New spy shots this week revealed Kia is developing the next-generation Rio. The spy shots captured a car wearing thick camouflage and cladding, obscuring many design details. However, new renderings peel all that away to preview the model's refreshed design based on clues poking through the coverings.
The renderings depict the next-generation Kia with a radically revamped front fascia. The brand's tiger nose grille remains, but the artist integrated the headlights into the piece to create a single flowing element across the front. The headlights feature LED daytime running lights between the bonnet's leading edge and the headlight units, which are visible in the spy shots.
Gallery: Next-Gen Kia Rio Renderings
The revamped upper grille sits above a much more stylish front bumper. A large lower grille motif features fake intakes pushed to the edges to frame it on the Kia's face. It's unclear how closely the rendering matches the actual car, as Kia thoroughly covered the test vehicle in camouflage and cladding.
The rear will also see a big change over the current-generation model. The car's back end in the rendering features a full-width taillight unit sitting above an elegant rear diffuser and shiny dual exhaust tips. Just a portion of the taillights are visible in the first spy shots, and it's unclear if they feature a full-width element thanks to Kia's copious use of camouflage.
Our spy photographers didn't get any clear pictures of the cabin, but a portion of the dash was visible in some of the photos. It appears as if Kia will give the next-gen Rio a dual-screen display on the dashboard. However, there are no renderings, and we'll need a closer peek to know for sure.
Kia sold nearly 27,000 Rios last year in the US, down from 2021's 31,362. However, 2022 was the model's second-best sales year since 2016, when it sold about 29,000 cars. There are rumours Kia could discontinue it in Europe due to tightening emissions regulations. We hope the next-gen model arrives in the US as it is one of the most affordable new vehicles on sale today.