FOLLOWING ITS world debut at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, the all-new KIA Rio has made its South African debut.
Now in its fourth generation, KIA’s popular B-segment contender features not only a progressive, stylish and award-winning exterior design, but also a redesigned interior with a thoroughly up-to-date ‘floating’ interface and a raft of new in-car technologies.
The Rio is one of KIA’s best selling models globally, with particularly the outgoing third-generation model credited with establishing the Korean brand as a force to be reckoned with.
Despite it nearing the end of its lifecycle, the outgoing model still sold almost 450,000 units globally in 2016, accounting for 15% of KIA’s annual sales. In South Africa, the Rio has also been a consistent bestseller for KIA, along with the Picanto and Sportage making up the brand’s core trio of game changers.
Following its launch in 2012, the Rio hatch was an immediate success and was consistently lauded by the public and motoring media alike. Not only did it come out tops in the Standard Bank People’s Wheels Awards, but it was also nominated as a finalist in the WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year competition – following in the footsteps of its 2006 predecessor.
The new, fourth-generation Rio has big shoes to fill, but more than lives up to the challenge with its progressive design, class-leading practicality, more engaging ride and handling and greater safety credentials. Having already scooped up the prestigious international iF Product Design Award and Red Dot Design Award, it shows that the new Rio is perfectly ready and set to outrun ordinary.
“As one of our best-selling models locally, the Rio is an important car for us. The B-segment is a hotly contested area of the new car market, and the third-generation Rio has introduced more people to the KIA brand than ever before. It is vital that the new Rio continues the momentum for the brand,” says David Sieff, Marketing Director, KIA Motors South Africa.
“The Rio’s attractive design, low running costs and practical nature have made the car a ‘gateway’ to the brand, an entry point into KIA ownership for hundreds of thousands of buyers around the world. It’s for these reasons that the outgoing model has sold in record numbers. The all-new Rio builds on these strengths and has been designed and engineered to meet the needs and desires of a wider range of buyers – it is now even more desirable thanks to a more enjoyable drive, a striking new design and improved safety.”
The new KIA Rio is offered with revised versions of KIA’s familiar naturally aspirated 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre MPI (multi-point injection) petrol engines. The 1.25-litre engine produces peak power of 62 kW at 6,000 r/min and 120 Nm torque at 4,000 r/min. The 1.4-litre engine produces 74 kW at 6,300 r/min and 135 Nm torque at 4,200 r/min. Both engines apply power to the front wheels, either through a five-speed manual transmission (on the Rio 1.2) or a six-speed manual transmission (on the Rio 1.4-litre). A four-speed automatic transmission is available on 1.4-litre models.