2012 Kia Rio - 2011 NY Auto Show

By KBB.com Editors on April 21, 2011 5:53 AM

Following up the world premiere of the five-door version of its popular front-drive subcompact in Geneva, the all-newfour-door 2012 Kia Rio sedan makes its global debut in New York. Offering more style, more space, more power, enhancedfeatures and a new, direct-injected engine that delivers even better fuel economy, both Rio variants promise to be formidable high-value players when they go on sale here later this year.

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Like the 2012 Kia Rio5 hatch, the sedan was conceived in the automaker's design studio in Irvine, California. It shares the same dramatic exterior styling cues, highlighted by an individualized take on the Peter Schreyer-designed signature grilleform and more expressive character lines and bodywork contouring. Built on an all-new, stronger and more rigid unit bodyarchitecture, the 2012 Rio is longer, lower and wider than the vehicle it replaces. A 2.8-inch wheelbase stretch -- to 101.2 inches -- also endows it with substantially more interior and cargo space.

Pumping both the economy and excitement quotients on all 2012 Kia Rios is a new 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected engine. This GDI four makes a stout 135 horsepower and can be paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. In addition to introducing GDI to the subcompact segment, the new engine benefits from the availability of Kia's first-ever fitment of ISG stop/start technology. Collectively, the combo helps the 2012 Rio earn class-leading 30/40 mpg projected EPA city/highway marks.

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The 2012 Kia Rio will be offered in LX, EX and SE trims. While comfort/convenience standards and options vary, all comewith Electronic Stability Control, antilock brakes, Hill-start Assist Control and Vehicle Stability Management as well as front/front-side/side curtain airbags. At EX level, items like power windows, a multifunction telescoping steering columnand Bluetooth are part of the feature set, along with a 60/40 split folding rear seat on the sedan. Stepping up to SX addsupgraded trim, a Supervision meter cluster, a trip computer, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with three months ofcomplementary SIRIUS Satellite Radio, USB/AUX  ports and its UVO powered by Microsoft in-car hands-free communication andentertainment system with a rear camera display to the cabin menu. Outside, the sportiest Rio adds 17-inch alloy wheels andtires, fog lamps, LED daytime running and rear combinations lamps, dual chrome tip exhaust, outside heated mirrors with turn signal indicators and, unique for the Rio5, projector headlamps.

Kia also will offer several dedicated option packages for the 2012 Rio. The EX can be ordered with a Convenience Package (15-inch alloys, automatic light control, fog lamps, upgraded interior trim, outside heated mirrors with turn signalindicators, trip computer, cruise control and the UVO system) and Eco Package (ISG technology and an Active Eco System)while the SX  for optimal fuel-efficient driving Co powered by Microsoft in-car hands-free communication and entertainmentsystem with rear camera display and Eco Package, while the SX Premium Package brings Upgrading the SX trim with theluxurious Premium Package a navigation system that replaces the UVO system, push-button start with Smart Key, leather seattrim, heated front seats and a moonroof.

Final pricing on the 2012 Kia Rio will be revealed closer to its on-sale date, but expect the automaker's traditional high-value approach to continue along with its outstanding five-year/60,000-mile standard warranty and roadside assistance.