Kia Rio manual sedan

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Kia Rio manual sedan

Kia Rio manual sedanNovember 2005Report No. 769, by NRMA Motoring Information ServicesStylish designBuild qualityPerformanceLIKESDISLIKESBrakes lock up easilyHandlingKia’s all new JB series Rio replaces theprevious model’s plump silhouette, with aleaner, fresher style. Under the bonnet a 1.6litre engine, featuring variable valve timing,provides an extra 8kW, while a 90mm longerwheelbase adds interior space. Hatchbackversions are shorter than the old series, but thesedan has grown 25mm in length. There aresubstantial improvements in build quality, andKia’s “drive-away” pricing will provide extraappeal at this cost conscious end of the market.VALUE FOR MONEYPRICINGThere is no price difference between hatchand sedan, both start at $15,990 in manualguise, add another $2,000 for the automatic.STANDARD FEATURESIt shows how far our market has come whencars at the this end of town come fitted withpower steering, air-conditioning, powerwindows on all doors, power mirrors and sixspeaker CD as standard inclusions. Metallic ormica paint is a $210 option.DESIGN & FUNCTIONSPACE & PRACTICALITYGiven the Rio’s modest exterior dimensionsthe boot is surprisingly large. A 60:40 splitfold rear seat adds even more space, althoughthere is a noticeable step between the bootfloor and cabin with it lowered. Each door hasits own storage pocket, and a removableashtray between the front seats gives nonsmokersan extra cupholder. Convenientstorage trays and glovebox accommodate anyknick knacks.COMFORTSmallish front buckets provide goodcomfort, but they don’t offer much lateralsupport. It’s worth investing in the optionalheight adjustable driver’s seat with armrest.Even with the longer wheelbase, rear legroomis at a premium, especially behind a tallerdriver, but overall the seats provide adequatecomfort over shorter distances. The squaredoff roofline maximising headroom.ERGONOMICSSimple and straightforward, the Rio’s nononsensedash layout is easy to navigate. Thecentral dash is angled towards the driverplacing the radio and ventilation switches atyour fingertips. Four large vents provide morethan enough fresh air, while the heightadjustable steering wheel moves through agenerous arc.SAFETYBy today’s criteria the Rio’s standarddriver’s and passenger’s airbags and frontseatbelt pre-tensioners are to be expected. Afour star Euro NCAP score is impressive, buton closer inspection the overseas test vehicleincluded side and head airbags. These are notavailable on the local model. Four wheel discABS brakes are an $850 option.BUILD QUALITY & FINISHThe new Rio shows that budget mindedbuyers can also have quality. Our test car’sadmirable fit and finish providing the proof.While the interior trim has a host of hardplastic surfaces, their detail finish is wellexecuted, belying the car’s modest price tag. Itwas also rattle and squeak free.SECURITYScoring 55.5 from NRMA Insurance, theRio’s theft rating puts it about mid range forsmall cars. But significantly lower than the topscoring VW Polo (82.5).ON THE ROADFUELReturning an average of 6.8l/100km, theRio’s fuel economy is par for the course in thesmall car category.PERFORMANCEThe new CVVT (Continuously VariableValve Timing), engine gives the Rio someextra zip and flexibility. Well spaced ratiosprovide good in gear performance, especiallyhandy in the confines of suburban driving.Away from the city limits the 1.6 isn’t quite soagile at freeway speeds, but handles longertrips without protest.RIDEOne of the car’s highlights is the compliantride. Lacking any of the “sharpness” youmight expect from a small car. Bad bumps arenicely isolated - a benefit when commutingalong Sydney’s pockmarked network. Even athigher speeds along country roads the ridemaintains its composure.HANDLING & STEERINGAny advantages offered by the supple rideare quickly erased by the lacklustre handling.There’s only timid feedback through the light,power assisted steering. Even with its longerwheelbase and wider track the 175/75 tyresgrip is hardly “leech like”. The nose is quick topush wide with increasing cornering speeds.Easy manoeuvrability around town translatesinto a dull driving experience away from it.This is one area where the Rio falters againstthe opposition.TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONSENGINEType................................. DOHC 4 cylinderCapacity in litres .................................. 1.599Induction..............................Multi-point EFIFuel recommendation ........................... ULPClaimed max. power...... 82kW @ 6000rpmClaimed max. torque.... 145Nm @ 4500rpmTRANSMISSIONType................................ Five speed manualDriving wheels..................................... FrontWHEELS ............................... 14” x 5” steelTyres...... Hankook Centum 175/75 R14 84TSpare............................................... Full sizeSTEERINGType.............................Power rack & pinionTurns lock to lock ....................................3.1Turning circle......................................10.2mDIMENSIONSMass.................................................. 1203kgLength.............................................4240mmWidth (incl. mirrors 1985mm)........1695mmHeight .............................................1470mmGround clearance (measured) ...........150mmSeating capacity..........................................5Fuel tank capacity ............................ 45litresTOWINGMax. towed mass (trailer plus load).... 1100kgNRMA Insurance THEFT RATINGPoints on 0-120 scale (high score best) ......55.5WARRANTY.................... 3yr / 100,000kmMANUFACTURED IN ..................... KoreaTEST RESULTSACCELERATION (Wet conditions)50 - 80 km/h (in 3rd).......................... 5.9sec60 - 100 km/h (in 3rd)........................ 8.1sec0 - 80 km/h......................................... 8.2sec0 - 100 km/h..................................... 12.9sec0 - 400 metres .................................. 18.6secFUEL CONSUMPTION (litres/100 km)Average (ADR81/01)...............................6.8BRAKING (Wet conditions)Distance to stop from 80 km/h... 40.4metresNOISEInterior at constant 80 km/h .........71.7dB(A)Test vehicle supplied byKia Automotive Australiawww.kia.com.auCall Technical Advice on 1300 655 443 for additional information on this vehicle, and for other automotive advice.or visitwww.mynrma.com.au


BRAKINGWithout the benefit of optional ABS (whichincludes four wheel discs), the Rio was quickto lock its brakes during our tests. Given thewet conditions at the time, that probablydoesn’t come as a big surprise. But the pedal’slight action and lack of feedback mademodulating braking force difficult. Even indrying conditions the disc – drum systemdidn’t instil total confidence when pushed.SMOOTHNESS & QUIETNESSEase of driving is the new Kia’s forte. Withtheir light weight, the steering, clutch andgearshift work together to make progresseffortless. Cabin noise is impressively quietaround town. At freeway speeds there isnoticeable engine noise, but you couldn’t callit intrusive.SUMMARY:The all new Rio brings with it significantimprovements in quality, safety andperformance. Its list of standard featuresconfirms how competitve the small car classis. And that’s good for the consumer. But whatthe newcomer lacks is the cohesive andenjoyable handling provided by some of theopposition.

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