2018 Kia Rio Hatchback Euro-Spec Review – We cannot support but be fascinated by the Kia Rio. Really. The lowest-priced subcompact from the Korean brand has made remarkable progress with each generation, and the car by itself is a reflection of the maturation of a brand that has become a global player. We merely spent two days on the winding streets near Lisbon, Portugal, powering the wheel of the fourth-era Rio, constructed upon the global Hyundai/Kia KP2 structures. In a few months, the new Rio will start in the United States. Europe gets only the four-door hatchback, while U.S. consumers will get a selection of the hatch or a but-to-be-unveiled four-door sedan. If the prior generation is an indication, the hatchback will be the far better-looking of the two body designs. (The two-door hatchback previously provided is lifeless.)
In contrast with its forerunner, the Rio is becoming a serious car-perhaps by a touch too much. The extroverted hatch-which Kia calls the Rio 5-Door-is one of the funkier models in its class, with an intense body-side line and a position a tad like concept cars. The new model looks staid by evaluation, with an upright front end and an instead prosaic arm line. The plastic material strip between the headlights is painted black, simulating a standard grille opening up, and the side decorative mirrors, which used to be mounted on the door, have transferred to the A-pillar. We believe, however, that most consumers will enjoy the utterly conservative appear of the new Rio. A lamentably low number of clients in this segment purchase their car as a design assertion (although to be reasonable, it is not as if there were numerous stunners from which to choose).
Rio consumers focus on inexpensive and lots of equipment, and this is exactly where the new one eclipses its predecessor. Kia promises that 90 percent of the car is new, which includes the body. The fourth-gen Rio also is believed to be slightly less heavy despite much more content, bigger proportions, and further safety equipment and framework. Most of the weight loss originates from the use of high-strength steel in the front structure, A-pillars, and roof. The extra firm ness there’s a stiffer front subframe, as well-will help relieve one of its predecessor’s fragile areas: its average dealing with. The new Rio exhibits considerably less understeer, and its electrically helped power steering provides more comments than before.
The cockpit leaves tiny to be wanted besides, possibly, the stylistic purity of the prior design. On the other hand, this one feels a technology ahead. Every single change is in which it belongs, and the infotainment system looks wealthy and upscale. It operates perfectly, too. While it is a little car, the Rio offers plenty of room for four travelers. (You can uncomfortably press in a 5th one, as well, if you never like that individual.) And, of course, the hatchback’s cargo hold is large. In the European market, the Rio can be installed with a suite of high-end features, which includes a lane-departure warning, automated emergency braking, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, as properly as luxury factors such as a heated steering wheel. How many of these features get to the U.S. market remains to be seen-we are wondering most of the them-however they display the potential of this entry-degree car.
We drove cars powered by three various engines: an 89-hp turbo-diesel 1.4-liter inline-four, a 99-hp turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder, and an in a natural way aspirated 1.2-liter four excellent for 83 ponies. Every engine was mated to a clean-shifting manual transmission, and all left a thoroughly favorable impact. (We’re not sad we did not the example the four-speed automatic that Europeans are provided.) These engines are zippy, plus they sound somewhat sporty-even the entrance-level 1.2. That bodes well for the U.S. version, which will be powered by an in a natural way aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder that’ll considerably exceed the power rating of any of the models we drove. (The current U.S. Rio is rated at 138 horsepower.) The U.S. engine probably will be mated to a six-speed automatic; Hyundai/Kia also make a more efficient and quicker-moving seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, but that transmission won’t drip into the Rio any time shortly.
It is fun to drive the Kia Rio, and on this first perception, it attacks us as a car that’s considerably more than an equipment. With the three-cylinder turbo and the full tech package, it surpasses the boundaries of its segment; the somewhat a lot more modestly prepared U.S. version ought to signify a substantial leap ahead, even if its design doesn’t.