2011 Kia Rio UB spy shots

Here are the very-first spy shots of the all-new 2011 Kia Rio, codenamed UB!

It’s been a long, long wait, but it’s over now! The very-first prototype of next-generation Kia Rio sedan has finally stepped out in public for the first time and  Sonytone.com spies were on hand to capture the moment.

Codenamed UB, the prototype of the next-generation Rio sedan sports some heavy camouflage, which is covering the most important styling details of the new car. What is clear already is the fact that the 2011 Kia Rio will feature far more attractive exterior appearance as the current model.

Its exterior styling will be influenced heavily by the up-coming 2011 Kia Cadenza and next-generation Kia Optima mid-size sedans. It is evident from these spy shots that the 2011 Rio takes some styling cues from the afore-mentioned sedans, which is not bad since both of them look outstanding. It is also evident that the all-new Rio sports a new Kia family look as seen on new Kia Sportage, Sorento, Soul and Venga mini-mpv.

These very-first Kia Rio UB spy shots confirm that the 2011 Rio will initially be available as a sedan, like the new Hyundai Accent. A five-door hatchback is also expected to follow later.

According to initial reports, the next-generation Rio is going to share its powertrain technology with the up-coming 2011 Hyundai Accent. Under the hood, engines options will likely include a 1.4L and 1.6L four-cylinder engines packing 107 and 126 horsepower, respectively.

If that doesn’t sound interesting enough, Kia is also expected to introduce  a more potent 1.6L GDI four-cylinder engine, packing 140 horsepower, in the next-Rio. At least two modern diesel engines are also expected to be available in Europe.

Although there is no official word yet about the inaugural launch date of the 2011 Kia Rio UB, latest rumours suggest that full production of next-generation Rio will commence in the first half of 2011.

2011 Kia Rio gallery…

60 thoughts on “2011 Kia Rio UB spy shots

  1. this will be a 2012 model as the 2011 have already arrived at dealerships and still the old model (Canada)

  2. Just a personal taste kind of thing. 4 lugs looks tacky to me. Like faux fender vents look tacky to me. I would never own a car with four lugs. That is why I was implausibly excited when I found out the Forte had five lugs. I don’t know why, but I associate less than five with bad quality, and decreased cornering speed abilities. But again, just a personal preference.

  3. So this thing should show up at New York Auto Show, and land on dealer lots in September 2011. So lets see, Cadenza will be LA and/or NAIAS, what will be at Chicago?

  4. Speaking of Optima, today (Aug 31) is the 3rd anniversary of the purchase of our 2007 Optima EX! 55,167 miles and many more to come!

  5. Not to highjack this thread but I heard the 2011 Optima was at Road Atlanta in Georgia USA. Media were suppose to be test driving it.

  6. Sept 011` is way too long a wait. I want a 5 door hatchback as I love my Kia Rio5 but I won`t wait months or years for it. If the Hyundai Accent lauches earlier this time, (last time around Kia beat Hyundai Accent with the Rio Rio by almost 6 months), I`ll go with the Hyundai since they will be identical vehicles with only minor trim variations. I have owned the new Ford Fiesta since July 19, a 5 door SE Hatchback and love it but will replace my aging Kia Rio with another Korean vehicle hopefully later this Fall or early Winter.

  7. When a car is still in spy shots it means AT LEAST one year before it reaches US shores. Kia has to release it by the end of 2011, because the lazy idiots never took the time to put ESC in the JB Rio. ESC is a required feature for cars starting in 2012, and it pisses me off that Kia is waiting for the last possible minute. Kia, just because it is a subcompact doesn’t mean consumers aren’t concerned about safety!!!

  8. You guys are catching up to us with our ’08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS, Greg, regarding your Optima’s mileage. We now have 61,564 miles on our Lancer.

  9. Several years ago, I saw a picture of a french car with only 3 lug nuts, so 4 ought to be plenty.

  10. About GDi engine in the Rio,
    They (kia) suppose to implement new GDI engine in the Sportage too, but we get the 2.4 Theta II engine non GDi and 6 speeds instead! We are away from the 2.0L GDi Turbo 274 HP announced

  11. The Next Generation KIA Rio Sports Sedan, included is a potent 140HP engine with well over 40 MPG, a premium interior that best the VW Polo, and an alluring look and style.

