Kia New Rio

The latest Kia Rio features a higher quality interior and bolder exterior styling allied to sharper dynamics and improved refinement. Fuel consumption has also been improved by between 5% and 8%. These revisions have been achieved without a price increase making the New Kia Rio even better value-for-money with the range starting at £5995.

Revisions to the front of the New Rio include new lights, a bolder grille and higher bonnet line giving the car a distinct family look alongside the New Carens and latest Sedona MPV. The stance of the New Rio also benefits from the fitment of 14-inch wheels across the range. Enhancements to the interior have brought the car more in-line with European tastes. The interior changes include revised facia, switches, dashboard and centre console. Higher quality materials are used throughout including new seat fabric and trim.

The essence of the New Rio is that it is both a compact and spacious hatchback, which is easy to own and drive. The latest Rio adds greater driving enjoyment to this practical proposition, giving it greater appeal in particular to younger drivers. Detailed changes to the front and rear suspension have given the car greater poise through corners, while uprated brakes achieve a 13% improvement in stopping distances.

The dynamic improvements are set alongside substantial advances in refinement. This has been achieved by greater sound-proofing and new engine mounts, as well as detailed revisions to the exhaust system.

Both the 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre Rio now achieve in excess of 40mpg in the combined government fuel consumption rating. Meanwhile the low CO2 of the 1.3-litre ensures that it sits in the lowest company car tax band, with the 1.5-litre just one band above it.

Front suspension changes include fitting three-point front MacPherson struts instead of two-point struts, with strut length increased by 10mm. At the same time the stabiliser bar has been increased in diameter. The rear suspension benefits from a straightened lower torsion beam, a stabiliser bar that has increased diameter and a larger trailing arm bush.

The New Rio offers enhanced equipment levels including ISOFix child seat anchor points with top tether. The Rio 1.3 LX gains rear electric windows, remote central door locking, two front tweeter speakers, pollen filter, tilt adjustable driver’s seat, variable intermittent wash wipe, auto down driver’s window and time lag windows. The Rio 1.5 SE makes the same gains as the 1.3 LX, but in addition gets front fog lamps and RDS stereo audio with in-dash single CD player.

In summary, Kia’s stylish baby New Rio combines supermini prices with cavernous carrying capacity. Keen pricing places the five-door Rio alongside three-door superminis, yet it can comfortably accommodate four or five adults and luggage.

With prices ranging from £5995, Rio is a ‘Focus size’ car at a ‘Fiesta three-door’ price. The top-of-the-range 1.5 SE, priced at £8995, comes with air conditioning, alloy wheels, fog lights, rear roof spoiler, leather steering wheel and gear knob as well as ABS with EBD.

Choosing a more spacious car does not necessarily mean that it will be more expensive to run. The 1.3 Rio is placed in insurance group 3 and with an extra-urban fuel consumption of 52.3mpg and a combined figure of 42.8mpg, has very competitive ownership costs. The 1.5-litre is rated in group 6 and has an extra-urban fuel consumption of 49.6mpg and a combined figure of 40.9mpg.

All Kias benefit from a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty, six-year anti-perforation warranty and three-years’ European roadside assistance for peace of mind when abroad.


Published : 05/01/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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