The hot topic at the Kia press conference at the Chicago Auto Show was undoubtedly the updated 2016 Kia Rio 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback.
The new release was only briefly mentioned in passing at the end of the press conference, leaving more than a few people surprised to hear that the 2016 model was actually in the building.
The Kia Rio 2016 model shows off revised fascias in front and back, and also has a mesh-patterned grilled that is similar to that found on the Optima and Soul.
1. 2016 Kia Rio design changes
The contemporary styling of the new Rio can be seen in the inward placement of the headlights and the foglight surrounds with satin bezels.
Horizontal style lines have been added to the lower valance, while the back of the car sees the taillamps in a new location at the far corners.
2. New exterior color options
The 2016 Kia Rio hatchback and sedan gained a pair of new exterior colors, the Urban Blue and Digital Yellow.
3. Interior changes
The interior sees some minor changes to trim elements, while the A- and B- pillars use high-density foam to improve NVH levels.
4. Engine & transmission
The sedan and the hatchback have the same engine, which is a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that was carried over from the previous model.
The sedan sends 123 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, while the hatchback now only comes with the automatic.
5. Trim level upgrades
The 3 trim levels on offer – LX, EX, and SX – have little in the way of major changes. The base level LX is fairly basic, but it does have some decent features, such as AC, satellite radio, 6-way manual driver’s seat, USB and auxiliary audio jacks, and audio controls mounted to the steering wheel.
Adding the Power Package gets you power windows and doors, as well as keyless entry.
If you opt for the automatic LX, you also get Bluetooth, and the very efficient Active Eco System included in the price.
Standard features on the EX include remote keyless entry, power windows, cruise control, and tilt/telescope steering.
The Eco package is added for 2016, and delivers a backup camera, and the newest version of Kia’s UVO eServices telematics system.
An extra touch of style can be added by going with the Designer Package, which includes black cloth and gray leatherette upholstery with gray stitching, padded gray door-panel inserts, as well as gray stitching on the steering wheel, center-console armrest, and shifter boot.
The top of the line 2016 Rio SX is all about delivering a touch of sportiness to the humble Kia Rio.
This is delivered via a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch aluminum wheels, 11-inch front brake rotors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shift paddles.
You will also find standard features such as heated front seats, a sunroof, push-button start, navigation, leather seating surfaces, and a backup camera.
The 2016 Kia Rio may not have hit the spotlight in Chicago, but it will soon get its chance to shine when it arrives in dealerships in the next couple of months.