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Kia’s new Rio supermini has gone all boxy

Meet the squarer, stouter Rio, complete with Audi supercar detailing inside

Stand by, fans of superminis with carnivorous cat motifs in their styling. This is the all-new Kia Rio, set for display at the 2016 Paris show wearing Kia’s newest, bluffest, most angular ‘tiger nose’ front grille. Mmm, snouty.

In fairness, it’s a fairly handsome little thing, this new Rio. It’s styled to look more planted and wider, helped by the fact it is actually 5mm wider overall than before. It’s got more angular headlights and a taller tailgate, (though the roof’s actually 5mm lower this time) so it’s a less cutesy ‘mini. Looks ripe for a faster ‘GT’ hot hatch, doesn’t it?

If you’ve spotted some Mercedes A-class in the car’s profile, you’ll have a field day noting the premium-brand European influences inside. Are those Audi R8-style climate control buttons we spy? The VW-style touchscreen and button arrangement now pokes out of the dash top, like a BMW’s iDrive screen. The whole dash has been slightly angled to face the driver in the new Rio too. Tried and tested stuff, but it looks smart enough. 

Kia’s not detailed exactly what engines it’ll be plumbing into the Rio yet, but you can bet it’ll be the usual three-and four-cylinder fair of CO2-friendly downsized motors, while we’re also promised more up-to-date infotainment and anti-crash tech, plus more engaging ride and handling than the last Rio. 

Kia needs this little tiger-nosed tyke to be a hit, because the outgoing Rio was its best-selling model worldwide, shifting over 473,000 units during its showroom life. Would this one’s boxier style and posh European cabin inspiration tempt you from a Fiesta or a Polo?

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