Brian Joss –
KIA Motors South Africa has expanded the Rio compact hatch line-up with the addition of a new 3-door model in range-topping TEC specification. The 3-door model joins the existing 5-door hatch and 4-door sedan models, and increases the Rio line-up to 12 models in total.
The KIA Rio TEC 3-Door, essentially, comes with all the outstanding features of its 5-door sibling, but in a sportier, sleeker and more compact package. With its low-slung profile and clean lines, the Rio TEC 3-Door boats an athletic edginess, while expansive interior gives occupants an awe-inspiring sense of space. The driver and passenger doors open wide, while the front seatbacks folds forward effortless to ease ingress and egress to both the rear seats.
Standard specification levels remain exceptionally high and includes leather seats, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB and accessories jack, steering wheel-mounted remote controls as well air conditioning. The Rio TEC 3-Door ships with the same stylish, 17-inch alloy wheels as its 5-door sibling, and is available in a choice of eight exterior colours.
Power comes courtesy of KIA’s popular and well-proven 1,4-litre Gamma engine, which features friction-reducing modifications and dual CVVT (continuously variable valve timing) to achieve a responsive performance and competitively modest fuel consumption. With maximum output of 79 kW at 6 300 r/min and peak torque of 135 Nm at 4 200 r/min, the Rio 1.4 6-speed manual model accelerates to 100 km/h in 11.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 183 km/h. A 4-speed automatic transmission is available as an option.
Launched globally in 2011, the fourth-generation KIA Rio was an immediate hit across the world. In its first year on sale, it won several prestigious “Car of the Year” awards as well as a Good Design Award and an Automotive Brand Contest design award in Germany. In 2012, Rio added more “Car of the Year” and “Best Buy” awards from across the globe to its cabinet, and added a ‘red dot’ and an IDEA Design Award to the mix. Needless to say, the trophy cabinet had to be remeasured in 2013. And again in 2014.
In South Africa, the Rio soon became KIA South Africa’s bestselling model, scoring a nomination as finalist in the 2012 WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year competition. The Rio has also been a consistent star in the Standard Bank People’s Wheels Award. Most recently, in 2014, it starred against one luxury German competitor and ran rings around the other to scoop the “Best Compact Commuter” award, while internationally renowned research firm IPSOS presented it with a Gold Award in its 2015 Quality Awards.
Value for money
The KIA brand has become renowned for offer vehicles of exceptional design and quality, but above all notable value for money and competitive pricing. The new KIA Rio 1.4 TEC 3-Door is priced identically to its 4- and 5-door siblings at R241 995. KIA’s class-leading 5-year/150 000km warranty remains standard, as does a 4-year/60 000km service plan.