The Kia Rio supermini is getting ready to make the transition towards a fourth generation that has now been captured on camera for the first time in prototype guise.

Spied while undergoing winter testing, the all-new Rio seems to adopt an entirely different design and it also appears to be bigger judging by the longer rear doors featuring a wider glass. The headlight clusters are completely changed and don’t seem to have the same sweptback design as on the outgoing model. The back of the car is also going through cosmetic surgery and we notice the tailgate is slightly wider and the taillights are sharper.

Taking into account it will be bigger than its predecessor, it’s safe to assume the 2017 Kia Rio will be more spacious inside, especially for passengers sitting in the back. It’s too early to say whether the cabin will go through extensive changes, but chances are many of the bits and pieces will be sourced from sister model Hyundai i20.

While the outgoing Rio looks pretty much the same in three- and five-door guises, hopefully the new three-door model will become substantially sportier in the same vein as the attractive Hyundai i20 Coupe.

In order to save money, the next Rio will use just about the same underpinnings as the i20, so it will have essentially the same engine lineup. As a consequence, expect a 1.2-liter gasoline unit with 75 & 84 horsepower and a punchier 1.4-liter with 100 hp. A turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-liter will likely be borrowed from the cee’d GT Line where it’s available with 100 & 120 hp.

On the diesel side there will be a 75-hp 1.1 CRDi and a 90-hp 1.4 CRDi. Depending on engine choice, both manual and automatic transmissions are going to be offered.

Expect the fourth-generation Kia Rio to be introduced in October during the Paris Motor Show and go on sale before the year’s end.

Got a tip for us? Email: