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2012 Kia Rio5 Overview
Hoping to make a success of the Rio brand, Kia relaunches the Rio5 for the 2012 model year. This sporty hatchback sibling to the 4-door Rio coupe, not seen since the 2009 model year, comes equipped with a fuel-sipping engine and styling accents not normally associated with economy cars.
The 2012 Kia Rio5 is available in three trims—the LX, EX and SX—all featuring a 1.6-liter 16-valve inline-4 DOHC engine. The LX mates it to a 6-speed manual transmission, while the EX and SX trims pair it with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which is optional in the LX as well. The engine's rated at 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque and can cover 0 to 60 mph in just under 10 seconds—a decent time for a subcompact. The front-wheel-drive Rio5 is estimated by the EPA to achieve 30 mpg city/40 highway.
As part of the 2012 Kia Rio5’s commitment to fuel economy, the subcompact hatchback is equipped with Kia’s Idle Stop & Go (ISG) technology, which automatically switches the engine off when it is at a stop or moving very slowly, such as in stop-and-go traffic, firing the engine up again when needed. The ISG system reportedly saves as much as 15 percent in fuel consumption with the right settings.
Numerous standard features can be found in the base LX trim of the 2012 Kia Rio5, including air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, power heated exterior mirrors, a 4-speaker sound system with AM/FM radio and CD player, and 15-inch steel wheels. Buyers selecting the upgraded EX trim will get a chrome front grille, cruise control, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, upgraded sound system, power door locks and keyless entry. The SX has a sport-tuned suspension, dual exhaust tips, LED front accent lights and rear taillights, and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Available options, depending on trim level, include 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels, fog lights, a rear-view camera, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seats, heated front seats, a navigation system and a power sunroof.
Full-length side curtain and dual front-seat mounted airbags are just part of the standard safety equipment available in the 2012 Kia Rio5. Side impact door beams, a 4-wheel disc antilock braking system with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, tire pressure monitoring system and stability and traction control are all available at no additional cost.
The 2012 Kio Rio5 has been called economical and fun to drive by current owners. The versatility the hatchback allows also receives high marks. Many owners remark that the interior styling touches seem like they would be found in a car costing much more than the Rio5 does. Owners also like the power the 4-cylinder engine provides, giving the Rio5 good handling for such a small car.
The 2012 Kio Rio5 enters a competitive market for economical hatchbacks, featuring such competition as the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Mazda2, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. With its peppy engine, above-average interior styling points and inexpensive upgrades, the Rio5 should carve a nice niche in the market for itself.
by Mark S. Baker
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