The Kia Rio has always just kind of existed. Kia Rio’s are always those cars that just sit in the fast lane going twenty miles per hour below the speed limit.
Kia Rio’s are just small hatch backs made for the economical person who, like anything from Hyundai in the past 6 years, doesn’t care what they look like.
The Korean’s never really impressed a lot of people with the Rio, and the market seems to be shifting what Kia is doing with their super-compact car.
It seems a lot of brands are taking up to maturing in their appeal and style. Between the NEW Hyundai Elantra, Genesis breaking off into its own thing, and others, we’re seeing a mass puberty before our eyes.
Bringing it back to the Kia Rio, though. While this car has never impressed before, the new 2017 Kia Rio looks like it is fixing that small issue.
Gone is the overly-happy face and in is a new focused, grown-up look.
Kia is doing away with the original subcompact sedan thing and going for solely a five door hatch. This makes perfect sense, since everyone is, moving into larger cars in general.
There are a few more changes heading into the 2017 Kia Rio hatchback that we should see, so let’s explore:
The Specs-2017 Kia Rio:
|Vehicle Type:||Compact Hatch|
|Power Plant:||1.6 L 4-cyl (est.)|
|Gearbox:||6 speed auto/6 speed manual|
|MPG:||Up to 36 Highway/27 City|
|Top Speed:||Not Available|
|0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH):||Not Available|
|Base Price:||$17,000 (est.)|
The Exterior-2017 Kia Rio:
The completely redesigned 2017 Kia Rio is so much better than the previous…thing, it looks like they’re from completely different manufactures.
From the front, the 2017 Kia Rio is all grown up. The Kia grille is still present, but much over shadowed by a massive front intake.
To compliment the big mouth, two secondary fake intakes are off to the side along with the fog light assemblies. It almost looks like some sort of un-released Scion model; Doesn’t it?
The eyes of the 2017 Kia Rio are much more refined and solid looking. Kia took the Rio from being a dumb smiley face thing to a more mature and nurtured hatch back.
Honestly the only thing on a design front that the old Kia Rio had going for it, was a slightly dynamic stance. While the new car is a hatchback, it looks much more comfortable in its skin.
From the side, the 2017 Kia Rio continues a pursuit of simplicity. Very minimal designs are seen on the side of the car, but anything more would look too tacky.
The back of the 2017 Kia Rio adopts a new cue we’re seeing on a number of Kia’s. The tail lights are not high lighted by bright LED’s in the sharp, angled fashion.
Overall, the rear end is raised up and given a more assertive look. It really fits the car well.
The 2017 Kia Rio looks so much better than the last car. I am really happy to see that Kia is taking itself seriously now as well. The new 2017 Kia Rio looks to be a perfect small hatchback.
The Interior-2017 Kia Rio:
Upon looking at the interior, I instantly thought of the interior of the 2018 Hyundai Elantra. And that is because the 2018 Hyundai Elantra has a similar infotainment set up.
Kia is making a clear effort to be taken seriously and as a more upscale car manufacture than before. We see an extreme example of this with their new 2018 Kia Stinger, which aims to take on some serious sports sedans.
Much of the interior is redesigned to fit this new style that Kia is using. The new steering wheel is athletic and slim, the materials look much better, and the styling is much more traditional.
While I don’t really like how the infotainment controls are on the small screen itself, the rest of the interior makes up for it.
The cabin of the 2017 Kia Rio may be pretty small given the nature of car it is, but Kia did a fine job making use of each inch to make it look as high-quality as possible.
This new interior gets a host of new technology as well. From new steering wheel-mounted controls to a technology package that makes it competitive against its rivals, nearly everything is new.
Kia and many other brands are making this stride toward something we’ve never seen before. Attractively styled, upscale cars. I do really like the switch, as it makes great cars like we see the 2017 Kia Rio becoming (something I never thought I’d say).
But I’m kind of left with a hole in my heart…Who will be the auto company that will be childish and cheesy so we can have something to gauge these cars against?
The Performance-2017 Kia Rio:
As for the engine options you can get in the 2017 Kia Rio, there is only one.
For now, we have to assume that the 1.6 L four cylinder from the current Kia Rio will carry over into the new one. This little unit produces 138 horsepower and 123 pound feet of torque. There is a performance or “sport” level trim, but it doesn’t do anything to aid the engine.
The 2017 Kia Rio is tiny, so you don’t really need anything in the way of more than 150 HP. But, I can’t help but think this would be a good competitor to the Ford Fiesta ST…
Sum It Up:
The new 2017 Kia Rio makes me happy. It is a sharp and updated look to one of the worst cars I’ve ever seen.
Kia definitely made the right choices here in the new Rio, and I hope they continue to do so.
Look for a release date later this year!