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Kia wants to challenge Ford EcoSport with Rio X-line crossover


Kia turns the Rio into a crossover with the X-Line

When an automaker needs an instant crossover, they take a hatchback, raise it a bit, and add some body cladding. We've seen it with the Ford Focus Active and Toyota Yaris Cross. Kia, however, wants to do things differently with their other B-segment crossover. Dubbed the Rio X-Line, it will be offered alongside the Stonic in select markets and, by the looks of things, is significantly different from the standard hatch model.

For starters, the X-Line gets its own unique set of headlights which are upswept and stretch all the way to the middle of the fender. For comparison basis, the standard Rio hatch and sedan come with more square-looking units instead. The Rio X-Line also gets a front bumper which is only available in this variant. Its center air intake is slimmer compared to the hatch and sedan and is flanked by a pair of foglights. Corner air intakes meanwhile are larger than its low-riding counterpart and has a trapezoidal design which integrates the daytime running lights.


Even the side profile is different from the hatch, employing a more rakish roof and a different pair of rear doors. As for the rear itself, it has a totally different look from the hatchback. It employs longer, sleeker taillights and a unique tailgate reserved only for the X-Line. Black cladding then surrounds the entire bottom half of the crossover. Measuring in at 4240 mm long, 1750 mm wide and 1510 mm tall, it is 175 mm longer, 25 mm wider and 60 mm taller than the Rio hatch. Ground clearance meanwhile is rated at 170 mm, 20 mm more than the hatch.

Extensive changes were also made to the cabin of the Rio X Line over the Rio hatchback. For starters, the infotainment screen is set lower on the dashboard, making way for larger air vents near the top of the panel. The hatchback's trapezoidal corner vents then make way for upright, oval-shaped units. There are still parts lifted from the hatch, namely the front door panels, center console, and the steering wheel.

There are two engine options for the Rio X-Line. It starts with the familiar 1.4-liter mill with 100 PS and 132 Nm of torque. The optional engine is a 1.6-liter unit which makes 123 PS and 151 Nm of torque. Both engines can be paired to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. All variants are front wheel drive but feature driver aids such as stability control.

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