The Rio sedan and Rio5 hatchback were redesigned for the 2006 model year. For 2007, the SX trim level-formerly available only on the hatchback-is now available on the sedan as well. Both models offer new 14-, 15-, and 16-inch alloy wheel choices, as well as receiving some minor interior enhancements.
Although fuel-efficient subcompact cars have traditionally been used as a foothold by automakers entering the U.S. market, Kia was relatively late in introducing its own mini car. Though Kia did build the Festiva and Aspire for Ford, it wasn't until 2001-more than five years after the launch of the Sephia compact sedan and Sportage SUV-that Kia launched the pint-sized Rio.
The second-generation Rio arrived in 2006. Like the mechanically similar Hyundai Accent (Kia is a subsidiary of Hyundai), the new Rio was available as a 4-door sedan, but the 5-door hatchback-known as the Rio5-is exclusive to Kia. When launched, the sedan was offered in base and LX trims, while the Rio5 was available exclusively in SX trim. For 2007 the sedan also offers an SX version with 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a trunk spoiler, and sportier interior trim. All versions of the Rio come with standard front, side, and side curtain air bags as standard; anti-lock brakes are optional on all but the base sedan.
The front-wheel-drive Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter engine with continuously variable valve timing. The engine puts out 110 hp and 107 lb.-ft. of torque and is available with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Air conditioning and a CD player are standard on all versions. The Rio is covered by Kia's substantial warranty: 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage with roadside assistance, plus 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
The Kia Rio competes in the Compact Basic segment, which consists of eight models. Buyers in this segment look for fuel economy, reliability, and low maintenance costs, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Yaris (70,308 units sold), Chevrolet Aveo (58,244), and Hyundai Accent (34,735). The Kia Rio sold 28,388 units in 2006, a decrease of 6.3 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Compact Basic segment include the Scion xA, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and Suzuki Reno.
|Base (M5)||5 speed manual||$10,770||110-hp / 1.6L 4-cyl||32/35|
|LX (M5)||5 speed manual||$12,695||110-hp / 1.6L 4-cyl||32/35|
|SX (M5)||5 speed manual||$13,495||110-hp / 1.6L 4-cyl||32/35|