Kia’s popular Rio has had ground-up redesign for the 2012 model year. But unlike many other automakers, Kia has lowered the price of its five-door hatchback by over $1,400, bringing five door, eco-minded motoring to the U.S. market for just $14,350.
Under the hood, a new 1.6 liter direct-injection gasoline engine equipped with stop/start technology means the 2012 Kia Rio isn’t a gas guzzler, returning an impressive 30 mpg for city driving and 40 mpg on the highway.
It does this in part by stopping the engine automatically when the car slows down for stoplights, automatically starting it again when you need to move away. It's one of very few gasoline (non-hybrid) cars in the U.S. market fitted with a start-stop system as standard.
The inclusion of stop/start technology in the Kia Rio makes it the first non-hybrid to make use of the technology in the U.S., as well as being the cheapest.
Sleeker and sportier in its appearance, the 2012 Kia Rio looks a little like the 2012 Ford Focus (if you squint) - but the similarities don’t end there. Look inside the $18,750 top-of-the-range Kia Rio SX, and you’ll find a voice-activated infotainment system powered by the same Microsoft technology Ford used to bring us My Ford Touch.
Lower models aren’t left out however, with air conditioning, electric power steering, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with USB and satellite radio featured as standard.