We first saw the Hatchback version of the brand new 2012 Kia Rio debut last month at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and now it’s the Sedan’s turn for the spotlight, with the compact four-door appearing in public for the first time at this week’s 2011 New York Auto Show.
Set to go on sale this fall in alongside its Hatchback sibling, the new 2012 Kia Rio Sedan gets a stylish new look, fuel efficient engines and several handy technological goodies.
The design of the latest Rio has been a global effort though most of the car's lines were penned at Kia's North American studio in Irvine, California. Overseeing the project was Kia design boss Peter Schreyer, the man responsible with developing the premium new look we’ve seen filter across Kia’s model lineup in the recent past.
Available in three trims--LX, EX and SX--the 2012 Rio comes exclusively with a 1.6-liter direct injection four-cylinder engine matched to either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic. Peak output is rated at 138 horsepower and fuel economy is a claimed 30/40 mpg city/highway.
Part of the reason for the impressive fuel economy numbers is the addition of engine stop-start technology, where the engine switches off when the vehicle isn’t in motion such as at a stop light or in traffic. The engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake pedal, resulting in lower levels of fuel consumption.
Built on a unibody frame, the front-wheel drive Rio utilizes independent front and rear suspension systems. MacPherson struts, coil springs and a stabilizer bar are used in the front with a torsion beam axle suspension in the rear.
The latest model is also slightly bigger than the one it replaces, stretching 171.9 inches (Sedan) or 159.3 (Hatchback) in length, and 67.7 inches in width and sitting some 57.3 inches tall. This results in up to 40 inches of front headroom, 37.8 inches rear headroom, 43.3 inches front legroom and 31.1 inches rear legroom.
For more on the 2012 Kia Rio range, head over to our sister site, TheCarConnection. And for our full coverage of the 2011 New York Auto Show, click here.