The upscale five-door Kia Rio X-Line hit the Russian market nearly two years ago and has completely replaced the 'ordinary' hatchback in the local range. And soon a similar option will appear in global Rio: according to the British edition of Autocar, Kia has almost decided to create a cross version of the hatchback for the markets of Europe and America.
Kia Rio X-Line Russian production
Recall that the global Rio is different from the Russian in a more compact body and another set of powertrains, and in fact they are only platform-bound. The crossover version, codenamed XRio, will have increased clearance and a plastic body, but the drive will remain front. Interestingly, such a car is already in the European range of the company: the all-terrain vehicle of the Kia Stonic is based on Rio, but has an original coupe. According to preliminary information, the next generation of Stonic will become taller and off-road, thus freeing up a niche for the XRio.
By the way, according to legend, the idea of creating a cross-Rio belongs to the Russian traders of the company. It was they who offered the headquarters to create such a car, looking at the success of the Renault Sandero Stepway (this version represents two-thirds of Sandero's sales in Russia). Since our Rio is the closest relative of the Chinese model Kia K2 and their development was carried out in parallel, the idea of a cross hatchback was chosen by the Kia division in China. The five-door Kia K2 Cross debuted even earlier than the Russian car. As a result, the Chinese refused the main hatchback, although they developed such a car and even managed to certify it, but it did not reach the assembly line.