Underscoring the global importance of small cars, Kia will show off the fourth-generation version of its subcompact Rio in just a few weeks at the annual Paris Motor Show.
The all-new Rio was a collaboration between Kia's design studios in Germany and California, although the company's home market center in South Korea also had a large say. While not much is known about the new Rio yet, we do expect it to grow slightly over the current model with a longer wheelbase.
The teaser sketches Kia has passed out so far indicate a squat design that stands in marked contrast to today's more upright Rio. The interior appears to be more of an evolution, however, retaining the wide swath stretched across the current Rio's dashboard and its toggle-style switches.
Kia has a lot riding on the new Rio, especially up against increasingly competitive rivals. The Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris are both due for full restyles soon.
The Rio is actually Kia's best-selling model globally, although sales through the first seven months this year in the United States are comparatively modest; the Rio is outsold by all of Kia's mainstream models here and only bests the decidedly niche Cadenza and K900.
It's hard to believe that Kia has offered three generations of Rios in the last decade and a half; the first-generation model was offered as a sedan and a conventional wagon, but the automaker has since aligned its subcompact with rivals by offering a sedan and a more trim 5-door hatchback.