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2012 Kia Rio – Click above for high-res image gallery

Kia has released the first images of its 2012 Rio hatchback ahead of its official Geneva Motor Show debut, and might we say, it's quite a looker. The Korean automaker has been doing some fantastic things with styling in the past few years – thanks in part to strong leadership from design director Peter Schreyer – and now the smaller Rio gets a healthy dose of modernity. It looks fantastic in these photos and we're eager to see the new angles and curves live in the metal.

The Rio will be offered with a range of gasoline and diesel powertrains in other markets, including a 1.1-liter diesel that only generates 85 g/km of CO2. We're most curious about the new 1.2-liter turbocharged direct-injected engine – we've heard about this three-cylinder powerplant before – and if it proves to be well-received in Europe, Kia will likely offer it here in the United States after the Rio's initial launch.

Look for the Rio to go on sale in the UK starting in September, with a three-door variant expected to launch in early 2012. We don't have any official word as to when we'll see the facelifted Rio here in the United States, but we'd guess that it'll arrive roughly around the same time as the Euro-spec version. Hit the jump for Kia's official release. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

2012 Kia Rio
  • 2012 Kia Rio
  • 2012 Kia Rio

  • 2012 Kia Rio
  • 2012 Kia Rio

[Source: Kia]
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Kia Motors has revealed the first photos of the next generation Rio, to be unveiled at Geneva Motorshow alongside the all new Picanto.

The Rio is the latest car to be revealed by Kia, boasting a bold and distinctive personality, bringing the newcomer in line with the rest of Kia's striking design-led passenger car range.

The Rio will be on sale in the UK from September as a 5-door version and a 3-door will be available from early 2012. Pricing and full range details will be announced nearer the on-sale date.

New Rio has its own interpretation of Kia's signature grille, integrated with the headlamps to give a new twist on the Kia family look. In profile, the body to glass ratio and its strong wedge form give new Rio a dynamic stance.

The new model features a wheelbase extended by 70 mm (to 2,570 mm) and promises greater passenger space and comfort, together with increased cargo capacity to 292 litres for the hatchback. Exterior dimensions changes include: +55 mm (overall length), -15 mm (height) and +25 mm (overall width).

Inside, the new model will deliver a high level of quality previously associated with larger models – together with a wide selection of trim options.

Kia's B-segment newcomer will be offered with an extensive range of fuel-efficient and low-CO2 petrol and diesel engines, depending on market – including a 1.1-litre diesel unit generating 70 ps, with CO2 emissions from as low as 85 g/km. An all-new, high-performance 1.2-litre Turbo Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) will also be available from 2012.

Soon-Nam Lee, Director of Overseas Marketing, Kia Motors Corporation, commented: "This new model is a big step forward. The Rio has always been successful, and with this new incarnation we have a car that people will want to buy for its looks." Since its launch in 2005, global sales of the current-generation Rio have totalled more than 860,000 units. It was the company's third best-selling vehicle in overseas markets during 2010 with sales of more than 219,000 units. UK sales from launch total 52,626 units.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, compared to the past Rio this is at least a vast improvement.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not bad Kia, not bad at all.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There's something wrong about this car. I can't put my finger on it. The whole car looks mismatched. It looks like a cross between the Soul and the Toyota Axio.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There should be a rule that you can pass a car's headlight through the driver's door window.

        The proportions on this car are just off. Sorry, AB, it really doesn't look all that fantastic, nor really all that Kia-like except for the shape of the grille.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hello Johnny. I see you think Toyota, Nissan and Ford are original hiuh? Guess what? The Fiesta's design is a rip off of the Fit. The 11' Edge face is a rip off Audi. The 11' Quest also copied the Flex but only the KV7 is the copy right? The new Explorer copied the 05' Kia Mesa. The 500's side copied the A6's.

      The Sonic copied the VW iroc concept like the Tundra and Lancer. Who else wants to challege me JTZ? Who thinks Toyota's 4. Runner is original?

      SUVs with slanted C pillars pushed to the rear. New Caddy SRX cuv, Pacifica, XL7, Venza, Mercedes R Class, CR-V, 2nd generation RX, 2nd generation MDX, Veracruz, Edge, Mazda cX-9, Mercedes. Gl, but only the 11' Sorento is the copyright blind Johnny?

      Blind Johnny the Prius, Leaf and insight.
      Let me know who else thinks Toyota and Ford are still original. 2004 CR-V and 04' Lexus GX hint face.

      Subaru legacy hatch and Infinti EX hint sides.

      I'm jtz don't mess with me. I can get cars from a to z. Come on I have way more other NON KOREAN CAR Copies for y'all. Who thinks the new Fusion is original and didn't copy the Impreza sedan? 09' Subaru Legacy hatch and 11' Accord hint tail lights.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It'd be great to get the turbo 3-cyl here. I love the snarl of a 3 cyl engine.

      It should offer a super combo of performance and economy.

      Incredible improvement in the styling department.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That front is a whole lotta nasty. I agree with another poster, too busy. Fiesta any day over this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not bad. I imagine some of the pinched look in the front end can be explained by the small size of the car and the need for euro pedestrian crash standards. Looks pretty solid though for a little ride
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, it looks great! It'll really be a shame if they don't bring the hatchback over, considering the Fiesta and Yaris hatchbacks sell much better (even in the US) than their sedan variants and the Fit (also in the US) is doing just fine without a sedan variant.
      • 4 Years Ago
      not bad I like it, and I'm pretty sure it will cost a lot less then the competition...This segment seems like it's going to be tough competition...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Very nice.. KIA and hyundai will surpass Honda easily in the next few years.

      My next car might be a Sonata 2.0T
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks very Volvo-ish to me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      the koreans have absolutely no creativity. all their cars are cheap copies of other manufacturer's investments. this one looks like a university design study: copy the fiesta design intent without infringing on copyrights.
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