All photos by Kia
Kia decided on a new skin for the 2012 Kia Rio SX that clearly resembles the family of cars and SUVs on the road with the Kia logo. That is a good thing as the new Rio is very attractive and the smallest offering from Kia in 2012.
The signal red paint looked expensive on the Kia Rio SX and coupled with the flashy 17-inch tires, first impressions are good here my friends. The new look of the Rio is very stylish for a car that starts at $13,400 and our SX grabbed some notable looks from admirers. Included on our test model exterior were auto on/off headlights, LED positioning lights and tail lights, front fog lights and heated power folding mirrors with turn signal indicators. The 2012 Kia Rio SX is definitely one of the best looking B-cars on the road today.
Kia didn’t stop impressing with just the exterior as the cabin of the Rio SX is much more than expected in this segment. Along with some serious interior and trunk space , our media loaner boasted options like push button start, black leather seat trim, heated front seats, power tilt, power moonroof, navigation system with Sirius traffic, A/C, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, UVO in-vehicle infotainment system with rear camera display, USB & Auxiliary input jacks, cruise control, Bluetooth wireless, leather-wrapped steering wheel & shift knob, and metal finish trim with metal pedals. We found the touchscreen easy to use and the backup camera worked like a charm. Some of the European design comes through inside the 2012 Kia Rio SX with a fit and finish that rivals pricier sedans.
We didn’t expect too much from the powertrain considering the Kia Rio clocks 30mpg in the city and 40mpg in highway driving, but we still walked away feeling this car has some spunk under the hood. The standard 1.6 liter gas direct injection 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission with active eco system was quick off the draw with 138 horses and handling was a charm with a sport-tuned suspension and electric power steering. The Rio SX can step up in tough weather conditions as well with antilock brakes, electronic stability control, hill assist control and vehicle stability management. What stands out the most in the ride and performance of the 2012 Kia Rio SX is the smooth ride and ability to absorb bumps and holes in less than favorable road conditions.
This isn’t the Kia of just a few years ago and we have entered into a truly transformed era of the B segment car with the 2012 Kia Rio SX at the forefront. There are some really impressive competitors out there, but the Rio can stand tall with the new design, styling and handling that are offered at a sticker price of $20,545 for our test model.
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