2012 Kia Rio Hatchback | Toronto Sun

2012 Kia Rio5 hatchback Review


2012 Kia Rio Review
By Joe Duarte, Toronto Sun
Kia goes down to Rio


The Kia Rio enters its fourth-generation with the familiar look of the latest Kia models.


Introduced at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the 2012 Rio will again be available in sedan and hatchback models in North America (Europe gets three-door and five-door bodystyles, but a North American sedan is due to launch at the 2011 New York show), with a body that’s wider, lower and longer (riding on a longer wheelbase). The overall dimensions significantly increase passenger and cargo space.


Search available trim options for the 2011 Kia Rio.
Whereas most companies tout their new generations as evolutions, Kia is saying the new Rio is a revolution, representing a complete departure from its predecessor to fit in with the new family of Kia products. The nose bears the tabbed Kia grille, though the logo now sits on top of it, and a light treatment unlike any other vehicle in the Kia stable.


In profile, the body also bears resemblance to the Sportage crossover vehicle, with the flowing C-pillar and “fast” rear window. The sloping roof and rising beltline could also be linked to Soul. The scooped out sides hint at sleek muscularity, adding to the athletic stance and dynamics. A reported 10 exterior body colours run the gamut from sporty and fun to premium and classy.
The interior is also all new and unique to Rio (with toggles for heating/ventilation and some secondary functions located centrally and low on the dash), though it bears family resemblance to other models, especially in the three-pod instrument cluster and the way the instrument panel stretches out horizontally to accentuate a wide expanse. As in previous models, Kia interior designers paid close attention to fit and finish, and interior details. To match the exterior colour selection, there are a few exclusive interior treatments, including Cognac Brown and Desert Grey two-tone interior treatments.


There are increases in leg room and head room all around, and among standard and optional features are keyless entry with push-button start, Bluetooth, navigation system, cruise control, climate control, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The trunk is now rated at 288 litres (a seven percent improvement over the previous gen), with a 60/40 split folding rear seatback increasing the cargo area exponentially
Europe gets a choice of gasoline and diesel engines, but North Americans will likely only be presented with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine (shared with the 2012 Hyundai Accent), mated to either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic.


Ride and handling is entrusted to an electric power assisted rack and pinion steering, MacPherson struts up front and rear torsion beams. Wheel travel is increased by 10 mm and the geometry is improved to reduce bump-steer and deliver a more compliant ride. Four wheel disc brakes are enhanced by an antilock system, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist for quicker stopping in emergencies. An Emergency Stop Signal flashes the brake lights three times to alert following drivers that Rio is braking fast.


Occupant protection is provided by six airbags and active front seat head restraints.
Other safety options include stability control, hill assist start, cornering HID headlights, an adjustable speed limiter, rear parking sensors and tire pressure monitoring.


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