[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he new Kia Rio makes its world debut Thursday in Paris at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile. Alongside the Rio, Kia will also introduce the latest upgraded versions of two of its cars, the Carens compact MPV and Soul urban crossover, as well as a new high-powered ‘SX’ version of the Soul.
World premiere for all-new Kia Rio
The Rio is the Korean manufacturer’s global best-selling model, with more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015, accounting for 16% of Kia’s annual sales. Now entering its fourth generation, the new Rio 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 centers in Germany and California, in close collaboration with the company’s domestic design base in Namyang, Korea. The exterior 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. Its driver-oriented cabin is also the most spacious in its class, and – with larger, 325-liter cargo capacity (VDA) – it is more practical than ever before.
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 gasoline and diesel engines. In particular, the Rio 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.
The new Rio will be manufactured at Kia’s Sohari manufacturing facility in Korea and the company’s new Pesquería manufacturing base in Mexico, which was officially opened earlier this month. The fourth-generation Rio will go on sale globally during the first quarter of 2017.
Kia upgrades the Soul range
Kia has introduced a series of upgrades to the Soul compact SUV, to further enhance its appeal to global buyers with a modernized exterior and interior design, and new safety and infotainment technologies.
The upgraded Soul boasts remodelled 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 color 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 emphasizing 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. In models equipped with 7DCT, a new Drive Mode Selector provides varying levels of steering assistance depending on driver preference. The Soul adopts Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), for better all-round visibility and safety
The upgraded Soul is now available to order worldwide.
Alongside the updates to the Soul Range, Kia has launched a powerful new Soul ‘SX’ variant, with a 204 ps 1.6-liter T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) engine – making it the most powerful Soul ever engineered by the Korean brand.
With the new T-GDI engine, the car will accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in 7.8 seconds, on to a top speed of 200 kph. The engine transmits its power to the front wheels through Kia’s advanced new seven-speed double-clutch transmission (7DCT), only available on the SX model, providing instant gear changes and decisive acceleration at all speeds.
The Soul SX features a unique new design, with bolder front bumper and air intake grille design, twin exhaust pipes at the rear, wider side sills and its own 10-spoke 18-inch aluminum alloy wheel design. The model features the T-GDI engine badge on the tailgate, as well as a unique red Soul model logo and red highlights to the front bumper and side sills.
The SX features its own distinctive cabin color scheme, with black cloth and leather upholstery paired with orange stitching, a D-shaped steering wheel and orange highlights throughout the cabin. The Soul SX is now available to order worldwide.