By Moses Akaigwe 08072100049
The Rio is Kia’s global best-selling model, with more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015. This was 16 per cent of the brand’s annual sales. Now entering its fourth generation, it 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 Germany and California, USA, in close collaboration with the company’s domestic design base in Namyang, Korea.
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.
The new will be powered by a range of petrol and diesel engines. In particular, it features Kia’s latest three-cylinder 1.0-liter 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.
It could not be ascertained as at press time when Kia Motors Nigeria which also assembles the brand’s range at its plant in Isolo, Lagos, will start providing the all-new Rio in Nigeria. But, a source hinted that could much later in 2017.
Upgrades for Soul range
Kia has also introduced a series of upgrades to the Soul compact SUV, to further enhance its appeal to global buyers with a modernised exterior and interior design, and new safety and infotainment technologies.
The upgraded Soul boasts re-modelled front and rear bumpers with a metallic skid plate for a more robust appearance, optional bi-function HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights with LED daytime running lights, and an updated finish to Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille.
Three new metallic exterior paint finishes are available – Mysterious Blue, Russet Brown, and Wild Orange – with white contrast roof and door mirror caps available with Mysterious Blue and Russet Brown. Buyers can specify optional new 10-spoke 16- and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheel designs.
In the cabin, the upgraded Soul receives unique new cloth upholstery, available with a single or two-tone colour scheme (black, black and grey, black and brown). New gloss black and metallic highlights and switchgear add to the interior’s quality ambience. More customizable than ever, the Soul is available with a new Orange design pack, with orange-and-grey upholstery, grey stitching and orange highlights throughout the cabin.
Existing design packs have been enhanced, with Urban Active emphasising the car’s compact SUV credentials, with a series of cosmetic enhancements including a gloss black finish to front and rear wheel arches, and a body kit for front and rear bumpers and side sills.
The Red Zone pack provides owners with a set of red highlights to the grille, front and rear bumpers and sills, a red roof, and a small red rear spoiler
Buyers can choose from Kia’s latest 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.0-inch colour touchscreen infotainment HMI (human-machine interface). The new HMI systems provide smartphone-style touchscreen control over the audio-visual navigation system, and is available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for full smartphone integration.
A new USB port has been added to the rear of the cabin, allowing back-seat passengers to charge mobile devices, and drivers can benefit from new rain-sensing windscreen wipers.