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New-look Kia Rio boasts low CO2 emissions

Supermini gets a bold new design

New Kia Rio

The new Kia Rio is far more stylish and modern than before

Kia has released the first images of its all-new Rio supermini – and general consensus suggests it’s a stunner.

Set to be unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March, the new Kia Rio gets its pictorial debut in five-door form, with a three-door set to join the range later. A highly efficient engine line-up is promised, with CO2 emissions as low as 85g/km.

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New Kia Rio: more style, more space

Compared with the previous model, the new Rio (big brother to the Picanto city car) not only looks far more stylish, it’s also longer, lower and wider.

Overall length has increased by 55mm and width by 25mm, while the height has been reduced by 15mm, helping create the swoopy, new profile. There’s also a 70mm increase in wheelbase – a move that usually means good news for both ride comfort and passenger room.

Boot space is up to 295 litres ‘for the hatchback’ according to Kia, strongly suggesting that an estate version is in the works, too.

Kia is also promising a high quality of fit and finish, and a ‘wide selection of trim options’.

New Kia Rio

The new Rio will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March

85g/km diesel or 1.2-litre turbo petrol

Perhaps what’s even more exciting, however, is what’s under the bonnet.

Kia is claiming some highly impressive efficiency figures for the new Rio, thanks to a range of small, economical petrol and diesel engines.

A new 69bhp 1.1-litre diesel engine, for example, is reputed to emit just 85g/km CO2 – which will make the new Rio one of the most efficient cars on sale – eclipsing even Toyota’s most efficient hybrids (currently 89g/km is the Prius and Auris HSD best).

From 2012, Kia will also offer a 1.2-litre turbo petrol model with Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), giving the Rio a hit of extra performance in addition to the efficiency. A three-door hatchback will be introduced at around the same time – could it be we’re about to see the first Korean ‘warm’ hatch?

Budget image no more?

The all-new Kia Rio gets its global debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show on 1 March, alongside the next generation Kia Picanto city car and the Kia Optima hybrid saloon.

These are exciting times, as Kia continues to dispel all traces of its old budget-orientated image.

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