Kia Rio Review & Ratings
- 26 October 2015
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
The Kia Rio is classified as a subcompact car and is manufactured by the South Korean carmaker Kia, starting in 2000. This vehicle is currently in its third generation and the different body styles that are offered include a 3 and 5-door hatchback as well as a 4-door sedan which uses inline-four gasoline and diesel engines as well as front-wheel drive. This vehicle effectively replaced the first generation Pride, which was eventually rebadged as the Ford Festiva and the Avella. There was a second generation of this vehicle introduced in 2005 in Europe, but it did not make it to North America until the following year.
The Rio received a significant facelift in 2010 when the Tiger Nose grille was incorporated into the design, and there were also quite a few changes made with the third generation of this vehicle. The first generation Kia Rio, which was also marketed as the “DC” in certain markets, was available in both 4-door and 5-door hatchback body styles. This vehicle was the least expensive mass-produced sedan to ever be sold in the United States at the time, and this is a title which it held for quite a while. There was only one engine for each model year of this vehicle, and the first generation used a 96 horsepower 1.5 liter DOHC I4 gasoline engine from 2001 to 2002.
When a larger version of the Kia Rio appeared on the market, so did the 1.6 liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine which was rated at 104 horsepower and it was used in the 2003-2005 models of this vehicle. Every year of this vehicle has offered the choice of either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed F4A-EL automatic transmission. There is also another 1.3 liter SOHC 4-cylinder eight-valve petrol engine which is able to produce up to 75 horsepower.
The 2002 facelift which the Kia Rio received was fairly significant and included upgrades to its engine, brakes, suspension, interior, and exterior. This entire range of these vehicles adopted the “Rio SF” name and the exterior was completely different from anything that had ever been seen before. The engine had been improved from a 1.3 75 horsepower engine to a 80 horsepower engine at 5,500 rpm and 86 pound-feet of torque. Production of this vehicle in Iran started in 2005 and at first none of the cars came equipped with ABS or airbags until 2011.
The second generation of the Kia Rio, which went from 2005 to 2011, was based on the revised design platform that was used for the Hyundai Accent. The engine in this vehicle was upgraded to an impressive 110 horsepower 1.6 liter DOHC 4-cylinder “Alpha II” engine which was also in the Hyundai Accent. Some of the other changes to this vehicle included a new exterior design as well as increased safety features and a better fuel economy. By 2006 the Rio was offered as a base model and the Rio LX which included features like power steering as well as a CD player and air conditioning.
The third and final generation of the Kia Rio brought quite a few changes for this vehicle, and it was available with a 1.4 liter or 1.6 liter Hyundai GDI Gamma engine. There was also a 1.25 liter GDI petrol engine along with a 1.4 or 1.1 liter Turbo Diesel Engine made available in European markets. The Kia Rio GT was a turbo charged performance model version of the Cee’d and it was designed with an extremely sleek exterior and powerful interior. The Rio has undergone some major changes in the past few years and continues to be a fairly popular vehicle in the U.S and abroad.