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China-only K2 hints at next-gen Kia Rio sedan

Rio games: Although Kia’s next-gen Rio is launching internationally in various body styles including three-door hatch and sedan, Australia is only expected to release five-door versions.

No Kia Rio sedan for Australia, but Chinese market K2 hints at new Korean light car

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Kia logo28 Nov 2016

By TUNG NGUYEN

KIA’S upcoming next-generation Rio sedan has been previewed with the debut of the Chinese market-only K2 four-door, however the booted light car is still off the table for Australia.

While front-end styling retains the familiar Kia look, the K2 differs from its Rio hatchback cousin – revealed at this year’s Paris motor show – with a larger and more prominent chrome front grille, redesigned lower front bumper styling and wider foglight housing.

Aside from the obvious bodystyle changes in the rear, the K2 wears similar wraparound tail-lights to the next-gen Rio, although the China-spec car connects the rear light housings and features a new lower bumper garnish.

To accommodate the larger boot space, the K2 has been stretched 335mm compared to the five-door fourth-gen Rio hatch to measure 4400mm in length, and is also 15mm wider at 1740mm.

Available in China with a choice of either a 1.4-litre petrol engine (paired to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission) or a 1.6-litre petrol donk (automatic only), Australian-spec Rios will likely be offered a wider choice of engines including a new 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine.

Entry level 1.4-litre engines make 74kW/132Nm while the flagship 1.4-litre produces 90kW/151Nm, enabling the K2 to hit a maximum velocity of up to 190km/h.

While no Australian specification of the next-gen Rio has been revealed, the K2 range comes standard with heated side mirrors, USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity, 7.0-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, air-conditioning and four-speaker sound system.

Safety features found in the K2 include dual front airbags, emergency brake distribution (EBD), central locking, Isofix child seat anchor points and a reversing camera.

Speaking to GoAuto in August, Kia Australia general manager of media and corporate communications Kevin Hepworth said the new Rio sedan will not arrive in locally due to the poor sales reception of its predecessor.

“There is a new model Rio coming, but there won’t be a sedan with it,” he said.

“It was a product decision, but I would suspect they’re normally driven by sales numbers and complexity of model.”

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