Kia's new Rio goes on sale here on October 26. It will have a starting price of €15,295 for the 1.25 litre LX petrol engined entry level version, but Kia expects the bulk of sales to come from the higher specification EX version, with a price tag of €16,595.
The second engine option is a 1.4 litre 89bhp, with great available torque of 220Nm. The diesel gets a standard six-speed transmission, as opposed to a five-speed in the petrol version. The diesel engined version sells at €17,895 in EX specification. All new Rio versions qualify for Band A VRT and annual road tax, and Kia Motors Ireland predicts the petrol powered units will comprise between 60 and 70 per cent of its sales. This is because it will sell for €1,300 less than the diesel version and with similar specification (other than the gearboxes ), as well the same lower annual road tax rates.
Standard active and passive safety features include electronic stability control and six airbags, a stronger bodyshell with greater enhanced side-impact protection, hill-start assist and emergency stop signal.
Other standard items include air conditioning, front fog lights, rear electric windows, bluetooth, and 16” alloy wheels, and of course Kia's seven years, 150,000km warranty.
Kia now probably holds the strongest choice in the big selling B-segment, with the Venga MPV and soon to arrive revised Soul, a crossover SUV, as well as the new Rio, which has a bold and distinctive design that makes it stand out in the nicest possible way. The styling changes on the new Rio can be comfortably described as revolutionary, and certainly not an evolution from its bland predecessor. Overall, Kia is confident of capturing an even larger share of the increasingly popular compact car market.
The new model is longer, wider and lower, and features a wheelbase extended by 70mm – greatly enhancing passenger space and cargo capacity. With an overall height of 1,455mm, new Rio has one of the lowest roof-lines in Kia’s European product range, emphasising its purposeful stance.
Marketed for the first time in Europe with a choice of five and three-door bodystyles, new Rio is set to completely redefine its position in one of the most competitive sectors.
It has to be very good if it is to make a positive impact in the toughest segment in the European car market. There are currently an amazing 45 different models sold to European car buyers. I believe the new Rio will do very well in this crowed market. In Ireland, Kia expects to sell 1000 new Rio models in 2012.
In addition to appealing to consumers’ aesthetic tastes, the new Kia Rio will lead the company’s efforts to significantly grow its market share across the world by offering industry-leading environmental improvements and low running costs.
As mentioned, the engine choice in Ireland will be a 1.25 petrol engine (83bhp, and CO2 of 114g/km. ) and the 1.4 diesel (89bhp, and CO2 of 109g/km. ).
To reduce fuel consumption on all new Rio versions and help achieve class-leading emissions, Kia engineers have carried out an extensive programme to shed weight across a broad range of components.
As a result, new Rio is no heavier than the car it replaces – even though it is a significantly larger car than the third-generation model with extra equipment and offers additional options and features.
The new three-door model will join the line-up in the first quarter of 2012. Both versions are being manufactured exclusively in Korea.
The new Rio, with its greater emphasis on style and quality, emphatic lead in fuel economy and emissions, and a wider range of equipment, is set to fulfill Kia's expectations that the new Rio will be a top-10 contender in the supermini market.