Kia has the distinction of launching more new vehicles in the United States between 2009 and 2011 than any other brand, partially due to the success of their popular Sportage compact SUV. The humble Kia Rio hasn’t always had the reputation of being the most exciting car on the block, but with a recent overhaul seen in the 2013 models that could change. They’re now sportier and more efficient, in line with current auto trends.
The Rio is available in sedan and 5-door hatchback versions, which are Kia’s most affordable and smallest vehicles. Although the car is already relatively well-ranked in terms of fuel economy, new features could boost this even further. Reading the latest car news from Kia indicates that one upgrade for 2013 includes the use of Idle Stop and Go (ISG ) technology, which helps save fuel by turning the car’s engine off when the vehicle is not in motion, such as at a stoplight. It automatically restarts when the driver’s foot goes off the brake pedal.
This will now be optional for buyers as part of an overall “Eco Package,” which sounds promising and is a feature usually seen only in luxury cars. The Rio has a fuel economy of 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway even without this new technology, with a powerful 138 horsepower engine. It’s also built from 85% recyclable materials, and uses biodegradable materials in its seat padding.
New Exterior Features
Although it’s all well and good to be environmentally-friendly, when you read any Kia Rio review you’ll also be looking for information on the actual design of the car. The hatchback and sedan models of the new Rio will feature the same signature “tiger nose” that distinguishes Kia’s cars, although it’s been slimmed down a bit to be even more aerodynamic than before. The sedan model has a slightly sleeker profile than the hatchback, to help distinguish between the two. Standard exterior features prevalent on the Rio include multi-reflector headlamps, along with handles and side mirrors coloured to match the body. With the upgraded version, you can expect a chrome front grille, slick LED accent lights, and even projector headlamps in the Rio 5-door SX model.
Cabin Features and Comfort
For a compact car, the Rio is known for its room and comfort in the interior cabin. This is one of the biggest plusses of the new models for 2013, which have an extended wheelbase for even more passenger legroom. There’s plenty of cargo space in the back, while a new feature is the cargo under-floor tray to keep a flat load when you fold the rear seats down. Wheel-mounted paddle shifters are an exciting new touch to give the car a sportier look and feel. Other gadgets and amenities inside the Rio include Bluetooth capabilities, voice activation controls, and power steering.
The new Kia Rio offers a variety of touches and new features that you would associate more with a luxury brand, including its paddle shifters and ISG technology. Its new makeover has made it sleeker and sportier to drive, for a cool little upgrade.
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