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Here's your first official look at the fourth-generation Kia Rio

I don't think I can get away with a second headline referencing Duran Duran's "Rio."

Seriously -- why is this picture 90 percent background and 10 percent car?


When Kia sent out some renderings of its fourth-generation Rio hatchback ahead of its debut at the Paris Motor Show, they looked pretty darn close to the real thing. Now, Kia's sending out actual pictures of the Rio, and what do you know, it's basically the same thing we saw before.

The new Rio looks a bit more contemporary than its forebear. The grille is thinner -- something Kia's been doing with a number of its new vehicles -- and the headlights are a bit sleeker, featuring a new U-shaped LED running light pattern. The new Rio is only 5 millimeters wider than before, 15 mm longer and 5 mm shorter in height. The taillights are LED, as well, but that's practically par for the course these days.

Most of the truly interesting changes lie inside. The dashboard elements now list toward the driver, but the real peach is the new infotainment screen, which adopts a "floating" look that frees up a bit of space that would otherwise go to a chunky plastic surround. The button count is lower than before, but there are still buttons and knobs to keep folks of all flavors happy.

Kia's still holding onto a great deal of information on the Rio, and for good reason -- if it spoiled everything now, what's the point of the press conference? We'll learn more about the 2017 Rio when it debuts on September 29, during the media days of the Paris Motor Show.


Some folks think the floating screen look is tacky, but I think it's better than having a fat dashboard surrounding the whole thing.

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