Kia completely revises its Rio subcompact for the 2012 model year, with a new platform, engine, design, and cabin technology. The new Rio incorporates Kia's tiger nose grille design, working its way across the model lineup. Similar to the outgoing version, Kia will offer a sedan and a five-door hatchback. Pictured above is the hatchback.
Kia describes the new Rio as longer, wider, and lower than the outgoing model. All Rios get a direct-injection 1.6-liter four cylinder, which makes 138 horsepower while turning in fuel efficiency of 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.
Kia adds an idle stop feature to the Rio, so that the engine will shut off at traffic lights, helping to raise fuel economy. Transmission choices are a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic.
Kia will offer cabin tech such as a Bluetooth phone system and iPod connectivity in the Rio. The most intriguing feature is UVO, a Microsoft-powered system similar to Ford Sync, in that it offers voice command over paired phones and connected MP3 players.
The Rio comes in LX, EX, and SX trim levels, the tech options increasing in the higher trims. The navigation system is a flash-based unit, and keyless start is also available.