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New 2012 Kia Rio revealed


The third generation Kia Rio has been given a sporty makeover

The 2012 Kia Rio will go on sale in New Zealand at the end of October priced from $22,990.

A four-door sedan and three-door sports hatch will be released next year to complete the full Rio line-up.

The new Rio five-door hatch offers customers a choice of two four cylinder engines - a 1.4-litre petrol engine, and a 1.4-litre diesel engine to be released early next year.

Kia’s EcoDynamics package, which includes intelligent Idle Stop & Go technology to reduce fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions, is available on both manual variants. The full EcoDynamics package with the Rio CRDi achieves 4.1L/100km (69mpg) and a CO2 level of 109g/km, and the petrol version 5.3L/100km (53.4mpg) and 124g/km.

Kia says that due to a 36kg reduction in weight, the new Rio 1.4 petrol version has exactly the same power-to-weight ratio as the 1.6 model it replaces, yet the body shell is substantially stronger and has grown in size (up 20mm to 4045mm in length, 25mm more in the 1720mm width and 70mm longer in the 2570mm wheelbase, yet 15mm lower in overall height, to help deliver the appearance of a coupé).

“New Rio’s bold and distinctive personality brings it into line with the rest of Kia’s modern, design led-product range - continuing in the process of improving public perceptions of the Kia brand,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.

“Looking ahead, we plan to offer EcoDynamics across a broader range of models, including automatics. It’s a smart choice as consumers shift to more fuel-efficient and economical cars.”

There are four models in the 2012 Rio hatchback range, three petrol and one diesel powered, with two levels of trim, either LX or the more upmarket EX. The entry-level Rio 1.4LX ISG petrol manual is $22,990; the Rio 1.4LX petrol auto is $23,490; the Rio 1.4LX CRDi (diesel) ISG manual is $24,990; and the range-topping Rio 1.4EX petrol auto retails at $25,790.

The return of a diesel option in the Rio sees a new double-overhead cam powered by a common-rail engine delivering 66kW at 4,000rpm and 220Nm of torque across a broad 1,750 to 2,750rpm range. Matched to a 6-speed manual gearbox, it also comes standard with the full scale of Kia’s EcoDynamics fuel-saving technologies, including Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG), low rolling resistance tyres, drag-reducing front grille, gearshift indicator etc.

The same EcoDynamcs technology features are to be found on the 1.4-litre LX petrol model, also fitted with the 6-speed manual gearbox.

The 1.4-litre petrol engine, which also powers the two sequential-shift automatic models, is from Kia’s Gamma family. This engine is an all-aluminium, 16-valve, twin-cam unit, featuring continuously variable valve timing and multi-point fuel injection. It has a capacity of 1,396cc and, as tuned for the new Rio, develops 80kW at 6,300rpm and 137Nm of torque at 4,200rpm.

The re-engineered suspension is based on European specifications, with the emphasis on sporty handling. Brakes are discs all-round, rather than disc/drum found on many cars in this class. And in addition to the safety of ESC stability control, Rio features Hill Assist Control.

Inside, the hatch luggage area is 100mm wider than before, and standard features include high-tech daytime running lights, reverse warning sensors, body-coloured bumpers, door handles and door mirrors, in-cabin headlamp adjustment, air-conditioning, remote locking with in-built car alarm, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, four-way steering column adjustment, split folding rear seats, rear luggage cover, boot light, Bluetooth and an MP3-compatible/radio/CD audio system with USB and AUX ports.

The range-topping Rio 1.4 EX is distinguished by its 16-inch alloys with low-profile tyres, ultraviolet-reducing solar privacy glass, LED daytime running and rear combination lamps, climate air conditioning with auto de-fog, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, stereo controls on leather-wrapped steering wheel and automatic projection-type headlights.

See Kia Rio for sale.

Auto Trader New Zealand