The all-new Kia K3 sedan has made its debut in Mexico as a replacement for Kia Rio. Since the current (fourth) generation Rio was introduced in 2016 and was updated with a facelift in 2020, a successor was long overdue.
Previously, the K3 served as an alternative name for the Cerato/Forte, but it appears that the South Korean automaker has decided to change the nomenclature of its models, at least in Mexico. The K3 is initially being offered as a four-door sedan, but according to the Mexican motoring media, a five-door hatchback will also follow later, just like the predecessor Rio which was also available in sedan as well as hatchback forms.
The all-new K3 sedan is a much larger car than the outgoing Rio sedan, measuring 4,545 mm long (+160 mm), 1,765 mm wide (+40 mm), 1,475 mm tall (+15 mm), and with a wheelbase of 2,670 mm (+90 mm). These dimensions make the new Kia K3 even larger than the C-segment Cerato/ Forte. Thanks to the enhanced dimensions, the K3’s boot capacity has increased from the Rio sedan’s 387 liters to a generous 544 liters.
The wide “tiger nose” grille, which is flanked by unique DRLs that sweep back and extend along the edges, suggests that the K3’s front end was inspired by the K5 in terms of design. As a GT-Line grade, the car in the picture features “fangs” on the lower intake, giving the bumper an aggressive appearance.
The wraparound taillights at the back have a virtually J-shaped light signature, and a light bar on the chunky boot joins the two clusters. The black body cladding that runs along the bottom border and over the wheel arches gives the car a touch of SUV flair.
An extensive redesign of the inside includes a dashboard that has a simpler appearance and is reminiscent of the new EV6. The 10.25-inch touchscreen and 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster are housed in the same enclosure. The controls for media playback and the dual-zone climate system (with rear vents) are located on a panel that looks to be similar to that in the EV6 and is located below the central air vents and air conditioning display. The steering wheel’s design is also similar to the EV6, and significant features include USB-C connections, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 64-color ambient lighting, and two-device Bluetooth pairing.
Standard safety features include 6 airbags, ABS with EBD and ESC, while advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) consisting of front collision avoidance, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot collision avoidance assistance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assistance, and driving attention warning are available on selected trims.
All-new Kia K3 sedan debuts in Mexico
Under the hood, the all-new Kia K3 gets a 1.6L inline-four petrol engine with 122 hp that comes paired with either a 6-speed manual or an automatic gearbox. There is also a 2.0: naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that comes with the GT-Line variant, offering 152 hp and is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. An export-oriented 1.4L engine will also be made available.
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The new K3 will be produced in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and will go on sale in selected markets from the fourth quarter of this year. According to reports, Rio has been phased out in regions like Europe, North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa; therefore, the all-new Kia K3 will likely be targeted at developing regions like Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com