Under the hood, the basic 1.2 liter Kappa engine has a peak power of 86 hp and a torque output of 119 Nm. It also comes with Continuously Variable Valve Timing technology (CVVT) for improved fuel efficiency. The 1.4 liter Gamma unit found in the premium EX variants, on the other hand, makes 105.5 hp and 137.3 Nm of torque - the most powerful engine currently available for its size in the local market.
Priced at a very affordable P598,000 for the basic 1.2 LX M/T sedan, the all-new Kia Rio is sure to attract buyers who are looking to get the most out of their hard-earned Peso. But those who want more power should take a good look at the 1.4 EX sedan priced at P678,000 for the 6-speed MT and P718,000 for the 4-speed AT variant. And at P838,000 for the premium five-door 1.4 EX AT, this would be perfect choice for those who want to be stylish and have the flexibility of a hatchback.
Personalize your all-new 2012 Kia Rio in five different flavors: white, bright silver, wendy brown, signal red, and graphite.
All-new 2012 Kia Rio Brochure
Having grown by leaps and bounds over its previous model, Kia's all-new Rio certainly has a lot going for it. Anyone who's out to get a new subcompact should definitely have it on their 'to test drive’ list. And test drive we did when we managed to wrestle a few minutes behind the wheel of the five-door hatch a few days before the launch.
The muted purr of the 1.4 liter engine was certainly a pleasant surprise and could easily be brought to life with a touch of the engine start-stop button - a feature not commonly available on cars in its price range. Its 105.5 hp may not sound much, but the CVVT certainly makes it much stouter. The four-speed gate-type automatic transmission was also a delight and comes equipped with a “Tiptronic” style shifter that complements the engine's power band.
Inside, bucket seats cradle front passengers in the proper places, while the tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel allows for the perfect driving position instead of the simian-like (long arms, short legs, and legs scrunched up) posture typically found in subcompacts.
Ride comfort on the factory-installed 17-inch rims (that's right, it comes with standard 17-inch rims -- and handsome ones too) over smooth asphalt is expectedly comfortable and quiet. We weren't able though to test its compliance over rough tarmac, but if the spirited driving over the test course's rumble strips was any indication, the Rio should easily ace it.
Handling was superb, which was wholly unexpected for a vehicle that's supposed to be a people mover. Plus, minute direction changes can be done with through throttle input, whereas more gross movements are taken care of by the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) steering. On behalf of all car enthusiasts out there, I would like to thank Kia's engineers that worked on the vehicle dynamics.
Can you spell ‘hot hatch’ with three letters? Kia can.