The latest Kia Rio surprises and impresses not just in terms of design, but also emerges as a serious contender against its European rivals. Although the Rio’s design is not as aggressive as the Picanto, the model sports a bolder stance through its larger headlamps and distinct bow-tie grille. Other notable improvements include increased width and a lower height. In terms of engine power, the latest Rio has been fitted with a three-cylinder 1.1-litre engine that’s known for its fuel economy. Read on to see what new features and upgrades the Rio dares to bring with its new model.
The newest Rio model doesn’t just sport new measurements but has also made serious improvements to its appearance, dynamics, and interior volume. Cabin room is improved thanks to the addition of 70mm on the wheelbase. Despite the increase in dimensions, the Rio hasn’t increased its weight: the lightest 1.25-litre engine model just weigh 1200kg, while the heaviest vehicle is at 1334kg. The cabin is functional and ergonomically sound in terms of design, including a moulded insert to prevent a phone from dropping and even two 12v power sockets on the dashboard. Plus there’s more than enough space for both passengers and the driver to enjoy. And although the wheelbase is longer and the vehicle wider than its previous life, the windscreen sits closer to the front by 156mm to give an airier ambience to the interior. Plus the vehicle is also well-equipped and more than complete considering the Kia Rio’s actual price; expect 15-inch steel wheels, electric front windows, an aux-in and USB comptabiel stereo, and Bluetooth to be included with the entry-level Rio model. The upgraded ‘2’ trim includes front fog lamps, alloy wheels, an air-conditioned glove box, and more leather and chrome to the interior.
Drivers will also appreciate easy adjustment of the seat and the easy reach of the steering wheel. Headroom is also generous, so both tall and short drivers will have no problems settling into the next journey.
Despite being a supermini, the Kia Rio provides enough space for kids at the rear. Don’t expect the rear area to give enough room for two tall adults. Thankfully the boot is accommodating at 288 litres and can be expanded with the split of the folding rear seats at 60/40.
Engine power is impressive, particularly with the 1.4-litre unit that comes with the six-speed gearbox that arrives at 60mph in just 11.4 seconds. Equally impressive is the 1.2-litre petrol engine that can achieve the 60mph sprint after 12.6 seconds.
Although the Kia Rio engines impress in terms of speed and performance, the turbodiesels could still use improvement in terms of low-end response. Noise levels are kept at a minimum but similar turbo petrol engines from Ford and Skoda still provide a better ride. These may be minor details to first time buyers, but keeping your reputation in the market entails covering even the smallest details. The 1.4-litre CRDI is the weakest of the range as it tends to be flat at about 2000 rpm. Thankfully it makes up for this in terms of refinement levels.
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