Kia Rio

From Kia press: Kia’s all-new fourth-generation Rio, revealed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, boasts a bold and distinctive personality, bringing the latest model into line with the rest of Kia’s striking design-led product range.

Tasked with the difficult job of improving upon the international sales success of the previous generation model, Kia’s engineers and designers have created a new Rio which appeals to consumers’ aesthetic tastes. However, new Rio will also drive sales through its low running costs and class-leading CO2 emissions – with target figures for the model range starting at just 85 g/km.

The 5-door version of new Rio will go on sale in the UK from September with the all-new 3-door model on sale from early 2012. Both versions will be manufactured exclusively at Kia’s Sohari plant in Korea.

This new car is no evolution of its predecessor, it is a revolution. The bold and distinctive personality of the new Rio represents a complete departure from its predecessor and fits perfectly into the revitalised new family of Kia products.

Viewed head on, new Rio has its own unique interpretation of the Kia corporate grille which is integrated with the front lamps to create a new twist on the Kia family look. In this latest form, the Kia logo now sits above the grille. Below the grille, the treatment of the front bumper and spoiler again shows signs of the Kia design DNA. In profile, the ratio of body to glass and the car’s strong wedge form give Rio a dynamic stance.

The Rio shows its connection with the Sportage, too, through its strong and stable rear, flowing C-pillar and dominant high shoulder. The coupe-like roof-line contrasts dramatically with the rear bumper and gives a power and solidity to the rear view.

This bold but elegant appearance is strengthened by the distinctive feature line which adds tension to the flanks and accentuates the dynamic stance of the car. The careful balance of window graphic, wheelbase and overall proportion give Rio a refined and premium presence.

In many countries, diesel power is the preferred option in this segment and Rio will be available with two versions of Kia’s ‘U2′ power unit – both fitted with 16-valves and a Waste Gate Turbo. The 1.4-litre generates 90 ps and 216 Nm of torque, while the 1.1-litre produces 70 ps and 162 Nm. Both engines deliver maximum torque from just 1,750 rpm.

A well-proven power unit in the Kia line-up, the updated ‘Gamma’ has friction-reducing modifications and dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, to achieve a responsive performance and competitively modest fuel consumption. With maximum output of 109 ps and peak torque of 136 Nm, this engine powers the fastest Rio – accelerating to 100 kph (62 mph) in 11.5 seconds and reaching a top speed of 181 kph (112 mph).

Standard transmission for both diesels and the larger petrol engine will be a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.25-litre 85 ps petrol engine has a five-speed box. A four-speed automatic gearbox will be available as an option on the 1.4-litre 109 ps petrol engine.

Gallery: Kia Rio