Plethora of plaudits for Kia’s Rio

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Diesel Car magazine has named the Kia Rio Best Small Car in its annual Car of the Year issue – the third award won by Kia’s B-segment car in less than a year.

Praised for its style and practicality, Diesel Car admired the roomy, well-equipped interior, as well as the seven-year warranty, and commented that Rio ‘proves you don’t have to compromise if you downsize’.

Launched in August 2011, the all new Kia Rio also picked up Business Car Manager’s Best sub 100g/km Business Car award, as well as scooping the WhatCar? Ultra-low Carbon award earlier this year.

Diesel Car magazine’s editor, Ian Robertson comments: “Small size, big talent, the Kia Rio shows how good a modestly-sized car can be. It’s a downsizer’s dream. It looks good, drives with panache, and proves unarguably that a low price does not have to mean bargain basement.”

Michael Cole, managing director, Kia Motors UK Limited, said: “It’s a great honour to win yet another Diesel Car award, and I am particularly pleased that our all-new Rio has been recognised for its excellent value and great advantage in the all-important B-segment. Rio is winning lots of new friends, particularly in the retail market, and this award will strengthen its appeal among diesel fans.”

Rio is available with four engine options – 1.25 litre and 1.4 litre petrol and 1.1 CRDI and 1.4 CRDI. 

Even on entry level ‘1’, standard features include daytime running lights, body-coloured bumpers, door handles and door mirrors, speed-variable front wipers, headlamp levelling, front electric windows, 15-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, two-way steering column adjustment on the petrol model (height-adjustable only on the entry-level diesel), a tachometer and trip computer, split folding rear seats, a boot light, a 12-volt power socket and an MP3-compatible RDS radio and CD player with USB and AUX ports. Bluetooth is also standard on the petrol entry model, and on all versions with other trim grades.

The ‘1 Air’ grade is for buyers who want the comfort of air conditioning without upgrading to level ‘2’.

The ‘2’ is distinguished by 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and a chrome radiator grille surround. Inside, there is premium black cloth upholstery, rear electric windows, a cooling glove box, electrically-adjustable heated and folding door mirrors with side repeaters, leather trim on the steering wheel and gearshift and a centre console armrest.

The luxurious level ‘3’ specification adds 17-inch alloys with low-profile tyres, ultraviolet-reducing solar privacy glass, LED daytime running and rear combination lamps, automatic air conditioning with auto de-fog, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, automatic headlights, heated front seats and six speakers in lieu of four.

In terms of safety all Rio models enjoy exactly the same standard safety specification. 

The package includes the potentially life-saving features of electronic stability control (ESC), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), emergency brake assist (EBA) in addition to emergency stop signalling (ESS).

The Rio also includes the helpful feature of Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) to prevent the car momentarily rolling backwards when pulling away up steep gradients.

Should an accident be unavoidable, the Rio has a stiff body shell featuring front and rear crumple zones that absorb and dissipate crash energy to minimise the risk of injury to occupants as well as twin front, side and curtain airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners with load limiters for the front occupants.

The exterior design is a blend of dynamism and sophistication. At the front it features a new interpretation of the Kia family ‘tiger nose’ grille that integrates neatly with the t headlamp units.

Backed by Kia’s unique 7 year/100,000 mile transferable warranty, Rio prices start at £9,995 on the road.