A new generation of the Kia Rio is on the way, judging from this new gallery of spy shots. This one is testing in Northern Sweden.
This vehicle is under heavy camouflage. Skinny headlights are visible in front, and there are openings in the lower fascia. A high beltline and sleek roof are prominent elements of the model's profile. At the back, there are L-shaped tail lamps and a pair of trapezoidal exhaust outlets coming out of the passenger side.
Gallery: Kia Rio sedan spy shots
This model looks a lot like recent images possibly of the next-gen Hyundai Sonata. However, the vehicle in these pictures has four-lug wheels and a different location for the side mirrors.
It's surprising to see what our spies think is the new Rio testing in Sweden because there's a recent rumor about Kia planning to retire the model from the European market. According to the report, engineering a small vehicle to meet the Euro 7 emissions standard is too expensive to be a worthwhile business for some automakers.
Just because Kia is testing a new Rio in Sweden doesn't mean the automaker plans to sell the model there. The company might simply be conducting cold-weather development with this vehicle.
Kia last refreshed the Rio in Europe in 2020. The company gave it minor styling tweaks like LED headlights and a revised front fascia. Inside, the model received an 8.0-inch infotainment screen and a 4.2-inch screen as part of the instrument cluster. Under the hood, there was a 1.0-liter mild-hybrid three-cylinder that was available with 100 horsepower (75 kilowatts) or 120 hp (89 kW).
In the United States, the Rio is among the least expensive new vehicles available. The 2023 LX sedan is $17,505 after the $1,055 destination fee. The S trim four-door is $18,145. The S five-door hatchback goes for $18,445.
Buyers in Europe have a second little Kia to look forward to. The brand is also developing a refreshed Picanto. It features new, boxy headlights and appears to have a revised lower fascia. The rear features updated taillights. The available spy shots don't let us see inside the vehicle, but there's a possibility of tweaks to the cabin, too.