Three-cylinder engine up front and two exhaust tips at the back.
Now that the Detroit Auto Show is behind us, automakers are slowly beginning to turn their attention towards the next major event: the Geneva Motor Show in March. Land Rover has already done it by teasing the fancy Range Rover SV Coupe and now Kia is eager to unveil the sporty GT Line specification for its Rio supermini.
As with the other members of the continuously growing GT Line family (Picanto, Sportage, Optima, Sorento), the new Rio GT Line is basically a visual pack giving the B-segment hatchback a sportier exterior appearance. It gets those cool now familiar four-point “ice cube” LED fog lights and rides on 17-inch alloy wheels exclusive to this version. Kia has also added a few glossy black accents here and there, along with a chrome window trim and twin exhaust tips.
There’s not much to say about the interior as it has been essentially carried over from the lesser Rio models, but with a black synthetic leather and cloth upholstery (with grey stitching), metallic accents, and a carbon fiber look for the dashboard. In addition, the “GT Line” badge adorns the flat-bottomed steering wheel clad in leather.
You’ll be able to get the new Kia Rio GT Line with the exact same engines available for the other trim levels. That means buyers will be able to pick from naturally aspirated 1.25- and 1.4-liter gasoline units or the newer three-cylinder turbocharged unit. The latter has a 1.0-liter displacement and produces 118 hp and 171 Newton-meters (126 pound-feet) of torque delivered to the wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. An optional seven-speed, dual-clutch will be available beginning with the third quarter of 2018.
The Rio GT Line is basically Kia’s answer to the Ford Fiesta ST Line and the Volkswagen Polo R-Line, giving people the opportunity to buy a supermini that looks sporty without having to pay the premium commanded by a true hot hatch.
2018 Kia Rio GT Line
FIRST KIA RIO GT-LINE IMAGES AND INFORMATION REVEALED
- Kia Rio available with new sport-inspired GT-Line specification
- Powered by 118 bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre T-GDi engine
- New GT-Line alloys and sporty exterior trim
- Interior equipped with Kia GT-inspired design cues
- Latest technology and safety features include Driver Attention Warning System and Lane Departure Warning System
- On-sale in Europe from the end of Q1 2018
Kia has revealed the first images of the new Rio GT-Line, ahead of its public debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The Rio is the latest model to be available in GT-Line specification, following the recent introduction of Sportage, Picanto and Sorento GT-Line models.
Broadening the appeal of Kia’s global bestselling B-segment hatchback, the new Rio GT-Line boasts versatility, a responsive turbocharged engine and engaging handling with a sporty look inside and out.
The Rio GT-Line is powered by Kia’s 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine, a responsive powertrain that provides willing acceleration and contributes to the car’s dynamic handling characteristics thanks to its light weight.
Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, commented: “The Rio is one of Kia’s best selling cars globally, and we have already sold more than 54,000 units of the new model in Europe after it went on sale in the first quarter of 2017. The new GT-Line specification enhances the car’s desirability and will help grow Rio sales in 2018 and beyond, thanks to its range of comfort and safety features, superb versatility, and confident, sporty styling.”
The new Rio GT-Line arrives in UK showrooms during the spring 2018.
Design: new GT styling cues
The Rio’s sporty five-door exterior introduces stylish new design features, such as a gloss-black and chrome ‘tiger-nose’ grille, unique GT-Line 17-inch alloy wheels, and ‘ice-cube’ LED fog lamps, echoing those of the cee’d GT and pro_cee’d GT. The exterior is finished with twin exhaust tips, LED daytime running lights, chrome window trim, a gloss black roof spoiler and sill highlights.
The interior merges the Rio’s modern styling, sculptural forms, and ergonomics with a series of unique GT-Line features, creating a cabin to match the more athletic exterior. The seats are finished in black synthetic leather and cloth with contrast grey stitching, while drivers are presented with a new ‘D-cut’ leather steering wheel. New metallic trim surrounds the door switches and gear lever, and the dashboard complements this with a new carbon fibre-effect finish.
Powertrain: Efficient 1.0-litre T-GDi engine with low emissions and instant response
The lightweight, compact and eager three-cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDi engine provides the Rio GT-Line with its peak 118 bhp at 6,000 rpm, with 171 Nm of torque available from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm for maximum flexibility in all road conditions. The relatively low mass over the front axle ensures the Rio remains fun to drive, with minimal inertia facilitating responsive, engaging handling. The Rio GT-Line is capable of 60.1 mpg, with CO2 emissions of 107 g/km. It is paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
From Q3 2018, the Rio GT-Line will also be available with naturally-aspirated 1.25- or 1.4-litre petrol MPi (multi-point injection) engines, and Kia’s seven-speed double clutch transmission.
Technology, safety and versatility
The Rio GT-Line is available with many features familiar to current Rio owners, including standard aluminium pedals and bi-projection headlamps, which turn into corners as the driver turns the steering wheel.
The optional large 7.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen HMI (Human-Machine Interface) includes navigation, and Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ for full smartphone integration. A rear-view parking camera, heated steering wheel, and heated seats are also available.
The new Rio is the safest B-segment car Kia has ever made, featuring an Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS)-body construction and six airbags fitted as standard (front, front side, and curtain. With a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating when fitted with optional ADAS technology. The Rio offers Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian recognition, the Rio’s FCA system uses a long-range radar detection system to detect potential collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians and helps bring the car to a halt*. FCA is paired with Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), which alerts the driver if they stray out of their lane without the use of indicators. Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) will also be available to buyers from Q3 2018.
The Rio GT-Line is also available with Kia’s new Driver Attention Warning (DAW) system, designed to combat distracted or drowsy drivers. The system monitors several inputs from the vehicle and the driver, and sounds a warning chime and displays a graphic in the instrument binnacle if it senses a lapse in concentration from the driver.
With one of the most spacious cabins in its class, the Rio also features a split-level boot floor, enabling owners to change its height to fit items under the floor to prevent them rolling around, or to keep them out of sight. Luggage capacity is 325 litres (VDA), making it both spacious and practical.
Kia Rio GT-Line on sale from spring 2018
The Rio is backed by Kia’s quality promise, and will be sold as standard with the company’s unique 7-Year, 100,000 miles warranty. The new Rio GT-Line goes on sale across Europe at the end of the first quarter of 2018. Full UK specification for the Rio GT-Line will vary and will be announced in due course.