    The Next Generation KIa Rio Sports Sedan is surely the Rio Deal.

  12. Attaboy- I think the engine you are referring to will be released later. It will be in the SX trim of the Sportage, and also the Optima. I don’t know about the exact bhp or torque specs, but it is a 2.0L turbo. So a 1.6L with GDI will probably also follow suit- delayed availability after a few months or the initial release.

    If only we can get HK to bring some of these R diesel engines to the US. They use the 2.0 and 2.4 in a number of vehicles, so a similar engine could fit multiple vehicles. They wouldn’t have the same issue BMW has with their US diesel- only available in the 3 series and X3 (and only with an automatic due to the extremely high torque!)…

  13. Great, so if I buy the new Optima, everyone will confuse it with the brand new Rio. Same mirrors, same fender vents, and same SX wheels (aside from 4 lugs).

  14. I think 5 lug nuts would look cluttered on such small wheels and also wouldn’t match the number of spokes on this one.
    I just hope they don’t use hubcaps for the lower trim levels this time.

  15. Jeff G., they sometimes use existing wheels from other models on these “mule” test cars, as a way of hiding what the real wheels will look like once it goes on sale. Not always though. I actually think these wheels look quite good on the new Rio, gives it a more upmarket look.

  16. Sportage sales are dismal. I don’t see them picking up anytime soon. If the Optima follows the same trend in the USA as in Korea, Kia could sell at least 20,000 Optimas per month. Kia is going to have a hard time keeping up with demand on that Optima. I don’t doubt that the Optima will outsell the Sonata, which is the fourth best selling sedan in the USA. The Sportage appeals to a much smaller market. If the Sportage EVER breaks 6,000 in any month I will be shocked. Cadenza will probably sell 6-9k per month. Rio is hard to tell so far, but probably 9-13k per month. If Kia could actually make the Forte competitive and market it right, they could easily sell 13-17k of them. But, since the midsize car market is the best selling market in the US, the Optima will have the highest sales. Bestsellers – Toyota: Camry, Honda: Accord, Nissan: Altima, Hyundai: Sonata, Ford: Fusion. What do those cars have in common? They are all midsize, and they are best sellers for their respective manufacturers. Kia: Soon to be Optima. And it will outsell the nearly 22k Sonata.

  17. Sorry to be disappointing….. not a chance this is the next gen. RIO sedan…….
    You’ll see spy-shots of the 3/5 doors before the 4 door….

  18. This is most definately the new Rio. What else would it be? The US spec Rio5 will be the Venga with this new Rio sedan’s front fascia. Oh, and this is obviously a Kia. Look at the 2011-Optima-esque wheels. It is not a Hyundai, because the Accent 4 door had already been shown. This is without question the Rio.

  19. I know I can’t prove it right now, but…just trust me on on this one…It ain’t the UB…….. Again, you’ll see the3/5 door before the sedan… We’ll talk about this when it’s all clear. And by the way I’m not a Toyota fan…

  20. Please tell us what this is if it is not the Rio. Because I was told there will not be a 3 door Rio, only a 5 door.

  21. 4 lugnuts – A or B segment car. Kia was mulling around the idea of a dedicated hybrid, but the Rio is overdue, and the 5 door is going to be a Venga with different body panels. I would be willing to bet that the dedicated hybrid will be C or D segment. Kia needs a RWD E or F segment sporty oriented car.

  22. I don’t see why the Ray has to be C segment. Just because the concept was C-segment? Ray could easily be B segment. Maybe a company can finally have a dedicated hybrid that doesn’t have a huge, ugly squared off rear end. But the Rio is way overdue. If the Rio is going to make it to the USA by 2012, it needs to be on sale in Korea by the beginning of 2011. Why would Kia go all-out on a 5 door Rio in the USA when the four-door Rio outsells the five-door Rio by a 10 to 1 margin? This is a Kia, this is a B segment car. UB is worldwide. Kia’s only four-door B segment sedan in Europe is the JB Rio. There are only two possibilities at this point. Dedicated hybrid or Rio 4-door.

