Kia Rio and Rio X-Line History / Evolution (1999 - 2019)
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The Kia Rio is a subcompact car produced by the South Korean manufacturer Kia since 1999 and now in its fourth generation. Body styles have included a three and five-door hatchback and four-door sedan, equipped with inline-four gasoline and diesel engines, and front-wheel drive.
The Rio replaced the first-generation Pride—a rebadged version of the Ford Festiva—and the Avella, a subcompact sold as a Ford in some markets. A second generation was introduced in 2005 in Europe and 2006 in North America, sharing its platform with the Hyundai Accent, a subcompact manufactured by its sister Hyundai Motor Company in South Korea.
The first-generation Kia Rio (referred to as the "DC") was offered in both four-door sedan and five-door station wagon body styles. When released, it was the least-expensive mass-produced car to be sold in the United States. While the Rio's styling and affordability were well-received, it was derided for its poor build quality and driving experience.
In 2002 the Rio received a mild redesign (for the 2003 model year in the US) including upgrades in engine, suspension, brakes and new exterior and interior styling. After this 2002 facelift the entire range received the "Rio SF" moniker in the domestic South Korean market, with "SF" standing for both "Science Fiction" and "Safety First".
Kia introduced the second generation (JB) in the early 2005 model year in Europe and for model year 2006 in North America, based on a redesigned platform shared with the Hyundai Accent. The engine was upgraded to a 110 hp 1.6-litre DOHC four-cylinder "Alpha II" engine now also shared with the Hyundai Accent. Other changes include a new exterior design, an increase in exterior size and interior volume, increased safety features and fuel economy. The station wagon was dropped with this generation, replaced by a new 5-door hatchback.
For the 2010 model year, the models received a facelift in late 2009, adopting Kia's new Tiger nose grille. In addition, the steering wheel receives the same design as the Kia Soul and Kia Forte, featuring optional Bluetooth hands-free phone operation, and the gauges cluster receives a new red backlit design.
The third generation Kia Rio debuted on March 1, 2011, at the Geneva Motor Show, again based on the Hyundai Accent.
It features a 1.4 L or 1.6 L Hyundai GDI Gamma engine. The European market also receives the option of a 1.25 L Petrol Engine, as well as a 1.4 L or 1.1 L CRDi Turbo Diesel Engine - the 1.1 L engine having the lowest CO2 emissions and highest MPG of any non-electric or hybrid car currently on sale at time of writing; up to 88mpg on the EU combined cycle (73mpg in US gallons) and emitting only 85grams of CO2 per kilometer. This market, however, lacks the 1.6 L engine, with the 1.4 L being the most powerful on offer.
Kia Rio GT
Kia released a turbocharged performance model of the Cee'd, called the Pro_Cee'd GT in Europe in July 2013, and is the company's first ever hot hatch. Rumours have surfaced around the internet that a Rio GT (based on what is known as the Rio 5-door in America, but using the 3-door European configuration) may go into production, giving Kia a true supermini hot hatch to rival the established class leaders; the Ford Fiesta ST, Peugeot 208 GTi and Renaultsport Clio. Rumours were backed up when the European VP for Kia, Benny Oeyen, mentioned that if the Cee'd GT is successful, Kia would put more GT models into production, including the Rio. An unnamed Kia insider also stated the Rio as a candidate for GT treatment in future.
Kia Motors presented the fourth generation Rio at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The new car was designed in Kia's California and Germany design centers and features longer front overhangs, a bigger hood and a more upright C-pillar. The hatchback model is 15 mm longer, 5 mm wider and 5 mm shorter in height than its predecessor. Production began by the end of 2016. In European markets, the car is only offered in hatchback form while the U.S. market will receive both hatchback and sedan forms. For the North American market, the Rio will be manufactured alongside the Kia Forte at the Pesquería plant in Mexico. Unlike the previous generations, the fourth generation Rio is not offered in the South Korean market; instead, the Rio-based Stonic crossover takes its place.
For the Malaysian market the fourth generation Rio was launched in 2017 available with only one trim level with only the hatchback bodystyle and powered by a 1.4 litre naturally-aspirated Dual CVVT four-cylinder engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Jan 13, 2019 at 09:01 AM
Science and Technology