2007 Kia Rio | new car review

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 by

Kia has been taking great pains to step out from the shadows of big brother Hyundai’s giant umbrella, stylistically and in terms of what the brand represents. Hyundai has been steadily moving upmarket – recent additions like the all-new Sonata and the redesigned Coupe to its portfolio say it all. This leaves Kia free to go for the presumably more hip markets, and according to the company it has indeed been consciously shedding its previously conservative styling image to emerge with an all-new, sportier and distinctive appearance, and has a target group of young single men and women squarely in its sights.

The Rio is here to do exactly that and for starters, the new one looks far more attractive than its rather stodgy predecessor and is available in and sedan body styles. From the front, the Rio is distinguished by large headlamps flanking a neatly styled grille with a honeycomb mesh insert that happily eschews any chrome embellishments. The grille also features a horizontal slat across its middle that is unique to the . The Rio also gets attractively sculpted bumpers adorned with tough-looking black plastic rubbing strips. The rear tail lamps are neatly styled and boast fashionable, clear indicator housings.

Move inside the cabin and you will notice that the interior too is neatly rendered. There is a nice and airy feeling to the whole cabin. The dashboard is curvaceous and all the major controls are simply laid out. The dials are quite stylish; the switchgear is obvious; the fog lights switches forming two halves of a circle are easy to find in a hurry, and there’s good all-round view too. The two-tone colour code on the dashboard with darker plastics on the top does its job well.

The Rio as available in the GCC comes with a DOHC, four-cylinder in-line 1400cc powerplant developing 94bhp at 6000rpm and 125 Nm of torque at 4700rpm from its nearly square engine (75.5 x 78.1mm bore and stroke). A four-speed automatic gearbox transmits power to the front wheels while a five-speed manual is also available.

Body TypeHatchback/Sedan
Price (in AED)31,000-38,500
Engine Size (litre)1.4
Power (bhp)94
Torque (Nm)125

Also look at: Nissan Tiida, Toyota Yaris, Renault Clio


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