Kia's mini-MPV concept is production ready
4 March 2009

This is the Kia No3 concept, a pseudo-MPV that could end up changing its name to Rio Plus when it makes production later this year.

Kia is keen to distance the car from 'unsexy MPVs'. It calls the No3 "the first beautiful MPV", and while it isn't a stunner, it's certainly a decent-looking device. It's partly saved from a utilitarian look by curvy flanks and the short overhang/long wheelbase proportioning that’s fast becoming Kia’s trademark.

Designing this Kia was a struggle at first, according to chief designer Gregory Guillaume. "People buy these cars for pragmatic, rational reasons, and that’s a problem for designers, because we only do emotion," he told Autocar. "We didn’t want to drive it. But after we began imagining an MPV that we might want to drive, it became easier."

What you see here is pretty much the production car; only the matt paint, asymmetric glass roof, wheels and lamp details will not make it onto the real thing.

The production No3 will appear in September and then go on sale in the UK in March 2010, equipped with 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines. The model occupies the footprint of a Fiat Punto, and provides generous rear room with its sliding back seats.

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