Europe’s B-segment is losing some of its longest-standing nameplates. The Ford Fiesta is dead and the Volkswagen Polo is also facing an uncertain future as the upcoming Euro 7 emissions standard will make it too expensive for automakers to develop small cars. It turns out the Kia Rio is also going to be discontinued according to a new report from Autocar.
The publication says the South Korean supermini will exit the European and UK markets later this year with the closely related Kia Stonic serving as its direct replacement in the showrooms. The small model is still available in certain European countries, including the UK, though you can’t specify your own equipment as Kia is only selling from dealer stock.
Gallery: Kia Rio facelift
The Korean manufacturer delivered just 32,506 Rios in Europe last year, down 9 percent compared to the previous year. The shift in customer demand towards crossovers also forced Kia to take the decision to discontinue the Rio. “Aside from Rio development, Kia remains fully committed to the 'small car' A- and B-segments,” the company told Autocar in a statement. As a reminder, the company also sells the Picanto in Europe, which is an A-segment vehicle.
Meanwhile, Kia still has the Rio on sale in the United States. The Rio saloon is the cheaper model with a starting price of just $16,750, while the five-door Rio kicks off at $17,690. Right above the Rio is the Forte with a starting price tag of $19,690.
As far as the European B-segment is concerned, it seems that if the Euro 7 emissions standard goes into effect in its planned form, it could effectively spell the end of the small cars with combustion engines on the continent. Volkswagen CEO Thomas warned in a recent interview that a subcompact hatchback could be €3,000 to €5,000 more expensive than today. As a result, Ford decided to kill the Fiesta and only keep the Puma crossover, which shares the same platform.