The fourth-generation Rio gets a fresh look inside and out. It has a longer wheelbase with a longer hood and front overhang, which Kia says is meant to convey confidence. The sketches released today look similar to the current generation – as we'd expect – but Kia designers dressed it up with a fancier front end and "straight lines and smooth surfacing" which is evident on the sides. Kia also touts the new Rio's safety, connectivity, and improved handling, though it didn't specify the features. You can compare the sketches with the spy shots of a Rio caught running around this week. Rumors also suggest a hotter Rio GT hatch could arrive for 2018.
The sketches show the hatchback variant. Kia also sells the Rio as a sedan in the US market. Globally, the Korean automaker moved more than 473,000 Rios last year, and the new model will launch production near the end of this year for Europe. Timing for launches in other markets was not announced.
Despite low fuel prices and consumer demand for crossovers, Rio sales have inched up slightly this year to 18,699 units, 1,637 ahead of last year's pace through July. Much of those gains came last month, when Kia sold 1,104 more Rios than it did in July 2015. The Rio was last updated in the US market for the 2016 model year.