When the Kia Rio first went on-sale in August 2000, it arrived under the premise that low-cost cars did not have to be dull. Reliable and affordable, the subcompact sedan spent much of its first four years as the lowest priced new vehicle in the U.S. and was the company’s best-selling nameplate in 2001, helping Kia grow in the U.S. market.
Now, the all-new 2006 Rio sedan and Rio5 five-door are raising the bar in the entry level segment by offering class-leading horsepower and interior volume, and six standard airbags, including full-length side-curtain airbags. New from the ground up, the Rio and Rio5’s longer wheelbase and increased width and height contribute to a best-in-class 92.2 cubic feet of passenger room and both body styles feature a long list of standard equipment that are sure to increase their appeal in the U.S. market.
Building on the success of the Spectra compact sedan and Spectra5 five-door, the 2006 Rio and Rio5 are the company’s latest vehicles designed specifically to attract a broader spectrum of American consumers to the Kia brand. In the past three years, Kia has aggressively expanded its product offerings to include new products such as the second-generation Sportage compact SUV, the Sorento mid-size SUV, the Sedona minivan and the Amanti large premium sedan.
The all-new Rio is available in three variations: Base and LX four-door sedan models as well as the Rio5 SX five-door.
Embodying Kia’s brand identity of “exciting and enabling,” the all-new Rio and Rio5’s European-influenced exterior design radiates a sporty and youthful personality through their bold look and dynamic profile.
Built on a new platform with a longer wheelbase (98.4-in.) and increased overall width (66.7-in.) and height (57.9-in.) compared to its predecessor and most of its competitors, the new Rio offers a spacious interior package.
With a total interior volume of 92.2 cubic feet, the all-new Rio and Rio5 have the roomiest cabins in their segment, and more interior space than the larger Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. The Rio sedan’s trunk capacity is significantly larger than ever before. At 11.9 cubic feet, the trunk volume represents a 29-percent improvement.
The Rio5’s 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space is larger than that of its two primary competitors, the Chevrolet Aveo five-door and the Scion xA. Inside, all Rio models feature significant improvements in interior material quality and fit-and-finish, with a standard full cloth interior that incorporates a sporty-looking mesh fabric and an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with a fold-down armrest for maximum comfort.
In addition to the user-friendly ergonomics of the interior, there are also several thoughtful touches throughout the cabin, including numerous storage areas for cell phones and PDAs, a slot in the center stack for parking passes or toll tickets, dual 12v power outlets and a convenient shopping bag hook on the back of the front passenger seat.
Following in the footsteps of recently introduced new vehicles from Kia, the all-new Rio and Rio5 are the latest realization of the company’s efforts to offer an unprecedented level of standard safety equipment in all of its vehicles.
The all-new Rio and Rio5 are equipped with six standard air bags, including dual advanced front air bags, front seat-mounted side air bags, and full-length side curtain air bags. Sensors controlling the front supplemental restraints determine the position of the seat, whether the seat belt is buckled, whether the front passenger seat is occupied, and the severity of a frontal impact before deployment.
The Rio four-door sedan replaces the Kia Spectra as the lowest priced car in the U.S. to offer full-length side curtain airbags as standard equipment.
The 2006 Rio and Rio5 are equipped with standard front-wheel disc brakes. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with four-wheel disc brakes are available as optional equipment for the Rio LX and Rio5 SX models.
The 2006 Rio and Rio5 offer more horsepower and torque and a significant increase in fuel efficiency from the previous generation Rio. In fact, the new Rio and Rio5 offer more standard horsepower than any vehicle in the subcompact category.
A new 1.6-liter DOHC engine incorporates Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) to produce 110-horsepower and 107 lb.-ft. of torque. In addition to being more powerful, this new engine delivers 20-percent better fuel economy, including up to 38 mpg on the highway. As a result, the maximum range for the Rio jumps from less than 370 miles to more than 450 miles - an increase of almost 22-percent.
Fuel economy ratings are 32 mpg city/35 mpg highway with the manual transmission and 29 mpg city/38 mpg highway with the A/T.
One of the contributing factors in the Rio’s improvement in fuel economy is the vehicle’s lighter weight. Thanks to careful engineering, the new Rio is larger and more powerful but weighs less than its predecessor. Besides improved fuel economy, this weight reduction aids acceleration, braking and handling.
Rio’s new engine can be mated to either a five-speed manual with improved shift linkage for a firmer feel, or an optional electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission with improved shift quality (available for Rio LX and Rio5 SX).
All Rio and Rio5 models feature improved braking performance with standard power-assisted vented front-wheel disc brakes that are more than one-inch larger than those on the previous generation vehicle. Four-wheel disc brakes are available as an option with ABS on the Rio LX and Rio5 SX, the first time rear disc brakes have been offered for Rio.
The 2006 Rio and Rio5 feature an independent front suspension and semi-independent rear suspension for responsive, athletic handling and long-travel ride comfort. Using MacPherson struts with gas shocks and coil springs in the front, and a torsion beam axle with coil springs in the rear, Rio’s suspension was carefully tuned to be fun-to-drive while offering maximum comfort.
A front stabilizer bar is standard on all Rio models , and a precise rack-and-pinion steering system, equipped with engine-speed-sensitive power assist aids in handling. With its wider track and improved suspension and steering systems providing better handling characteristics and improved performance, the new Rio’s longer wheelbase helped designers carve out more space for rear seat passengers while enhancing ride comfort.
The Base 4-door sedan is equipped with 14-inch steel wheels and 175/70R14 tires, while the LX sedan features 14-inch wheels with full wheel covers and larger 185/65R14 tires. The Rio5 SX is equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels with 195/55R15 tires.
Although the interior design is focused on functionality and versatility, each model is equipped with a generous list of standard features for the subcompact segment, including: full-cloth interior with sporty mesh fabric, height adjustable driver’s seat, d river’s seat armrest, tachometer and rear defroster. There is no optional equipment available for the Base model.
The Rio LX sedan offers additional standard equipment, including: air conditioning, AM/FM/CD audio, power steering with tilt, 60/40 split folding rear seat and larger 14-inch tires and full wheel covers.
The Rio5 SX features the same standard equipment as the LX sedan and adds: 15-inch tires and alloy wheels, fog lights, rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and metal grain interior trim and metal pedals.
Optional equipment for the Rio LX and Rio5 SX includes a four-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission, a Power Package and antilock brakes (ABS) with rear disc brakes. A rear spoiler is also available for the LX four-door sedan.
The optional Power Package for the Rio LX and <>Rio5 SX includes power windows, power door locks with keyless entry, power heated outside mirrors and tweeter speakers for the audio system.
Like all Kia models, the Optima is covered by Kia’s comprehensive warranty program, which offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in the package are a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year or 60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year or 100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan is also part of the comprehensive coverage program.
Kia Motors America, the U.S. sales, marketing and service arm of Kia Motors Corp. in Seoul, South Korea, offers a full line-up of vehicles, including: Rio subcompact sedan and Rio 5 five-door; Spectra compact sedan and Spectra5 five-door; Optima midsize sedan; Sportage compact SUV; Sorento midsize SUV; Sedona minivan; and Amanti large premium sedan.