Our acquaintance with Kia Rio


The premiere of the KIA Rio model, which replaced the Avella, took place in November 1999. In February, she was shown at the Chicago Auto Show, and a month later, in Geneva. "Rio" is produced in the Republic of Korea with sedan and hatchback bodies, equipped with gasoline engines of 1.3 or 1.5 liters, a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.


How do you think a hatchback differs from a station wagon? That's right, the size of the luggage compartment. And if the trunk is somewhere between, then how to count? This is the task that the creators of KIA Rio with a five-door body threw to customers. Presumably, not without intent - what kind of car do you need, such a novelty and see. And the savings on the development and preparation of production are obvious. However, formally, “Rio” was nevertheless attributed to hatchbacks, and it was also no coincidence - you must admit that a “spacious hatchback” sounds much better than a “cramped wagon”.

The team of testers of our magazine did not come to a consensus about the type of bodywork. Some indicated a significant tilt of the rear window and miniature side windows, others - a large overhang and massive stern. Nevertheless, we note that in terms of functionality it is still more likely a “barn”: a large doorway, a trunk length of 900 mm on the floor, a soft horizontal curtain, a split (50:50) rear seat back.

If we started from the luggage racks, we’ll take a look at the second car right away, fortunately, there are no problems identifying its body - a pretty, chubby sedan that looks a little toy like most Asian golfers. The luggage compartment here is average, but its aperture of such an intricate shape, what else to look for - wide at the top (1300 mm!), With cutouts extending to the sides, but not high and pinned down by massive lights.

However, the cargo qualities of KIA Rio are limited not by the size of the trunk, but by the possibility of a stiff short-stroke suspension, which with four riders in the cabin often works to the stop even on seemingly harmless bumps. And an empty car trembles very painfully at defects in coating, especially at transverse joints.

However, such a suspension does not indicate a sporting character. On the contrary, “Rio” is rather soft, a little slowed down and as if smeared in its reactions. In general, not a driver's car. Although a calm driver may just like it. The machine will not scare with a sharp response to hasty actions, moreover, it will give time to change your mind and fix the matter. The power plant also manifests itself ambiguously. On the one hand, a frisky sixteen valve series MI-Tech with variable valve timing; it would seem, “shoot” - I don’t want, especially since the mass of the car is less than a ton. On the other hand, an automatic transmission with modern electronic control, but with some kind of indistinct algorithm of work, you will think about it, then suddenly, when you have already decided to abandon the spurt, it starts clumsy shifting gears. You can, of course, turn off the “automatic” overdrive and keep the tachometer needle at around 6, 000 rpm, but this quickly tires, although the engine tries to cheer up the driver with an almost sports roar. However, the noise does not annoy the highway - the acoustics have done their best.

But adventures on a country road are best avoided - despite the optimism of the factory characteristics, the clearance under the rear axle beam even of an empty car is only 140 mm. And the catalytic converter votes for well-maintained routes. So the role of "Rio" is a calm, without tugging, riding along the well-groomed city streets. Here he is able to bring pleasure to both the driver and passengers. Spacious enough in the back seat, where three uncles of 90 kg are seated without tangible inconvenience - you can not compare with the Golf. Only in a sedan do their tops almost touch the falling ceiling. Ahead of the restrictions does not arise even for more well-fed riders. The seats are a little harsh, but comfortable and well fix the body. A chubby bagel steering wheel, trimmed with leather, and do not want to let go of the hands. The front pillars are quite wide - sometimes they close a gentle turn. In a sedan, inexpensive gray plastic with textile inserts in the door trim looks modest, but you will not refuse practicality. But the black and cream hatchback interior creates even a certain feeling of luxury.

"KIA Rio" is very cute: stylish lines of the body, large light blocks, alloy wheels. By the way, instead of the standard ones, the big 14-inch ones are asked here. The car is struggling to be respectable: an automatic transmission, air conditioning, power steering, a reclining central armrest, Alpine radio with four speakers, electric mirrors and front windows, a central locking with remote control, branded floor mats. This gentlemanly set would logically be continued by the ABS, gear selector position indicator, adjustable steering column, airbags, but alas, they are not. And seat belts that are not adjustable in height, the absence of a headlight corrector and the indication of the inclusion of side light are like signs of a past era.

However, we were dealing with machines for the domestic, Korean market. The appearance of "Rio" in the European version (namely, these will be officially delivered to Russia) are expected closer to the fall. Prices for cars in a similar configuration will be approximately the same - $ 12, 700 and 12, 800, which stood on the price tags of our couple. But the minimum price for a car with a 1.3 liter engine and a manual gearbox is unlikely to exceed $ 10, 000.

Kia rio

General data: number of places - 5; curb weight - 955 kg; gross weight - 1420 kg; maximum speed - 179 km / h; acceleration time from standstill to 100 km / h - n. d .; approximate fuel consumption in conditional suburban and city cycles - 7; 11 l / 100 km; fuel supply - 45 l; fuel - AI-92 unleaded. Sizes, mm: length - 4215; width - 1675; height - 1440; base - 2410; track front / rear - 1430/1435; ground clearance - 152; trunk volume - n. d .; turning radius - 4.7 m. Engine: gasoline, four-cylinder, in-line, with two camshafts and variable valve timing, four valves per cylinder, distributed injection; working volume - 1493 smz; cylinder diameter and piston stroke - 75.5x78.4 mm; compression ratio - 9.3; power - 76 kW / 103 l. with. at 6000 rpm; maximum torque - 143 N.m at 4500 rpm. Transmission: front-wheel drive; gearbox - four-speed automatic; gear ratios: I - 2.80; II - 1.54; III - 1.00; IV - 0.70; h. x - 2.33; final drive - 3.74. Suspension: front - independent type "McPherson", rear - dependent with two trailing arms and Panhard rod. Brakes: hydraulic with a vacuum booster, front - ventilated disc, rear - drum. Steering: rack and pinion with power steering. Tire size: 175 / 70R13.

+ Bright appearance, spacious interior, comfortable steering wheel, a large volume of the luggage compartment of the hatchback, quite rich equipment.

- Mediocre dynamics (with automatic transmission), low ground clearance and suspension travel, tangible transmission of impacts from the wheels to the body, some equipment flaws.

Photo by Alexander POLUNIN