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2012 Kia Rio Photos and Details are Released

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author photo by Autotrader February 2011

Kia has just released the first official images of its redesigned, entry-level Rio ahead of its debut at next month’s Geneva Auto Show. Available in three-, four-, or five-door versions depending on the market, the reworked Rio’s styling is now aligned with the rest of the Korean automaker’s product line.

Slightly longer and wider than the outgoing Rio –with an elongated wheelbase to improve rear legroom – the 2012 Rio will find its way to the States in late 2011 or early 2012. When it arrives, the new Rio will undoubtedly come as a sedan or a five-door hatch, with the U.S. market missing out on the diminutive three-door hatchback variant. Although several engines are planned worldwide, the U.S. market will see just one: a direct-injection 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 140 horsepower, also used in the Hyundai Accent, the Rio’s corporate twin.

Also important is the new model’s styling, which adds an upscale presence to the budget-grade subcompact. The new Rio will feature Kia’s distinctive “Tiger Nose” front grille, as well as more fluid, flowing lines and dramatically-sculpted curves on either side. The redesigned Rio will also feature an upgraded interior, which the automaker says will deliver “a high level of quality previously associated with larger models.” Like all recent Kias, design for the new Rio was overseen by former Audi designer Peter Schreyer, responsible for the critically-acclaimed Audi TT.

“This new model is a big step forward,” said Soon-Nam Lee, Kia’s director of overseas marketing. “The Rio has always been successful, and with this new incarnation we have a car which is extremely attractive, that people will want to buy for its looks.”

While pricing hasn’t been announced, the Rio will find itself facing tough competition in the U.S. market from the newly-released Ford Fiesta, the heavily-anticipated Fiat 500, and the popular Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. Nonetheless, Kia believes the new Rio can follow up on the success of past models, which have sold more than 860,000 units globally since launching in 2005.

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Used 2011 Kia Rio LX
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$7,771
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Kia Rio Photos and Details are Released - Autotrader