The Auto Expo 2018 is a big event for a lot of reasons. And one of them is the entry of a brand new player into the Indian automotive world: South Korean automaker Kia. Positioned as a more premium alternative to the Hyundai stable, Kia is coming in guns ablaze with a number of models from its lineup. And one of them is the Kia Rio, a fourth-generation compact sedan with a new platform and lots of space inside. Recently updated to a new generation, there is a lot to like in this new car. (LIVE updates on Auto Expo 2018)
Compared to the older generation that was introduced back in 2011, the new Kia Rio looks more stylish and with more space inside, along with a splash of modern technology. Internationally, the Rio comes with a choice of two diesel engines or four petrol ones. Right at the base is a 1.25-litre petrol unit that can deliver 83 bhp, after which comes a 1.4-litre one that can deliver 98 bhp but comes with an automatic four-speed gearbox. Then there is a 1.0-litre turbocharged unit with three cylinders and a power output of 99 bhp, and a 118 bhp version of this same engine. The diesel twins are two versions of the same 1.4-litre unit; one can deliver 76 bhp and the other 89 bhp.
Like we mentioned earlier, the Kia Rio certainly looks more stylish than its previous version. Visibility is good at the front thanks to the thin front pillars, but less so at the rear because of the rounded rear window and thick pillars. For entertainment, there is a 7.0-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but internationally this one is only available on the highest-end trim. Anything below that, and you will have to compromise.
A closer look at the interior will reveal a soft dashboard but with a smattering of hard plastic elements that all seem like they can withstand quite a bit. Overall, it seems like the Kia Rio will compete against the likes of premium sedans like the Hyundai Verna, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and the king itself, the 2017 Honda City.