The Kia Rio subcompact is all new for 2006. It features a long wheelbase for a smooth ride, considerable interior volume, and six standard air bags, including full-length side-curtain air bags. The Rio is available in sedan and hatchback form (called Rio 5), and also offers a Sport package designed to appeal to younger buyers. The Rio sedan starts around $10,000, and the Rio5 is priced around $13,000. The Rio also comes with Kia's 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.
The Rio is Kia's entry-level product that plays in the subcompact segment of the market. It is built on a shared platform with the Hyundai Accent. Available in Base and LX sedan versions, as well as the Rio 5 hatchback, the Rio was created to attract a broader spectrum of buyers to the brand. The exterior design of the Rio and the Rio 5 includes a European flavor with a swept-back headlight design and a black mesh grille. Wheel arches also highlight a sportier, more aggressive stance, along with a wide rear window for good visibility, and large wraparound taillamps.
Standard on the Base model are a tachometer, rear defroster, sporty mesh-fabric seats, and a height-adjustable driver's seat. The LX adds air conditioning, an audio system with CD player, power steering with tilt wheel, and 14-inch tires with full wheel covers. The Rio 5 SX adds fog lights, a rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel, metal pedals, and 15-inch wheels and tires. You can add a Power Package to the LX and Rio 5 SX that includes power windows/mirrors/door locks, keyless entry, and tweeter speakers.
Powering the Rio is a new 1.6L inline four-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing that produces 110 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is rated at 38 mpg on the highway. The engine is mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are optional on all models.
J.D. Power and Associates Research
What do owners think about the quality of Kia Rio as it comes off the assembly line
Rio ranks highest in initial quality (in a tie with Suzuki Aerio) in the sub-compact car segment in the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Initial Quality Study.SM Rio performs well in the seats, audio/entertainment/navigation system, and HVAC categories. Rio performs better than segment average in the engine/transmission and features/controls/displays categories.
The Kia Rio competes in the Compact Basic segment, which is comprised of nine models that vie for less than 1 percent of the overall market. The segment will grow with the introduction of three new models from Nissan (Versa), Toyota (Yaris), and Honda (Fit).
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the sales leader in the segment is the Chevrolet Aveo (68,085 units in calendar year 2005), followed by the Hyundai Accent (41,012) and the Kia Rio (30,290). The Scion xA steps in next with 28,033 sales in 2005. The Suzuki Aerio (7,967) and Reno (6,075) round out this segment.