The new Kia Rio will launch next year and the Korean car maker has hinted that it will spin-off an SUV variant to compete in the compact SUV segment.

SUV SALES ARE booming and categories and models that you never thought would offer SUV variants are beginning to do so. Mini, for instance. But now Kia is getting in on the act with a line from its Western Europe team boss, John Kim saying ““Kia is launching some new products next year, such as a new Rio, with an SUV as well.”

Last year, UK newspaper, The Telegraph, ran a report claiming Hyundai was dropping its globally successful i30 and would replace it with a compact SUV instead. This was proved to be nonsense. But, sibling Hyundai does off the Creta, which Kia could use as a spin-off to create a compact SUV version of the Rio.

This would give the Korean car maker a leg up in the compact SUV segment against the likes of the Subaru XV, Mazda CX-3, and Nissan Juke as well as Suzuki Vitara.

Beyond that one sentence there’s little to go on, so whether Mr Kim meant Kia would produce an SUV variant of the Rio, or simply that they’d release another SUV next year remains to be seen.

Question: What do you think, would an SUV variant of the Kia Rio be a good move?


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