Launched: New Kia Rio


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A new Kia Rio has gone on sale in Ireland. After the Sportage, it’s Kia’s best selling model worldwide, accounting for 15% of its overall sales. It’s a reasonably strong performer here in Ireland too, accounting for 550 sales in a very competitive segment in its run out year in 2016.

Design, reliability, value for money and convenience are the main attributes of the new fourth generation model according to Kia Motors Ireland Managing Director, James Brooks. “Designed and engineered to meet the needs and desires of a wider range of buyers, the new Rio will play an increasingly important role in the Kia model line-up. The B-segment is the third largest segment in the Irish market and we hope that it will make a significant contribution to the continued growth of the brand in Ireland .”

Longer but lower than its predecessor, the new Rio claims one of the most spacious cabins in its class including a generous boot capacity of 325 litres. Front seat passengers get an extra 1,070mm of legroom, while in the back legroom is 850mm more generous than before. A floating HMI (human-machine interface) is fitted at the centre of the dashboard. It’s available with a high-resolution touchscreen and incorporates various functions allowing for a tidier console with fewer buttons.

Kia tells us that there has been significant efforts devoted to improving the cabin’s isolation from wind, road and engine noise, with new dashboard soundproofing materials adopted to reduce engine noise levels in the front of the cabin, while a stiffer front subframe minimises vibrations from poor road surfaces.

Six models are available at launch. An 85hp 1.2 litre petrol engine will be followed later in the year by a 100hp 1.0 litre unit. Trim levels for petrol are L (priced at €15,950), EX – expected to be the volume seller (€18,150), EX ADAS (€19,450) and Platinum (€20,450). EX ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) models are fitted with a safety pack that includes Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning System meaning this model is likely to achieve a higher Euro NCAP crash test rating when tested compared to models without ADAS.

A 1.4 diesel engine in two power outputs is also available. The 77 hp version is offered in LX trim priced at €17,750, while EXE models get a 90hp unit and cost €19,950

CO2 emission figures for the 1.2 petrol are 109g/km (annual road tax of €190), while the diesels output 92 and 98 g/km ( €180 pa ).

As well as Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the new Rio gets two new braking technologies as standard, Cornering Brake Control, giving added stability when braking under cornering, and Straight Line Stability which eliminates yaw under hard straight-line braking.