The 2017 Kia Rio goes on show at the Paris Motor Show.
The 2017 Kia Rio goes on show at the Paris Motor Show.

New Rio poised to clinch Kia top 10 position

SALES of the new Kia Rio will help entrench the South Korean brand in Australia's top 10 selling marques.

Just unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, we'll see the 2017 Kia Rio in January to coincide with the Australian Tennis Open. Kia will use its major sponsorship of the Open as the marketing platform to swing more buyers courtesy of the Rio's more mature look and expansive cabin.

Improved cabin space has seen the Rio named a "super-mini” in Europe and previous popularity has dictated this will be a five-door only model.

There will be three specification levels available, S, Si and SLi, which mirrors other vehicles in the brand's range.

The fourth generation Rio will also boast a distinctive local flavour. Kia's Australian suspension and tuning team, including the riding and handling guru Graeme Gambold, convinced the South Korean headquarters to use a similar part set-up to that used on the Cerato for to help deliver a more compliant and rewarding drive.

It will be available at launch with a four-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission, partnered to a 1.4-litre petrol engine.

Standard across the range will be smartphone connectivity applications Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

While there is no word on pricing, expect Kia to maintain a drive-away offer of $16,990 drive-away.

Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith has repeatedly been passionate about the success of the company's pricing structure, offering the Picanto pint-sizer from $14,990, the Rio at $16,990 and the Cerato at $19,990.

With expectations the new Rio will bolster sales from 600-650 a month to 1000, that will push Kia to well above the 40,000 units it will sell this year.

Kia is claiming the most sales ground of any of those marques in the top 10, progressing at an improvement rate of nearly 28% year-on-year.

Year to date sales, August 2016

1. Toyota 138,459 (share 17.7%)

2. Mazda 78,691 (10.0%)

3. Hyundai 68,489 (8.7%)

4. Holden 62,748 (8.0%)

5. Ford 54,126 (6.9%)

6. Mitsubishi 48,813 (6.2%)

7. Nissan 44,693 (5.7%)

8. Volkswagen 37,895 (4.8%)

9. Subaru 30,779 (3.9%)

10. Kia 28,551 (3.6%)

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