New Kia Rio three-door and refreshed Soul

While the new Kia Rio five-door hatchback is generating positive coverage around the world, Kia has also just celebrated the world premiere of its new Rio three-door model.

Designed primarily for the European market, the new Rio three-door will expand the appeal of Kia's latest B-segment model to attract a new group of customers to the brand for the first time - boosting conquest sales after its introduction during the first quarter of 2012. Ultimately, Kia expects the Rio three-door to account for approximately 20 to 25 per cent of total Rio sales.

Rio three-door has the same key dimensions as the five-door model (length 4,045mm, width 1,720mm, height 1,455mm and wheelbase 2,570mm ) and retains the same roofline that is one of the lowest in Kia's European product range, emphasising its purposeful, sporty stance.

In most European markets, the Rio three-door will be available with the same range of powertrains, equipment, and options as the five-door. The new model will offer customers a choice of four highly efficient three and four-cylinder engines - with a 75 to 109ps power range.

The fastest Rio three-door will accelerate to 60 mph in 11.5 seconds and be able to reach a top speed of 114mph. Fuel consumption will be as low as 88.2mpg for the newly-introduced eco dynamics diesel model, which will also deliver an industry-leading CO2 rating of 85g/km - the lowest emissions of any non electric vehicle, including hybrid vehicles.

With two bodystyles for the new Rio, plus the already-popular five-door Soul and Venga B-segment models, Kia is confident of capturing an even larger share of the increasingly popular compact car market in Europe. The three-door Rio will go on sale from early 2012.

Popular Soul enjoys a major make-over

Completely refreshed, the latest Kia Soul was shown for the first time to a European audience at the Frankfurt Motorshow. It offers consumers a more refined appearance, new powertrains, a higher specification, a more premium feel to the cabin, and even greater potential for personalisation.

Styling improvements for the new model give the Soul a wider, more stable appearance, and more refined proportions - thanks to an extended nose (by 15mm ) taking its overall length up to 4,120mm. The front air intake is wider and larger fog lamps are also given a more prominent design.

At the rear, the black bumper inset panel is extended, moving the fog lamps out towards the extremities of the car. As standard, new more powerful twin-bulb headlamps with black bezels and twin-bulb daylight running lights are fitted, while LED light clusters, front and rear, are standard on higher specification versions.

New style 18-inch alloy wheels and the 'pull' door handles enhance the Soul's profile, while redesigned exterior mirrors feature integrated LED side repeaters.

Inside, the cabin benefits from a revised centre console, circular-type LCD heater controls, a wider choice of new interior fabrics (tartan check, houndstooth and leather ) and the availability of a supervision (high definition ) instrument cluster on certain versions. For greater durability key touch-points in the cabin are coated in a nano-layered, multi-metal paint. The steering wheel has both tilt and telescopic adjustment to ensure a comfortable driving position for all drivers.

A number of significant technical updates for the refreshed Soul include the introduction of a new 140ps 1.6-litre GDI Gamma gasoline engine and the continued availability of the popular 128ps 1.6-litre U2 CRDi diesel engine. The gasoline engine delivers 166Nm of torque at 4,850rpm; the diesel generates 260Nm at just 1,900 rpm.

In most European markets, both engines will be offered with a choice of new six-speed manual or automatic transmissions - bringing the latest Soul's specification in line with the rest of Kia's modern product range.

Kia has sold more than 45,000 Soul cars in Europe since its launch in early 2009 and expects the refreshed model to continue to appeal to thousands of consumers as a popular, bold alternative to conventional B-segment vehicles when it goes on sale in October.


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