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Wednesday, 19 January 2022
THE Kia Rio is one of those small cars that should attract new car buyers simply because with each new generation and/or upgrade it gets better and better.
The car has been with us since 1999 — and globally the Rio is Kia’s best seller, with sales close to 475,000 a year.
The new model offers new efficient powertrains — including Kia’s first petrol 48V mild-hybrid system, equipped with one of the first applications of the carmaker’s new clutch-by-wire intelligent manual transmission.
The updated Rio is the largest and most spacious Rio yet. It integrates a cutting-edge second-generation connectivity package and advanced driver assistance systems.
These feature new 48-volt mild hybrid turbocharged petrol engines at the head of a more efficient powertrain line-up.
The new Rio also has a freshly polished appearance that I liked very much. It will be sold as a five-door model only.
This week when I was looking for a parking space in a busy town I reflected on the sheer size of cars available today. I was able to park the Rio in spaces that might have been impossible for those larger models that seem to predominate.
In which case, you have to ask yourself — why would I need a larger car to visit an average-sized town where street parking is at a premium?
The answer of course, is that you don’t need a large car and that is why superminis and cars such as the Rio will always be popular, whatever their power source.
But that’s not all — I had to make at least one longish motorway trip in the Rio and it performed perfectly well. The car was comfortable and easy to live with in its latest incarnation.
Inside, the Rio features a series of visual, material and technological upgrades to create a more upscale atmosphere and enhance quality.
The main update is a new larger 8.0-inch widescreen and a higher-resolution 4.2-inch digital display in the driver’s instrument cluster, both featured on grades 2 and above.
GT-Line S models are offered with a black cloth and faux leather upholstery with silver contrast stitching on the seats, and a carbon fibre-effect dashboard for added visual impact.
All models are equipped with driver seat height adjustability, helping the driver to find their ideal position.
The Rio is offered in the UK in an eight-model line-up based on three engines, three gearboxes and four trim levels, including sporty GT-Line S variants that crown the small car range.
The Rio is available with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist for city, pedestrian and cyclist detection with Forward Collision Warning and Lane Follow Assist.
It also features both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, while the Phase II UVO Connect telematics system makes an appearance on the Rio for the first time.
The Rio’s refreshed design retains the car’s iconic “tiger nose” grille, narrowed for a more focused appearance and matched by a lower, wider front bumper and distinctive new fog lamp housing.
Kia continues its mission to provide a choice of models that reflect the demanding motoring times we live in.
The Rio is testament to the continuing road map of progress being forged by the South Korean carmaker.
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