The sedan will join Kia’s lineup this fall, along with the hatchback version earlier unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and on display in North America for the first time at the New York event.
“The all-new Rio brings Kia’s successful combination of world-class styling, outstanding fuel economy, advanced technologies and tremendous value to the smallest and most economical vehicle in the Kia lineup,” said Michael Sprague, vice-president of marketing and communications for Kia Motors America. “With gas prices rising, subcompacts are becoming increasingly more popular and with more power, up to 40 miles per gallon fuel economy and stunning design, the all-new Rio sets the standard in the subcompact class and becomes a vehicle that is not only affordable, but one that people will aspire to own.”
The Rio uses a 1.6-litre gasoline direct injection (GDI) four-cylinder engine with six-speed manual or automatic transmission. It also offers ISG technology, new to the Kia lineup, which shuts off the engine when the vehicle is stopped at a light or in traffic for improved fuel economy. The engineers reduced engine weight by 13 kg over the previous generation by adding an aluminum valve cover and block to the third-generation Gamma engine, along with cast iron linings for increased durability.
Conceived at Kia’s design studios in Irvine, California, the Rio mimics the aggressive body lines of other recently-launched Kia vehicles such as the 2011 Optima and Sportage, with a version of Kia’s signature grille and a larger air intake.
The 2012 Rio rides on an all-new platform and is longer, wider and lower than the previous generation, with an extended wheelbase that provides increased passenger and cargo capacity.