With class-leading horsepower and fuel economy of up to 40 miles per gallon (mpg), the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door hatchback and Rio sedan will soon join the Kia Motors America (KMA) lineup and offer style- and environmentally conscious consumers eye-catching design, impressive fuel efficiency, cutting-edge technology and fun-to-drive performance. Unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and 2011 New York International Auto Show respectively, the sub-compacts are the latest introduction in Kia's aggressive transformation, which has resulted in record sales and market share growth since the launch of the Soul in 2009.
Conceived at Kia's design studios in Irvine, Calif., the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door and its sedan sibling proudly wear their own interpretations of Kia's signature grille, slimmed down to connect to the dynamic headlamp design to provide a new twist on the Kia family look that includes a bigger air intake to exude a youthful persona. Exhibiting highly sculpted, sloping shoulder lines and wedge-shaped exteriors, both the sedan and hatchback project athletic profiles that convey power and agility while mimicking the aggressive lines found on other recently launched Kia vehicles such as the 2011 Optima and Sportage. The Rio sedan drops the wedge line only slightly toward the rear door down to the trunk to differentiate it from the hatchback profile.
Class-Leading Power and Fuel-Efficiency
Available in three trims – LX, EX and SX – the 2012 Rio is available with a 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder with the option of either a six-speed manual transmission (LX only) or efficient six-speed automatic. One of only two vehicles in the segment to offer a GDI engine, the 2012 Rio provides an inviting combination of power and fuel efficiency and achieves class-leading 138 horsepower while maintaining a class-leading2 fuel economy rating of 30/40 mpg (city/highway) for the sedan and hatchback.
Adding to the Rio's improved performance, Kia's engineers worked feverishly to reduce engine weight by 29 pounds over the previous generation vehicle by adding an aluminum valve cover and block to the third-generation Gamma engine, while incorporating cast iron linings for increased durability.
Attractive and Functional Exterior
Accentuating the hunkered down and muscular exterior profile, Rio offers no shortage of standard exterior features. Starting with the LX trim includes body-color door handles and side mirrors, rear wiper and washer, multi-reflector headlamps and 15-inch steel wheels with 185/65R15 tires, while the Rio 5-door also comes with a standard rear spoiler to improve aerodynamics. Moving to the EX trim brings additional standard conveniences, including power door locks with keyless entry and a chrome front grille surround, adding to Rio's sophisticated and sleek look. For consumers looking for higher levels of sporty refinement, the SX trim offers standard 17-inch wheels with 205/45R17 tires, fog lamps, LED accent lights and rear combination lamps, dual chrome exhaust tips, power-folding outside heated mirrors with turn signal indicators and, unique for the Rio 5-door, projector headlamps.
Lavish and Comfortable Interior
Moving inside, the 2012 Rio greets drivers and passengers with a bold and modern cabin, centered on Kia's horizontal three-cylinder instrument panel and a two-tone color scheme to emphasize a feeling of spaciousness and comfort. An extended wheelbase (101.2 inches) greatly enhances passenger room and comfort, offering 40.0 inches front headroom, 37.6 inches rear headroom, 43.8 inches front legroom and 31.1 inches rear legroom for the Rio sedan and Rio 5-door hatchback. Those looking for ample cargo space for quick weekend getaways or trips to the grocery store will not be disappointed, with an impressive 13.7 cubic feet for the sedan and 15.0 cubic feet in the hatchback. Also new for Rio for 2012 and emphasizing the earth-friendly theme, 85 percent of the Rio's materials are recyclable at the end of its lifespan, and the Rio features seat foam material that uses 100-percent biodegradable and non-toxic castor oil, which benefits the environment in several ways, including reduced use of petroleum-based products and because castor oil comes from plants, this material is generated from a completely renewable energy source.
Standard on the LX trim is a driver's seat height adjuster and six-way adjustable driver's seat, tilt steering column, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, trip computer, electric power steering, 60/40 split folding rear seats and a cargo cover for the hatchback. Moving to the EX trim includes standard power windows with automatic up/down on the driver's window, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth®3 wireless connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for compatible mobile phones and a sleek metallic finish throughout with leatherette door trim. The SX trim offers consumers an even more upscale and athletic look and feel with standard metal pedals, metal grain, a Supervision™ meter cluster, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual map lights, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, UVO powered by Microsoft®4 voice-activated infotainment system with rear camera display5.
In addition to offering a comfortable cabin, impressive technology features also come standard on all trims, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service6 and auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players with full iPod and MP3 controllability via the audio head unit and steering wheel-mounted controls7.
Available packaging upgrades for the Rio LX include the Power Package (A/T only), which adds power windows with automatic up/down functionality on the driver's window, power door locks with two-turn entry system and remote keyless entry. For the EX trim, the available Convenience Package includes 15-inch alloy wheels, the UVO powered by Microsoft® voice-activated infotainment system with a 4.3-inch color touch screen and rear camera display8, automatic headlamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power folding side mirrors with turn signal indicators, front fog lights, dual illuminated vanity mirrors and dual map lights. With the luxurious Premium Package available on the SX trim, passengers will benefit from a navigation system with SiriusXM Traffic™ (replaces the UVO system), push-button start with Smart Key, leather seat trim, heated front seats and a moonroof to give an open, airy feeling.
All-New Advanced Platform
Further distinguishing itself from the previous generation Rio, the 2012 Rio brings with it an all-new longer, wider and lower platform. Its aggressive stance is achieved through an overall length of 171.9 (Rio sedan) or 159.3 (Rio 5-door) with a platform measuring 67.7 inches wide and 57.3 inches high. Employing high-tensile-strength steel (63 percent of body), Rio's lightweight design offers high torsional stiffness for improved handling, ride quality and refinement. Use of these high-quality materials also helps to improve performance in the event of a crash while reducing overall weight. For increased noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction, the 2012 Rio was outfitted with hood and dash insulators as well as expandable foam in the A and C pillars and Thinsulate™ in the A and B pillars.
Built on a unibody frame, the front-wheel-drive Rio utilizes an independent front suspension system. MacPherson struts, coil springs and a stabilizer bar are used in the front with a torsion beam axle suspension in the rear to engage drivers with responsive handling and provide the utmost comfort in a variety of driving situations. A sport-tuned suspension on SX trims offers enhanced handling characteristics for drivers interested in a more spirited drive.
The 2012 Rio is equipped with high levels of standard safety features, including an innovative Halo Body construction designed to help protect occupants in certain side impact and roll-over collisions. Additional standard safety features include six airbags (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side curtain), side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions and Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH). Also standard on all Rio trims for increased driver and passenger safety are Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) which coordinates the car's ESC and ABS to help the driver stay in control of the vehicle.
The 2012 Rio and Rio 5-door are covered by Kia's comprehensive warranty program10, which offers consumer protection at an exceptional value. Included in this program are a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the comprehensive vehicle coverage.