  23. Ok, you guys just don’t get it and I won’t be able to prove that I am correct right now… so let’s just end it right here… but……………… I will look for you when the actual Rio 3/5 is and later the Rio sedan are unveiled to see what you have to … :)

  24. maybe because I cannot tell you what it is…….. just know this is not the Rio. The article is about these spy-shots being the next gen Rio… false… it’s not. They should edit the title…What is it? I just cannot tell you.
    Kind regards

  25. No kidding. I don’t care what anyone says, I don’t trust anyone else. This is obviously a Kia, and obviously the Rio. Sorry, but this is the Rio, for the US market. Europe will not have a B-segment 4-door – EVER AGAIN. So anyone who says this isn’t the Rio is not mysterious or clever, they are stupid, annoying, and a troll. Facts:
    *4 door Rio outsells the Rio5 7:1 in the USA
    *This vehicle has four lugnuts, making it an A or B segment vehicle
    *This vehicle is a Hyundai or a Kia, you can tell by the wheels
    *This vehicle is not an Accent because the Accent has already been seen
    *This vehicle is not an A segment vehicle
    *This is the Rio for the US market. a 5 door won’t come until later, and a 3-door most likely won’t come (Hyundai has the Veloster)

  26. Greg…obviously there is not market for a Rio sedan in Europe… They gave up on those things years ago…
    This, although it’s a KIA, it’s not a Rio, and I’m not stupid nor a troll…respect please.

  27. Hmm… Well, it was just a guess. And I didn’t really think it’d be the Soul. More wishful thinking…

    As for the specs listed in the article, is the 1.6L with 126 bhp the same engine as the Soul has? The Soul’s 1.6L is rated at 122 bhp (according to Kia.com). I was hoping they’d put the improved version in the Rio.

    Oh, I’d also like to add (and beat the dead horse): KMA should bring (at least) one of their CRDi engines to the USA. I’m sure one engine could work in multiple vehicles (i,e.: like the 2.0L gas/petrol used in the Soul and Forte; and formerly in the Spectra and Sportage etc.).

    Last: I just saw the tail lights on the SX Sorento. Nice! They are really sharp!


  28. Why? The Forte and Soul (Both C segment) have 5 lugnuts. Kia isn’t going to take a step backward. And, squarehole, you tell us that this isn’t the Rio, but you wont tell us what it actually is. So, by not telling us, you make yourself a troll (look up internet trolling). And Kia would be nailing their own coffin if they first had a 5 or 3 door in the USA. As previously stated, the 4-door outsells the 5-door 7:1. Currently Rio sales are around 2,400 per month. So by having only a 5-door, Kia would sell 343 Rios per month. Hmm, I wonder if that’s a good idea. Duh.

  29. Kia sells more Borregos than 5 door Rios, and they stopped selling the Borrego after one year. The Rio5 has been lucky.

  30. LOL!!! I just had my laugh for the day!!! Bigger then the Forte? Have you seen the pictures!?! My sides are aching!!! HAHAHA.

    squarehole, before you open your mouth again, you need to give credentials, because as of now, you are unknown and (I hate to keep using this word) a troll. If you can’t say who you are, what you do, where you are or HOW you know, just shut up, because no one is believing your spew.

  31. squarehole seems to be a big Kia fan with some idea that this is not the new world order Kia Rio, or it’s a European version Rio. Huh? Confusion is being spawned here to a degree. It’s the new Rio to me.

  32. yeah its kinda weird that after these initial spyshots….nothing… is it possible kia is planning to change the rio name? this case, squarehole may be right…

  33. Ok, maybe squarehole meant this wasn’t the Rio – by meaning that it was the K2. He never said it wasn’t B-segment. From what I hear, the product development department got negative feedback from random polls – regarding the alpha-numeric crap in the USA. I do hope they change the Rio name to something with less of a negative connotation. (Rio is nearly synonymous with Yugo, lol)

  34. Maybe kia will have 2 b-segment cars, each for a certain area. Kinda like they have the c-segment Cee’d in Europe, while US and Asia has the Forte…

  35. some pretty decent new shots of the Rio/not Rio just popped up the CarBlogger site, any chance this IS the replacement Rio? kinda liking the whole Optima ‘mini-me’ thing myself if it is… :)

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