Apparent less is more, or so says Kia Motors who just announced the launch of the three-door Kiar Rio to complement the five door hatchback and the four door Kia sedan models.
Aesthetically the KIA Rio TEC comes with all the features found on the hatchback model, sans the two rear-doors and the fact that rear passengers have to squeeze past the driver or front passenger’s seats to take up the rear seats. But Kia insists that the 3-door Kia TEC is much more “sportier, sleeker and more compact.”
“With its low-slung profile and clean lines, the Rio TEC 3-Door boats an athletic edginess, while expansive interior gives occupants an awe-inspiring sense of space. The driver and passenger doors open wide, while the front seatbacks folds forward effortless to ease ingress and egress to both the rear seats,” read the press statement from the manufacturer.
The vehicle is powered by KIA’s popular and well-proven 1,4-litre Gamma engine, which features friction-reducing modifications and dual continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) to achieve a responsive performance and competitively modest fuel consumption. Power output is at a maximum of 79 kW at 6 300 r/min and peak torque of 135 Nm at 4 200 r/min, which is able to propel the automobile to a top-speed of of 183 km/h. The six-speed manual gear box model is able to accelerate the Kia Rio from nothing to 100 km/h in 11.5 seconds but for those with distaste for manual gearbox there is also a four-speed automatic gearbox, offered as an option.
Standard specification levels remain exceptionally high and includes leather seats, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB and accessories jack, steering wheel-mounted remote controls as well air conditioning. The Rio TEC 3-Door ships with the same stylish, 17-inch alloy wheels as its 5-door sibling, and is available in a choice of eight exterior colours.
Launched globally in 2011, the fourth-generation KIA Rio was an immediate hit across the world. In its first year on sale, it won several prestigious “Car of the Year” awards as well as a Good Design Award and an Automotive Brand Contest design award in Germany. In 2012, Rio added more “Car of the Year” and “Best Buy” awards from across the globe to its cabinet, and added a ‘red dot’ and an IDEA Design Award to the mix. Needless to say, the trophy cabinet had to be remeasured in 2013. And again in 2014.
The Rio soon became KIA South Africa’s bestselling model, scoring a nomination as finalist in the 2012 WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year competition. The Rio has also been a consistent star in the Standard Bank People’s Wheels Award. Most recently, in 2014, it starred against one luxury German competitor and ran rings around the other to scoop the “Best Compact Commuter” award, while internationally renowned research firm IPSOS presented it with a Gold Award in its 2015 Quality Awards.
Price starts at N$241 for the Rio 1.4 TEC Manual 3-door and at N$254 995 for the Rio 1.4 TEC Auto 3-door. A sunroof is standard on the new Rio 1.4 TEC 3-Door. KIA’s class-leading 5-year/150 000km warranty remains standard, as does a 4-year/60 000km service plan.