2012 Kia Rio Hatchback priced from $14,350 in the United States

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 27, 2011

Kia has released the pricing information for the 2012 Kia Rio hatchback, which has a starting price of only $14,350 (including a $750 destination charge) for the Rio LX with a six-speed manual transmission. Meanwhile, an LX with a six-speed automatic transmission is priced at $15,450. The range-topping Rio SX has a price tag of $18,750.

All the 2012 Kia Rio models are available with a direct-injected 1.6-liter inline-four engine, which has an output of 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. This car has a fuel economy rating of 30/40 mpg (city/highway) for all transmission types.

Furthermore, starting in early 2012, the Rio will be offered with Kia’s ISG engine stop-start system to lessen fuel consumption even more when the car stops. All the trims come with the following standard equipment: air conditioning, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary audio inputs, and hill-start assist.

The SX trim comes with a set of 17-inch wheels, LED lighting accents, sportier suspension tuning and bigger front brakes, fog lights, and a UVO voice-activated infotainment system. The prices of the Kia Rio may place it near the top of its class when compared to rivals but it comes with premium features (like a navigation system) that none of its competition has.

The Chevrolet Sonic hatchback is priced from $15,395 to around $18,845 (for the fully loaded unit). Meanwhile, the 2012 Hyundai Accent GS hatchback is priced from $15,355 and the loaded Accent SE costs $16,555. The starting price of the 2012 Toyota Yaris L five-door is at $15,900 while the top-spec Yaris SE five-door is priced at $17,960.

According to the market research conducted by Kia, the demand for B-segment cars worldwide is projected to grow quite substantially for the next two years. With this, the company has come out with the new Rio, which in Europe, will be offered in a 3-door version or a 5-door one. Because of this, the company believes that the Rio will be able to redefine its place in the B-segment, considered one of the most competitive.

These two variants though will be exclusively made at the company’s Sohari facility located in Korea. In terms of proportion, this new model is longer by 20 mm and wider by as much as 25 mm. However since its height is lowered by 15 mm at 1,455 mm, this means that the new Rio is one of the lowest in the company’s European product range. Its wheelbase meanwhile is longer by 70 mm and is now at 2,570 mm.

This results in better passenger space as well as improved cargo capacity. Though these are already excellent qualities, the Kia Rio has another in store which is that it has lower fuel consumption resulting in emissions that put this model at the top of the class. This was made possible since engineers at the company performed an extensive program with the aim of reducing the weight on a wide-range of parts. Appearance-wise and with the additional equipment, the new Rio looks larger when compared to the third-generation version.

Even then, the engineers made sure that the gain in weight was at a minimum. The new Kia Rio, with two options for the bodystyles, as well as the Venga and Soul variants, will clearly get the interest of customers who want a vehicle that stand apart from the rest, a vehicle that offers ample space, and even a compact and versatile multi-purpose vehicle.

The company is more than positive that it will be able to get a larger share when it comes to this already expanding segment of the market. Sale for the Kia Rio’s 5-door variant is scheduled to begin in Europe by the third quarter 2011. The 3-door version however will only become part of the company’s line-up for the B-segment by the first quarter 2012.

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