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Future models - Kia - Rio - three-door

Frankfurt show: Kia hatches Rio three-door

Chic: The three-door version of Kia's stylish Rio light-sized hatchback will debut in the first quarter of 2012.

Three-door version of Kia’s classy new Rio hatch emerges four months before sales

Kia logo13 Sep 2011

By MARTON PETTENDY in FRANKFURT

KIA has whipped the covers off an even more stylish three-door derivative of its all-new Rio light-sized hatchback at today’s Frankfurt motor show.

Australia’s first Rio three-door will undercut the cheapest version of the redesigned Rio five-door that went on sale here in September priced from $16,290 plus on-road costs, but the five-door is expected to remain the top-selling Rio body style.

Along with the new-generation four-door Rio sedan that debuted at the New York auto show in April, the Rio three-door will join the latest UB-series line-up in the first quarter of next year, following an official launch at the Kia Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.

Expected to be priced from as low as $14,990 plus ORCs, the Rio three-door will be Kia Motors Australia’s lowest-priced model, at least until the Picanto five-door arrives about 12 months later in early 2013.

Kia says the three-door Rio was designed primarily for Europe, where it also goes on sale in early 2012. The Rio sedan will not be sold in Europe, with the three-door hatch expected to comprise between 20 and 25 per cent of total Rio sales.

As the most affordable Rio model, it is expected not only to attract more first-time car buyers than any other Kia model, but to ‘conquest’ more sales than other Rios from rival brands.

Despite shedding two doors, the Rio three-door shares its key dimensions with the five-door, riding on a 2570mm wheelbase and measuring 4045mm long, 1720mm wide and 1455mm high, making it one of the lowest-slung cars in Kia’s model range.

17 center imageIt is likely to be available here with the same two four-cylinder DOHC petrol engines as the Rio five-door – a 79kW/135Nm 1.4-litre and the all-new direct-injection 103kW/167Nm 1.6-litre GDI Gamma engine.

With a standard six-speed manual transmission, the GDI engine – which is yet to appear in an Australian model from sister company Hyundai – is claimed to accelerate the Rio five-door to 100km/h in 10.2 seconds and on to a 180km/h top speed, while the optional six-speed automatic transmission version is just one-tenth slower to the national highway limit.

It is unclear whether the three-door will be made available in the same three specification levels – S, Si and SLi – as the five-door, but all versions should offer a maximum five-star ANCAP crash safety rating, thanks in part to six airbags, electronic stability/traction control and ABS brakes as standard.

Hill-start assist control (HAC), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA) should also be standard.

Despite being more powerful than the JB Rio it replaces, the new 1.4-litre Rio S five-door uses about 10 per cent less fuel at 5.7 litres per 100km combined, or 6.3L/100km for the four-speed automatic version. CO2 emissions are 135 grams per kilometre (auto: 150g/km).

Inexplicably, the more powerful 1.6-litre Si and SLi five-doors are even more efficient at 5.6L/100km (6.1L/100km auto) and 133g/km (145g/km auto).

As with the five-door, Australia’s Rio three-door will not be available with Europe’s three-cylinder petrol engine or in newly introduced EcoDynamics diesel guise, which returns fuel consumption of just 3.2L/100km and an industry-leading CO2 rating of just 85g/km.

All new Rio models are based on the same global ‘B/C’-segment small car platform that also underpins Hyundai’s new RB Accent, comprising MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension systems.

Up to 10 exterior paint colours will be available in Europe – White, Black, Bright Silver, Signal Red, Fresh Beige, Electronic Blue, Deep Blue, Wendy Brown, Graphite and Caramel Yellow.

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