The 2018 Kia Rio is a significant improvement compared with its predecessor. Despite its myriad advancements, however, the new Rio does suffer from one noteworthy setback in that it lacks a range-topping, sport-oriented trim like the previous Rio SX.
Enter the new Rio GT-Line, sort of. Set to make its debut in March at the 2018 Geneva auto show, the GT-Line adds handsome 17-inch wheels, chrome window trim, a roof spoiler, aggressive side sills, sporty front and rear fascias, and a set of LED fog lights. Additionally, the interior features black faux-leather seating, faux carbon-fiber trim, and a flat-bottom steering wheel.
There’s not a ton of power to accompany the changes, however. In Europe, the Rio GT-Line will debut with a turbocharged 1.0-liter inline-three. The tiny triple comes paired strictly with a six-speed manual transmission and produces 118 horses—12 fewer than the 1.6-liter inline-four that powers U.S.-spec Rios.
Unfortunately for those of us who like its looks, a Kia spokesperson informed us that the company has no plans to bring the trim to the United States. Nevertheless, even if the GT-Line addendum somehow manages to make it to our shores, we wouldn’t anticipate the 118-hp triple to arrive with it.
The Rio GT-Line goes on sale across the pond this spring. Meanwhile, we Yanks will have to make do with the dowdier-looking—but still competent—Rio LX, S, and EX trims for the time being.