Fourth Technology Kia Rio: First Drive

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If Kia launches the Rio in India it might turn out to be the benchmark within the premium hatch phase

On the outset comes my disclaimer, that whereas I’ve now pushed the Kia Rio extensively in India, this automotive just isn’t an India-spec and even confirmed for our market. So why am I driving it then? Properly that’s just because I imagine it’s one probably the most related fashions within the Korean firm’s world line-up, and deserves some consideration. In case you agree, learn on! The Kia Rio is a premium hatchback that’s now in its 4th technology. A well-liked mannequin for Kia in Europe it is usually offered in a sedan bodystyle within the US. And the automotive is certainly model new, having simply made its world market debut earlier this 12 months. So, to set the context for you, the Rio is a automotive that shares its platform with the Hyundai i20. Identical platform and powertrain choices, however when it comes to styling you’ll be able to see that they could not be extra totally different. The Rio with me just isn’t redone for the Indian market, and so in its European spec, sits barely decrease than the i20. However check out the proportions, and also you begin to perceive what the Rio is all about. The Hyundai i20 and the Kia Rio, are very European, providing nice appears to be like, house, good experience and general driveability, and really importantly – first rate worth. The i20 additionally simply obtained its mid-cycle facelift – which India bought forward of the remainder of the world – on the Auto Expo in February. We have now already reviewed the automotive for you, and you’ll learn that evaluate right here: Hyundai i20 Facelift evaluate.

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 The rear of the Kia Rio is easy however very modern

Additionally learn: Hyundai launches i20 facelift on the Auto Expo

Sure I do know that the Maruti Suzuki Baleno outsells the i20, however in some ways it’s nonetheless the phase benchmark automotive for us in India within the premium hatch phase. And the Rio will also be simply that. If positioned proper, with the right amount of premiumness and variety of options, it may possibly threaten the i20’s standing. And it isn’t simply due to its horny wanting face and general stance! Kia’s automobiles have gotten a lot extra engaging off late, and you’ve got Peter Schreyer to thank for that. This automotive can be designed by Kia’s design chief and has the signature tiger nostril grille. If this automotive was to be launched in India, it can possible sit a bit taller for Indian street situations – a pity as the present hunkered down stance appears to be like moderately pretty. On the again there’s a little sense of drama with the flamboyant taillights – simplistic and but very fashionable. So it’s moderately apparent, that the Rio is a looker, and can beat the Baleno and Jazz on the wonder sweepstakes. However its general proportions and profile are a bit predictable, and it additionally lacks the muscle of the i20. Having mentioned that I’m not doing a comparability evaluate right here, lets be clear!

kia rio

The Kia Rio shares the identical platform because the Hyundai i20 however appears to be like extra engaging

The place the Kia might additionally rating have been it to return to India is on the inside, which in styling phrases alone is definitely recent for the phase. The plastic high quality and the best way the sprint has been moulded add some panache to the best way it appears to be like. The all-black remedy on my check automotive actually works properly, although it will clearly want a much bigger touchscreen than the one I see right here, for it to scream premium in our market context. And that will have to be additional studded with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and navigation. That mentioned, within the mass automotive house merely lifting up the standard of plastics and the general end does wonders to the impression you carry of it. The Rio does that amply properly. The cabin is horny, younger and really totally different then. Good! And that is the place the i20’s cabin – additionally lately refreshed (and significantly better loaded within the high spec I’ve with me at this time) – would nonetheless appear predictable. The i20’s cabin does come throughout as a lot roomier although, which might be a slight weak point for any proposed entry to this phase by Kia.

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The Rio ‘s all black cabin appears to be like nice and the standard of plastic used is high notch

Now I do know you are asking – how does it drive? In any case sharing a platform with the i20 would imply the efficiency could be acquainted, proper? Globally the Rio is available in a number of engines – a and 1.2 Kappa, 1.four and 1.6 Gamma and a 1.four turbodiesel. Curiously I’m driving the automotive with the identical 1.2 engine we all know already from the Grand i10 and that i20. So it’s all sorts of acquainted. I’m not going deep in to efficiency per se, just because it isn’t that this automotive is launching on this spec in India. I’ll let you know this although – the experience and dealing with (and particularly that experience high quality) actually have me very impressed. This might work rather well as a key differentiator within the Indian context too, I imagine. The i20 additionally has a European character on the street – a little bit of a USP on the second-generation automotive. The facelift has retained that character and solely claims to supply extra by the use of acceleration and effectivity. So the Rio with its related powerplant ought to be capable of match that providing virtually to the T!

Additionally Learn: Kia Will increase Investments In India To $2 Billion

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The  sporty experience of the Rio would possibly set the benchmark for the corporate in India if it is launched that’s

So sportier experience and dealing with might have me impressed however that is as a result of this automotive is European spec, and actually not going too removed from that will properly assist create a brand new paradigm on this market too. And that’s the reason it’s my perception that the Rio is correct for India. Despite the fact that Kia plans to start its India innings with a compact SUV based mostly on the SP Idea, shortly getting in to the premium hatch house would even be very logical. The Rio has the products to make that pitch in my view. The most recent Rio was by no means launched in Korea – its dwelling market – and as a substitute they’ve the Rio based mostly Stonic crosshatch. However having them each promoting aspect by aspect with presumably the Rio sedan additionally, might properly be an amazing enterprise case for India. Now the query is – do you agree? And does Kia?

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