Kia is in the midst of overhauling their entire lineup, including a new Rio entry-level group of models to succeed the current offerings. The Rio is most known as the company’s subcompact hatchback, a car that competes with the likes of the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, and the Chevrolet Sonic, just to name a few.
But a Rio hatchback won’t be the only variant returning for the next generation as AutoExpress says Kia will be adding a crossover variant as well. It doesn’t stop there because further rumors indicate said Rio crossover could even come with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, providing an interesting alternative to Toyota’s popular Prius variants. So yes, this means Kia is pretty much planning a smaller crossover to sit below the already compact Soul and that new Niro.
The next-gen Rio is anticipated for a reveal in October at the Paris Auto Show and the plug-in hybrid powertrain in question is rumored to be sourced from the recent Kia Niro hybrid compact crossover, consisting of a 1.6L naturally-aspirated four-banger with an electric motor mated to it, to net a combined output of 141hp and 195 lb-ft of twist. Electricity is stored in a 1.56-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack.
The ultimate goal is to provide potential customers with a compact and affordable hybrid crossover option, which is an emerging but theoretically growing market as hybrids become more readily available and crossovers continue to dominate the roads.
In addition to the new crossover variant to the Rio, Kia is said to be adding a high-performance version of the standard Rio hatch, complete with a turbocharged 1.6L four-banger with 180hp from Hyundai. If all goes well, the new Rio generation should be ready by late next year while the additional variants should follow a little while after.
– By: Chris Chin