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Old 03-09-2018, 04:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Evolution of the Kia Rio's upper grille: from functional, to fake, to ornamental

I happened to be in a Kia dealership recently, helping a friend shop for a new econobox.

I noticed that in 3 generations, the Rio upper grille has changed quite a bit:

2007: functional, normal grille ...

Functional, normal upper grille:

2017: "Fake grille" ...

Designed to look like a conventional grille, but it's almost 100% blocked:

2018: "Ornamental grille" ...

It's fully blocked, but aside from location, it's not really pretending to be a conventional grille -- there's no fake grillework / crosshatching pattern. It's smooth:

I've seen a similar smooth ornamental grille on the Kia Soul too. (And not just the EV version.)

Also interesting: those are actually functional air inlets (by the fog lamps) for the front wheel "air curtains". Interesting that the base Rio & Accent have such a thing.

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