2012 Kia Rio

The two Kia and its greater sister brand Hyundai are firing with each barrels lately. The most recent evidence is the all-new 2012 Kia Rio, a trendy reinterpretation of the Korean brand’s subcompact entry that joins the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, and its relative the Hyundai Accent at the top rated of the small-auto rankings. Its excellent seems to be, lavish functions, and fuel efficiency have got be producing our longstanding favorite in this class, the now-aging Honda Fit, seem nervously over its truncated tail.

Kia’s wedgy styling performs better on the five-door Rio hatchback than it does on the 4-door sedan, but each carry off taut, European-inflected lines with grace. The nipped-in Kia grille and swept-back headlights are recognizable, with sculpting behind the front wheels top back to the far more rounded contours of the rear end. Inside, the dash is clean, functional, and nicely finished, with a significant show screen and airplane-type rocker switches.

The 138-horsepower, one.6-liter four-cylinder engine can be paired with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain EPA gas-mileage ratings of 30 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 34 mpg with the manual but, oddly, 33 mpg with the automatic. There will also be a start-stop selection, for $ 400, that shuts off the engine when the car isn’t moving. It restarts as quickly as the driver begins to release the brake pedal, which will add one mpg to the city rating.

The 2012 Kia Rio may use a standard strut and torsion-beam suspension, but you’d by no means know it from the entertaining handling. It holds the road nicely, rides smoothly, and has extremely little of the crashing and bounding that used to define modest vehicles. The electric energy steering is predictably numb, but it’s weighted nicely beneath tighter and tighter turns. The new Rio is simply miles ahead of the old a single, and practically as enjoyable as the cheerfully raucous turbocharged edition of the Chevy Sonic. For sportier tuning, go for the SX model.

Inside, the 2012 Rio isn’t fairly as large as the hardly-a-subcompact Nissan Versa, nor does it have really the volume of the Hyundai Accent or Honda Match. As an alternative, the Kia Rio is about the exact same size as the Ford Fiesta, at about 160 inches lengthy. The front seats have a exceptional long array of travel, and pleasantly significant bottom cushions. But back-seat pasengers will not appreciate the room of some other subcompacts, with minor spare room for knees or heads. The cargo bay holds 15 cubic feet in the hatch, with the sedan providing 13.7 cubic feet of trunk volume. The Rio has the typical array of airbags and electronic safety systems, but hasn’t however been rated for crash safety by the NHTSA or IIHS. A rear-view camera is optional, however, which is uncommon on autos this modest.

The least expensive 2012 Kia Rio is the manual-transmission LX sedan, at $ 13,400, although you may be difficult-pressed to locate 1 at your local dealer, since Kia expects only 5 % of purchasers to go for the manual. Adding the automatic ups the price tag a hefty $ 1,a hundred, and then the EX edition begins at $ 16,300 and the SX at $ 17,500–the two are offered only with the automatic. The hatchback is $ 200 more in each and every trim level.

Standard devices on even the base Rio incorporates 15-inch wheels, tilt-adjustable steering, a rear spoiler, split-folding rear seats, and an AM-FM-CD player with a port for connecting satellite radio, a USB port, and audio controls built into the steering wheel. The mid-degree EX version builds in power windows, locks, and mirrors, along with cruise manage, air conditioning, telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel, and Bluetooth gadget pairing. At the top rated of the line, the SX model rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels, along with a sport-tuned suspension, greater front disc brakes, power-folding side mirrors that are heated, LED headlamp and tail lamp accents, and fog lamps. It also gets a Kia edition of the Microsoft voice-command method Ford sells as Sync, even though Kia’s has fewer accessible commands for audio and mobile phone. Possibilities contain a navigation method, pushbutton commence, leather seats, front seat heaters, and a sunroof.

For far more particulars, see the total evaluation of the 2012 Kia Rio on our sister internet site, TheCarConnection.

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