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A tale of two Rios

By SYF77 on 29 Apr 2011

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Kia has unveiled the North American version of the Kia Rio sedan at the New York International Auto Show in the US. The compact sedan shares the same platform as the Kia K2 unveiled at Auto Shanghai a couple of days ago but it features a face that more closely resembles the Kia Rio hatch. The chassis and undercarriage of the Kia Rio sedan is largely the same as that found on the hatch version. Similarly, the interior is configured in much the same way as the hatch, with minor revisions here and there.

The 2012 Rio is longer, wider and lower than the previous generation model, measuring 4366mm long, 1,720mm wide and 1,455mm high. Kia said that thanks to the use of high-tensile-strength steel, the new Rio offers increased torsional stiffness for improved handling, ride quality and refinement while reducing overall weight.

In the USA, the new Rio is powered by a 135HP 1.6-litre GDI four-cylinder engine with the option of either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic. Kia said that the new Rio is estimated to return mileage of 7.8L/100km for city driving and 5.8L/100km in the highway. The Rio will be offered with Kia’s start-stop ISG technology.

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Going on to the Chinese market, the redesigned Rio borrows the aggressive styling seen on the Optima. I would even call it a miniaturized Kia Optima. Under the hood, two petrol engines will be available, namely the Gamma 1.4 litre (108 bhp) and 1.6 litre (133 bhp) units. It seems that the Chinese Rio will not benefit from GDI technology, unlike its American twin. Measuring 4,370 mm (overall length) by 1,700 mm (overall width) by 1,460 mm (overall height), the car is longer but slimmer than the US Rio.

So which Rio do you prefer? I would pick the Chinese Rio for its aggressive styling. It even looked like a Lexus IS250 from the rear angle. It would be perfect if the 1.6 GDI power plant finds its way into the hood.

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2012 kia rio, new kia rio and 7 more...

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

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