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Kia’s prize fighter Rio is the brand’s best-selling vehicle globally and has enjoyed much success in the local market with sales averaging over 200 units per month in 2014. One way to attract customers is to blow them away with attractive styling and Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Design Officer at Kia Motors, has done just that with this facelifted Rio.
Step inside the Kia Rio and you are met with a predominantly black interior with hard plastics dominating most surfaces.
This Kia Rio comes with a multifunction steering wheel with mounted audio and Bluetooth controls and the steering wheel is also height and reach adjustable. In terms of space, the Kia Rio offers a fair amount and rear passengers will be happy with sufficient leg and head room. Our Kia Rio test unit is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.4-litre petrol engine that offers 79 kW and 135 Nm of torque driving the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. At higher speeds the Rio copes well but due to the lack of tractability, overtaking requires a bit of planning and downshifting to access the necessary power. The Rio comes fitted with an impressive six airbags, ABS, EBD and rear park distance control, but that’s where the safety features end. The Kia Rio 1.4 Tec manual on test here is priced from R216 995 excluding the sunroof (R7 000).
The Kia Rio won us over with its good looks, but excitement deflated the moment we stepped in for a drive. This is an ultra competitive segment and even though the Kia Rio is well-built and affordable vehicle, it gets outgunned by its turbocharged rivals such as the Volkswagen Polo, Opel Corsa and Renault Clio. Gero Lilleike is a published writer and photographer with most of his work appearing in the fields of travel and motoring. The facelifted Kia Rio was introduced to market in February 2015 with some minor exterior and interior changes to keep it relative and competitive, but it faces serious competition in the B-segment from cars such as the Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Opel Corsa, Ford Fiesta and Mazda2.


It’s difficult to deny the Rio’s good looks and it’s probably a big reason why it’s selling so well. This particular model is fitted with comfortable leather seats and the driver’s seat is also height adjustable. The centre rear passenger will however have to make do with a lap seatbelt which could be scary in an accident situation. In real terms, those figures are sufficient for your average daily runabout, but if you are looking for punchy performance, you won’t find it in the Rio. Most of the Rio’s rivals, such as the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta, offer traction control and ESP, which puts the Rio on the back foot in terms of safety spec. For a car that looks so pretty, we feel Kia could have done better with the interior execution as well as improving the ride quality. Gero has worked in the motoring space for the last four years and enjoys driving and photographing the latest cars. HD Wallpaper and background images in the Cameron Diaz club tagged: diaz cameron cameron diaz image actress. This revised Rio comes with a re-worked ‘tiger-nose grille’ and a new front bumper with lower air intakes and fog lights which gives the Rio a bit of sporty flair. This facelifted model features chrome accents around the air vents as well as new piano black trim around the radio, which in the opinion of some reviewers, looks rather tacky as opposed to being perceived as being upmarket. Family orientated buyers will appreciate that the Rio comes fitted with rear ISOFIX child seat mounts. It soon became clear, that despite its sporty looks, the Rio’s performance is rather sedate and you really have to hammer the pedal to get the most out of it. As a result, the Kia Rio doesn’t deal with poor roads very well and imperfections are felt crashing into the cabin regularly.


It also comes fitted with some snazzy-looking 17-inch alloy wheels which rounds off a good-looking offering. Boot space is in line with its competitors at 288-litres and expands to 923-litres with the rear seats folded flat.
A turbocharged engine in the Rio would offer more flexibility and make the drive that much more exciting.
Nevertheless, the Rio isn’t all bad as it offers decent space, a solid warranty and competitive pricing, which may be enough to keep buyers happy. Overall, there’s not much to get excited about inside the Kia Rio as it seems to be rather ordinary. The loading sill is high though, which means you may pull a back muscle loading heavy items into the boot.
Thankfully, shifting through the gears is relatively smooth and comfortable, making the Rio an easy, fuss-free car to drive on a daily basis, albeit lacking in the power department. The absence of ESP and traction control may be of concern to safety conscious buyers, especially when considering other cars in this segment have moved the game forward in this regard.
This test unit also came fitted with an optional sunroof (R7 000) which brightens up the interior somewhat.



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18.07.2014 admin



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