Kia Rio Supermini Hatch Leaving Europe for Good, Defeated by Crossovers

Kia Rio 9 photos
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Small passenger cars and other vehicles that don’t have many inches between their bellies and the road have had a hard time fighting off crossovers and SUVs in order to remain profitable. As a result, several manufacturers have dropped some big names from their families. The latest to announce such a decision is Kia, which will soon pull the plug on the Rio.
According to information obtained by Autocar, the Kia Rio will be retired from the United Kingdom later this year, suffering a similar fate in continental Europe. The reason is simple, the supermini hatchbacks are not as popular as they used to be.

Citing numbers posted by Jato Dynamics, the quoted outlet says that European sales dropped 9% last year over 2021 to 32,506 units, and it probably didn’t contribute much to the over 100,000 vehicles sold by Kia in the UK in 2022. At the same time, one of its biggest rivals in the segment, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, bagged over 164,000 sales.

Before crossovers and SUVs started booming, we would have assumed that Kia had a direct replacement for the Rio in the pipeline. But that’s not the case, because the model will be dropped altogether, thus leaving those who want a similarly-sized vehicle from the Korean brand to settle for the Stonic, which uses the same platform, just like the Hyundai i20.

As a reminder, the fourth-generation Kia Rio is a little over six years old and comes to life in Korea for the European continent. It is also assembled in Mexico and Algeria, and depending on where they sell it, a selection of small gasoline engines is available, next to a four-pot diesel, with manual and automatic transmissions. The five-door hatchback is joined by a four-door sedan in several markets, including the United States, where both are still listed on the official website.

For the Rio Sedan, Americans have to pay at least $16,750, before taxes, fees, and options, while the Rio 5-Door starts at $17,690. The lineup comprises the LX and S versions when it comes to the former, and only the LX for the latter. Both use the same gasoline engine, a 120-horsepower four-pot with 1.6 liters in displacement. The thrust is rated at 112 pound-feet (152 Nm), and everything is transferred to the front wheels via the ‘intelligent variable automatic transmission.’

Even though it will be missed by many, Kia’s Rio is but one biting the dust in Europe’s B-segment, as it follows in the footsteps of the Ford Fiesta, and the Audi A1. The Volkswagen Polo isn’t doing that well for itself either, and it seems that the upcoming emission regulations will force the German brand to add in the region €5,000 (~$5,400) to the production cost of the subcompact hatchback, the quoted outlet reveals.
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About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
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After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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