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.
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.