Monday, June 12, 2017

Used Car Review - Kia Rio (2012-2017)

Improved? Let us revisit this model one more time.

2012-2017 Kia Rio


We all know the situation Kia faced at the turn of the millennium, decreasing sales and at the same time it cannot escape the stigma that it had faced during the period of the sub-compact Pride. While the Rio was cheap and a breath of fresh air (it was developed independently, not anymore based on a Mazda platform), quality is thumbs down plus the dominance of Japanese makes placed this car out of oblivion. The second generation model, launched in 2006, was an improvement but was relegated to the taxicab crowd thanks to a somewhat basic interior and some marketing push.

The UB Rio debuted first at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011, which for the second time shares its platform and engines with the Hyundai Accent. While both sedan and hatchback models were available, a three door hatch was released for this generation.

For the Philippine market, the third generation Rio was first made available in the form of the 1.4 EX sedan in January 2012 with the lower 1.2 LX and hatchback a month later. Later variants for the sedan were added in 2013 covering both bases. This vehicle is an improvement over its taxi image with numerous changes ushering in especially in safety and interior quality.

Value and Costs
Kia vehicles, in general, have poor resale values which in return are bargains for second hand shoppers. A 2012 sedan can be had for as low as P280,000 while later models hover at the P600,000 below range. Do take note that hatchbacks cost more than their four box counterparts. In that price range however, some superior rivals exist which surpass the Rio in certain aspects, so do your research well.

Maintenance costs are similar to rivals of the same time period, with parts being similar to several Hyundai models. If you aim for one, do check out for the air-conditioning unit as it has the tendency to conk out. Kia models sold carry a five year or 100,000kms warranty, so eye for a unit with the remaining chunk.

Exterior and Interior
While the 2006-2011 model was dull at its best, this one has some European touches than something made from the land of Koreanovelas. The Tiger Nose grille gives the vehicle an aggressive yet classy approach. Hatchback models and the EX-S sedan have fog lights with its lowly models losing them, while the EX and SLX having alloy wheels and the base LX rides on steel wheels with hubcap covers.

Same goes with the interior, especially that it was a dramatic improvement (although still not to par with some established rivals) over the model it replaced. Another point of improvement is the safety department, with the 1.4 models gaining at least airbags and ABS brakes. 1.2 models do get at least front power windows and power mirrors and the hatchback/EX-S sedan gain cruise control, automatic climate control, and a push button smart key system.

Both engines are from Hyundai, so you may be familiar with these especially that they have been mentioned in several of my reviews. LX and SLX gets the Kappa 1.2 that has 86hp at 6,000rpm and 119Nm at 4,000rpm while the rest of the gang uses the Gamma 1.4 with 108hp at 6,300rpm and 137Nm at 4,200rpm. Both engines are capable on their best although the 1.4 needs some revving at certain times, worst for the latter is that its automatic version slurps gas more so stick to a manual if you want this.

Driving Impressions
Driving this one is at the middle ground when compared to the Ford/Mazda twins, with handling being on the safe side. Ride quality, despite the road imperfections our country has, is excellent.

Although Kia was relegated to the middle or lower class, the attempt for the third generation Rio is an improvement (although not quite, but going there). It is no longer the dull sedan it was known for inside and out, rather an effort to step up to its game.

The Good:
  • Improved interior quality
  • Cheap to buy
  • Flexible interior for hatchback
The Bad:
  • Not much safety features for sedan models
  • Some cheap touches
  • 1.4 lacks some punch
The Pick: Manuals

Engine: 1,197cc Kappa I4 and 1,396cc G4FA I4 gasoline
Power: 86hp @ 6,000rpm (1.2), 108hp @ 6,300rpm (1.4)
Torque: 119Nm @ 4,000rpm (1.2), 137Nm @ 4,200rpm (1.4)
Fuel Consumption: 8-12km/L (city), 10-14km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual (LX and SLX), 6-speed manual (EX sedan), 4-speed automatic (EX)
Suspension: Front McPherson strut (with stabilizer for hatchback), rear torsion beam

Price (New): P598,000-P898,000
Price (Now): P280,000-P590,000
On Sale: 2012-2017
Rivals: Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda City, Honda Jazz, Hyundai Accent, Mazda 2, Nissan Almera, Suzuki Swift, Toyota Vios, Toyota Yaris

Kia Pasay - (02) 852-1490

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