As is the norm before high-profile launches, Kia has teased the motoring world with a couple of sketches of its new hatch in the lead up to the launch.
The fourth generation of Kia’s popular light car will have straighter lines, a longer wheelbase and longer front overhang than its predecessor.
The distinctive “tiger grill” has been reshaped, giving it a smiley appearance, while the larger main grille looks a little meaner with outward pointing sides.
The renderings also suggest a more stocky appearance, a bit like its Kia Sportage SUV stablemate which makes us wonder if it will be the base for Kia’s expected assault on the compact-SUV segment next year.
The interior sketch is pretty vague and mostly shows the dashboard which looks more stylish and less cluttered with a decently sized touchscreen replacing the ageing red-LED display.
Kia says it will come with the latest connectivity features as well as “class-leading practicality and safety technology … and more assured and engaging ride and handling characteristics.”
The new exterior and interior styling was led by Kia’s design centres in Germany and California, in close collaboration with the company’s main design centre in Namyang, Korea.
The new Rio is being tuned for Australian conditions though there’s no further information about any changes under the bonnet or performance specs.
Globally, the Rio is Kia’s best-selling model, with more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015. The next generation will enter production towards the end of 2016 and will be launched here in early 2017.