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Kia Rio gets a sporty makeover with GT-Line spec

Written by: Neil

If you’re in the market for a decent supermini, there are far worse cars you could choose than the Kia Rio. Practical, well-styled, efficient it is, but aggressive? Nuh-uh.

That’s where the new Kia Rio GT-Line comes into play. Images of this grrr’ed up hatchback have just emerged online, ahead of its physical unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Nobody at Kia believes the sport-inspired GT-Line spec Rio will be causing the Polo GTI or Fiesta ST any sleepless nights, but it certainly injects some much welcome zing to the standard Rio.

We’ve already had GT-Line variants of the Sportage, Picanto and Sorento so it’s no surprise that the Rio has been subject to the same treatment.

This means the sporty five-door now comes with stylish design features, such as a gloss black and chrome ‘tiger-nose’ grille, unique GT-Line 17-inch alloy wheels, twin exhaust tips, LED daytime running lights, chrome window trim and a gloss black roof spoiler. There are also ‘ice-cube’ LED fog lamps, similar to those on the cee’d GT and pro_cee’d GT.

Inside, there’s black synthetic leather and cloth with contrast grey stitching on the seat and a new ‘D-cut’ leather steering wheel. The dashboard’s carbon fibre-effect finish is complemented by metallic trim surrounds on the door switches and gear lever.

Under the bonnet is Kia’s 1.0-litre T-GDi engine, which with 118bhp and mated to a six-speed manual is far from the most potent unit in the Korean car maker’s arsenal, but it is responsive enough to get you up to 62mph in around 10 seconds.

The 1.25- or 1.4-litre MPi petrols will join the range at some point in Q3 2018, linked to Kia’s seven-speed double clutch auto transmission.

Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “Kia finally demonstrated that it knows how to deliver a performance car with the Stinger GT last year and while the Rio is a totally different animal to that, it still looks the part with these sporty touches.”

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