After rolling out the China market Kia K2 sedan at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show on Tuesday, the South Korean automaker exposed the sub-compact sedan’s North American sibling that will be sold under the Rio nameplate.
Even though the K2 and Rio share the same underpinnings being the sedan versions of the all-new Rio hatchback, which was unwrapped in Geneva this past March, the two models get feature unique exterior designs.
The North American Rio sedan keeps the hatchback model’s front end styling with the large, almond-shaped headlights adding a new window line and a different rear end design. Same goes for the interior which is identical to the five-door model we saw in Geneva, sans the different trim and features.
The 2012 Rio is longer, wider and lower than the previous generation model, measuring 4366mm (171.9-in.) long, 1,720mm wide (67.7-in.) and 1,455mm (57.3-in) high. Kia said that thanks to the use of high-tensile-strength steel (63 percent), the new Rio offers increased torsional stiffness for improved handling, ride quality and refinement, plus increased crash safety capabilities while reducing overall weight.
In the USA, the new Rio is powered by a 135HP 1.6-litre GDI four-cylinder engine with the option of either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic. Kia said that the new Rio is estimated to return 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway (7.8-5.8L/100km). The Rio will be offered with Kia’s start-stop ISG technology.
“The all-new Rio brings Kia’s successful combination of world-class styling, outstanding fuel economy, advanced technologies and tremendous value to the smallest and most economical vehicle in the Kia line-up,” said Michael Sprague, vice-president, marketing & communications, KMA.