The popular Kia Rio returns in a new dynamic package

The popular Kia Rio returns in a new dynamic package - Kia Rio 2017 Cape Town South Africa

I have just come back from Johannesburg where I spent two days eating some of the best food my eyes have ever seen, relaxing and oh yes driving the all new Kia Rio, one of Kia’s best sellers.

Debuted at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, the city of Johannesburg was graced with the 4th generation of this B segment contender. The all new Kia Rio is a compact 5 door hatchback with a progressive, stylish and award winning design. The third generation model sold almost 450K units globally in 2016 and in South Africa the Rio has been a best seller. Let’s find out more!

The new Kia Rio has a dynamic and progressive new exterior and interior. With straight lines and smooth surfaces, the Rio is very elegant yet sportier than the third generation. At the front you have a thin grille with a gloss black grille mesh and chrome detailing. The headlamps are more sculpted for a sharper look and together with the U shaped LED daytime running lights, the new Rio has a very distinctive look.

The rear is pretty up right with the windscreen nearly being at 90 degrees. You will find straight lines that run from the grill, through the headlamps and along the top of the door giving the Rio a strong appearance. Higher specced models have the option of arrow shaped led taillights which I think look very cool. Coming in 8 colours with either 15 or 17 inch alloy wheels or 15 inch wheel covers, model dependent, you can easily find a Rio to match your personality.

The Rio features a very modern cabin. Taking from the exterior design ques, straight lines are found on the dashboard that define the shape of the interior. These lines also create depth as well as give a 3D look to the various dashboard components. The soft touch dash houses either a small display or an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen depending on the model. Below the infotainment system, the driver-oriented center console features fewer buttons, with more ergonomic, concave switches and rotator dials below to control the heating and ventilation.

Whilst the Rio may look smallish from the outside, on the inside is another story. There is space for 5 adults as well as 325 litres of boot space. For more boot space, the rear seats can be folded in 60:40 split. We easily put a few bags in the boot during our test drive without a problem.

Just like the other vehicles that Kia has on offer, the Rio has USB and auxiliary ports to charge and play music from your device. As standard, all models come with steering wheel mounted audio controls as well as Bluetooth connectivity for hands free calls. Higher specced models support voice recognition for a hands free experience.

With either black cloth or leather upholstery and a leather trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, the Rio is very comfortable.

Features such as electric windows, electrically controlled door mirrors, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and a Rear Park Assist System with reverse camera to name a few, the Rio makes everyday tasks easier. The Infotainment System also features Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ for full smartphone integration.

To isolate wind, road and engine noise New dashboard soundproofing materials have been adopted to reduce engine noise levels in the front of the cabin, while a stiffer front subframe minimises vibrations from poor road surfaces. New front wheel air deflectors, a full under-body cover and vertical ‘blades’ extending downwards from the trunk spoiler, help to reduce wind noise and aerodynamics.

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.

The Rio handled Joburg traffic pretty well. The Rio has agile handling and enhanced steering response. Take offs are decent and the gear changes are quick and responsive. I found on hills I had to quickly drop about two gears to get enough oomph to get going.

The new Rio is one of the safest cars in its class, constructed on high-strength steel body and engineered to meet the most demanding crash safety test criteria around the world.

Along with driver’s and passenger’s airbags (including side and curtain airbags in the TEC model), the new Rio features front seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters, side door impact beams front and rear, child locks, and impact sensing door unlocking. ISOFIX child seat anchors are standard across the range, as is ABS.

Starting at R 219,995 for the base model and R 274,995 for the highest spec model which is what we test drove, the Rio is well priced. Funnily enough the price points are virtually unchanged from the previous model.

Rio 1.2 LS Manual                     R 219,995

Rio 1.4 LX Manual                     R 234,995

Rio 1.4 EX Manual                     R 249,995

Rio 1.4 TEC Manual                   R 274,995

Adding even further value to the KIA Rio package is KIA’s class-leading 5-year / Unlimited Kilometre Warranty, inclusive of 5-years / Unlimited Kilometres Roadside Assistance, as standard, as well as a 4-year / 60,000km Service Plan.

The all-new KIA Rio is on sale from Friday, 9 June 2017.

Overall the brand new Kia Rio is a fun car with a sporty exterior and interior as well as loads of features to make life that much easier. The Rio is nifty and easy to drive. I would suggest the Rio for the driver that wants an easy vehicle to drive that doesn’t lack on finished or features. Heck, I may even consider getting one.



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