Following up on initial teaser of its all-new Kia Rio, the automaker released photos and more details about the fully redesigned subcompact expected to arrive in the U.S. sometime next year as a 2018 model. Boasting more sophisticated exterior styling, the automaker’s best-selling global model also benefits from an interior remake that matches enhanced materials with improved ergonomics in 5-door hatchback and conventional sedan forms. 

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Developed at Kia’s design centers in Germany and California with input from the home team in Namyang, Korea, the new Rio carries an international pedigree and makes a bolder curbside statement from nose to tail. Slightly lower, wider and marginally longer than the vehicle it replaces, the Rio also gains about a half inch of additional wheelbase. The sleeker, edgier lines are set off by a tasteful take on the firm’s “tiger nose” grille, flanked by narrower headlamps and outboard-positioned fog lamps that reinforce its more confident stance. A similar theme appears in the Rio’s aft section where a more upright C-pillar on the hatch is paired with slimmer taillamps that now feature Kia’s new arrow-shaped LED signature look.

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The Rio’s redesigned cabin also takes a notable step up, displaying a sculpted, space-efficient character complemented by improved materials that include premium cloth as well as faux leather. While its reconfigured dash has been mildly angled towards the driver, the highlight here is an all-new infotainment system based around a large, centrally mounted “floating” high-definition touchscreen. In addition to offering easier command of the Rio’s improved audio, navigation and connectivity systems the new HMI also let Kia broom a number of control knobs and switches to give the car a cleaner look.

No word yet regarding potential powertrain changes or a specific U.S. on-sale date. Additional details about the new Kia Rio will be released at its formal coming-out party in Paris.

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