Busy year ahead for Kia

* Kia launches revealed to end of 2011 * New Rio supermini is next * followed by Optima family car...

20 May 2011
Busy year ahead for Kia

Following on from the new five-door Picanto which we reviewed this week, Kia is preparing the way for more launches in 2011 with the all-new Rio due next in September.

Kia claims that, like the Picanto, the Rio will also be a step up in terms of quality and refinement.

The new Rio will start from around 10,000 and come with 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol engines. There'll also be a 1.4 diesel and a 1.1 that averages 88mpg and emits just 85g/km.

Kia hopes the car will steal sales from not only the 89g/km Toyota Prius hybrid, but also from VWs Golf Bluemotion. Expect the eco Rio to be cheaper than both these cars.

In October, the arrival of a three-door model will bolster the Picanto range, while in December the Optima family car will be launched.

Kia is a little frustrated that it'll have to wait for the estate version of the Optima, however, because it feels the saloon that arrives first will appeal less to fleet buyers.

Both models are based on the Hyundai i40, which will be available as an estate from September, followed by the saloon in 2012.