The Rio has been stretched by 10mm in the wheelbase and by 15mm in overall length.
You might not imagine you’d notice that kind of difference, but combine it with a longer bonnet and front overhang, a shorter rear overhang, a roof that has been lowered by 5mm and a C-pillar that’s much slimmer and more upright than it was, and it begins to explain why the new car appears so markedly changed when compared with the old model.
The Rio not only has a better stance but also a much more convincing air of visual sophistication and maturity about it than the cutsie-looking, big-featured third-generation car.
It may be a touch less characterful, but it certainly looks serious about its assault on Europe. It also looks more like a car deserving of having a fairly large amount of money spent on it.
Under its skin, the Rio remains a conventionally constructed supermini with a steel body, a front-mounted engine, an in-line gearbox, driven front wheels, a MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam at the rear.
The car’s structure has been stiffened as well as enlarged and it now consists of 51 percent high-strength steel (up from 33 percent in the last version).