Bored of Maruti Baleno, Hyundai i20? Here’s why Kia Rio could be India’s next favourite car

KIA is set to make an entrance into the Indian automotive market early next year, although they have only announced a single SUV for the country till date, one can't help but wonder what other cars and SUVs they might bring. In particular, this Kia Rio catches our attention!

By: | Published: August 30, 2018 4:53 PM
KIA Motors Rio 2018: Hyundai i20 rival from KIA KIA Motors Rio 2018: Hyundai i20 rival from KIA

KIA Motors Rio 2018: The Indian automotive industry is expanding at an exponential rate, the added market volume every year allows for new brands to enter the Indian market every year to ply their trade. Hyundai Motors’ sub-brand KIA is also India bound, making a splash at the 2018 Auto Expo announcing that they would launch their first vehicle as early as 2019. Although the first vehicle is expected to be a KIA SUV based on the SP Concept, the headliner at the 2018 Auto Expo. The question remains as to what other vehicles KIA intended to bring to India from their extensive global portfolio? One of the cars, that should definitely be on their roster for 2018 is the Kia Rio. The Kia Rio is a hatchback based on the Hyundai i20 platform. We recently test drove the European spec Kia Rio, and although, we expect the Indian version to miss out on some of the cars bells and whistles here are why we think it will still make a strong case for our market!

Veggies first, so we will start with a list of things that are on the car in these images that may not make it to India. For one, the Indian Spec model will likely miss out of the low profile tyres and the low slung ride height. The suspension system on the European model is more driver-focused, we expect that a reworked version of the same struts will be brought in to handle India’s putrid road conditions. Finally, the Indian spec Rio will also likely get smaller wheels in a 16-inch/15-inch format where the former will be only available as an optional extra. We also expect the short and peppy tune of the gearbox to change to favour mileage.

Despite, all of this the Rio stands out for its slightly larger footprint than the i20 it shares its platform with, and it’s A-class-ish design. Interestingly since the Hyundai i20 shares the same platform with the Rio it will not be too hard to find a locally made engine and peripheral components for the Rio in India. We also expect that the India spec version might miss out on the boring single-din infotainment system of the European spec, in favour of an Apple Carplay and Android Auto integrated touchscreen infotainment with SD-driven maps preloaded.

It is, however, important to remember that Kia has only confirmed an SUV for India to date. No confirmations have been for the launch of the Rio. The question remains then as to whether, the growing premium hatchback segment is enticing enough for KIA, either way, we think it makes a great fit and adds some colour to the premium hatch segment in India.

Until then Check out our Video review of the Kia Rio:

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