Kia Motors Australia has launched its fourth-generation Rio setting a new packaging benchmark in the light passenger vehicle category and introducing a choice of 3-, 4- and 5-door body styles across the range.
The new Rio, which is available in S, Si and SLi trim levels, combines European flair, Australian drivability with Korean spice and starts at just $16,290. The range topping SLi comes standard with LED daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with a low profile, high performance 205/45/R17 Continental tyre as standard, making it one of the most feature packed vehicles in its class.
“Rio is a crucial member of the Kia family,” said Kia Motors Australia President and CEO Mr MK Kim. “As the car that introduced so many Australians to Kia, its role as an ambassador cannot be overstated.
“The new Rio will continue that role, but as the beneficiary of all Kia has learned and refined since the journey began. It will do so with a new level of refinement, a new maturity and a new richness.”
Like the Sportage, Cerato and Optima before it, the new Rio’s suspension and running gear has benefited from a stringent program of local optimisation. The Ride and Handling Dynamic Program included comprehensive local testing and fine-tuning to ensure responsive handling while maintaining stability, ride quality and refinement – in line with the discerning Australian customer’s expectations.
The three bodystyles will be available with a choice of two engines matched to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission with manumatic (manual and automatic) shift gate in the Si and SLi trims and either a 6-speed manual or 4-speed manumatic transmission in the base model S.
The 1.6L Gamma GDi petrol engine is fitted to both the midrange Si and top of the range SLi Rio models. The Gamma is the smallest Kia engine yet to benefit from the application of GDi (Gasoline Direct Injection) technology and develops 103kW at 6300rpm and 167Nm at 4850rpm – a 13 per cent improvement in power over a conventional Gamma 1.6L MPI fed engine.
The base model Rio S comes with a 1.4L MPI 4-cylinder petrol powerplant with DOHC and CVVT and produces 79kW of power at 6300rpm and 135Nm of torque at 4200rpm. That is a power boost of 9kW and a torque increase of 10Nm over the outgoing model.
Safety is a non-negotiable subject at Kia. Five-star crash integrity is the target of every new car while the standard inclusion of six airbags and electronic stability control across the range is designed to keep Kia customers and their families as safe as possible.
An all-disc braking system with 256/262mm (front/rear) diameter discs (S and Si models) and 280/262mm diameter discs (SLi), HAC (hillstart assist control), ESC (electronic stability control), ABS anti-lock brakes, EBD (electronic brake distribution) and BA (brake assist) systems ensure all new Rio owners have the latest in vehicle control systems.
This comprehensive array of electronic safety acronyms are overseen and monitored by the new Vehicle Stability Management program. VSM utilises the computing power of a central ECU to seamlessly integrate the operation of all the traditional active safety systems.
If required, six front, side and curtain airbags offer protection to occupants in the event of an accident while night time driving is made safer by the availability of projection headlamps and new front ‘cornering’ lamps.
Cruise control from the Si model up and daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, projection front headlamps, static cornering lamps, auto light control and an enhanced brake package in the range topping SLi, makes Rio one of the most feature packed models in its category.
All models come with Bluetooth® connectivity and a radio CD player with MP3 compatibility plus AUX, iPod and USB connections – all controlled remotely from the steering wheel for added convenience and safety. Electric heated side mirrors are also standard across the range.
The 5-door Hatchback is the first body shape to be launched in Australia. The 3- and 4-door variants will hit Australian roads in early 2012.
Target CO2 emissions for the model range start at just 133 g/km making it a top contender in the government’s Green Vehicle Guide.