforced bodyshell

The new Rio is one of the safest cars in its class, constructed on high-strength steel body and engineered to meet the most demanding crash safety test criteria around the world.

The bodyshell of the new Rio is made up of a significant proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). The extensive use of AHSS in the body of the Rio is part of a wider effort by Kia to achieve a 5% reduction in the average weight of new car bodies by 2020 when compared to 2014, while achieving greater safety and security. 51% of the new Rio’s body is made out of strong, light AHSS, compared to 33% in the third-generation model.

The increased application of AHSS has strengthened the passenger cabin ‘cell’ for greater occupant safety and more effective distribution of impact forces. The stronger steel has been used to reinforce the A- and B-pillars, as well as side sills, roof structure, engine bay and floor pan.

Along with driver’s airbag as standard, the new Rio is available with up to six airbags throughout the cabin, as well as front seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters, side door impact beams front and rear, child locks, and impact sensing door unlocking.

Driving: More engaging and stable handling with a comfortable ride

As well as being incredibly safe to drive, the new Rio builds on the level of driver engagement offered by the third-generation model. Kia’s chassis development teams have sought to introduce greater driving appeal, with more agile handling and enhanced steering response. The Rio sits on fully-independent MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear axle.

The development of a stiffer bodyshell also gave R&D teams the freedom to develop a more compliant suspension system. The new Rio benefits from a revised spring and damper set-up than the outgoing model, improving the car’s compliance and comfort at all speeds, while facilitating the car’s more enjoyable, engaging handling characteristics.

Compared to the third-generation model, Kia’s development teams have made wide-ranging modifications to the Rio’s chassis, endowing the car with more immediate handling responses and improving the level of confidence that the driver has behind the wheel.

A new front suspension system features more rigid struts and cross member, resulting in more direct, assured steering for more immediate handling responses. The rear shock absorbers are now mounted more vertically, with the new mounting position enhancing the ability of the rear axle to absorb shocks to improve ride comfort and stability under cornering and at speed. By repositioning the power steering gearbox, engineers have been able to reduces friction through the gears, enabling a 5% quicker steering ratio from ‘on-centre’ and more immediate steering responses.

The new Rio is available with an optional Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), as well as Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC). VSM ensures stability under braking and cornering, detecting a loss in traction and using ESC to help the driver keep the car on course.

On-sale: New Rio available during Q2 2017

The all-new Kia Rio will go on sale throughout Kia’s global markets during the second quarter of 2017. For Kia’s general markets, the new Rio is manufactured at the brand’s new manufacturing facility in Pesquería, Mexico.

About Kia Motors Corporation:

Kia Motors Corporation a maker of world-class quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. Over 3 million Kia vehicles a year are produced at 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in five countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering around 180 countries. Kia today has over 51,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$45 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup™. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan – “The Power to Surprise” – represents the company’s global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting and inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.



Body and chassis

Five-door, five-seater hatchback, with all-steel unitary construction bodyshell. Four-cylinder 1.4-liter gasoline engine driving the front wheels via six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission


1.4-liter / 100 ps MPI gasoline

Type Four-cylinder in-line, naturally-aspirated

Capacity 1.4-liters, 1,368 cc

Compression ratio 10.5:1

Bore and stroke 72.0 x 84.0 mm

Max power 100 ps (74 kW) @ 6,000 rpm

Max torque 133 Nm (98 lb ft) @ 4,000 rpm 13.5 kg.m

Valves 16 (four per cylinder)

Fuel system Multi-point injection

1.6-liter / 123 ps MPI gasoline

Type Four-cylinder in-line, naturally-aspirated

Capacity 1.6-liters, 1,591 cc

Compression ratio 10.5:1

Bore and stroke 77.0 x 85.44 mm

Max power 123 ps (90.2 kW) @ 6,300 rpm

Max torque 150.7 Nm (111.1 lb ft) @ 4,850 rpm 15.4 kg.m

Valves 16 (four per cylinder)

Fuel system Multi-point injection


1.4 MPI 1.6MPI

Manual 6sp 6sp

Automatic 6sp 6sp

Gear ratios

1.4 MPI 1.6MPI


1 3.769 4.400 3.769 4.400

2 2.045 2.726 2.045 2.726

3 1.370 1.834 1.370 1.834

4 1.036 1.392 1.036 1.392

5 0.839 1 0.839 1

6 0.703 0.774 0.703 0.774

Reverse 3.700 3.440 3.700 3.440

Final drive 4.267 3.574 4.267 3.383


Front-wheel drive (all models)

Suspension and damping

Front Fully-independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson struts, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar

Rear Semi-independent by CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle), coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar


Type Column Type MDPS

Steering ratio 16.2@20°, 14.9@360°

Turns (lock-to-lock) 2.77

Turning circle (m) 5.1


Size, front / rear (mm) 256 / 203

Type, front Ventilated disc

Type, rear – standard Drum

Type, rear – optional Solid disc (262 mm)

Wheels and tires

Standard Steel 14-inch, 185/70 R14 tires

Optional Steel 15-inch, 185/65 R15 tires

Alloy 15-inch, 185/65 R15 tires

Alloy 17-inch, 205/45 R17 tires

Spare Temporary spare wheel or optional full-size spare wheel

Dimensions (mm)


Overall length 4,065 Overall width* 1,725

Overall height 1,450 Wheelbase 2,580

Front overhang 830 Rear overhang 655

Front track 1,518** Rear track     1,524**

Ground clearance 150

*excluding door mirrors

**on 15-inch wheels


1st row 2nd row

Head room 987 964

Leg room 1,070 850

Shoulder room 1,375 1,355

Hip room 1,344 1,330


Fuel tank 45 liters

Luggage (VDA) 325 liters

980 liters (with rear seats folded down)

Weights (kg)

1.4 MPI 1.6 MPI


Curb weight (min.) 1,137 1,167 1,145 1,175

Gross weight 1,580 1,600 1,590 1,610

Tow load, braked 1,000 800 1,000 800

Tow load, unbraked 450 450 450 450


1.4 MPI 1.6 MPI


Top speed 176 173 190 190

Acceleration, 0-100 kph 12.7 13.4 10.3 11.2