All-New 2012 Kia Rio 5-door Brings a Different Kind of Horsepower to Texas


Sub-Compact Hatchback Offers New Fuel-Saving Technologies Along with Class-Leading Horsepower and Delivers Up to 40 Miles Per Gallon1

  • Completely redesigned Rio model features Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) and is first in the B-segment to offer Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology

  • Rio incorporates a host of eco-friendly features and 85 percent of its materials are recyclable at the end of the vehicle’s life
  • AUSTIN, Texas, October 11, 2011 – With all-new ISG technology, class-leading horsepower and fuel economy of up to 40 miles per gallon (mpg), the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door hatchback officially debuted today in Texas Hill Country. Set to join the Kia Motors America (KMA) lineup in the coming weeks and be joined by its sedan sibling later this year, the Rio 5-door offers world-class design to style- and environmentally conscious consumers along with class-leading fuel efficiency, cutting-edge technology and fun-to-drive performance. Unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the sub-compact is the latest introduction in Kia’s aggressive transformation, which has resulted in record sales and market share growth since the launch of the Soul in 2009.

    All-new 2012 Rio 5-door subcompact hatchback begins at an impressive $13,600

    Pricing for the all-new and completely redesigned 2012 Rio 5-door subcompact hatchback begins at an impressive $13,6002 MSRP, while the Rio 5-door A/T starts at $14,7003 both lower than the previous generation. The EX line starts at $16,5003 while the top-of-the-line, sporty SX trim starts at a wallet-friendly $17,7003 and offers a plethora of consumer-friendly and upscale features, including stunning 17-inch alloy wheels and class-exclusive LED headlamp and tail light accents, a sport-tuned suspension with larger front brakes, projection headlamps, twin chrome exhaust tips, fog lamps, as well as standard UVO powered by Microsoft®4 voice-activated infotainment system (expected to be available this fall) with a 4.3-inch color touch screen and rear camera display5.

    Conceived at Kia’s design studios in Irvine, Calif., the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door and its sedan counterpart proudly wear their own interpretations of Kia’s signature grille, slimmed down to connect to the dynamic headlamp design to provide a new twist on the Kia family look that includes a bigger air intake to exude a youthful persona. Exhibiting highly sculpted, sloping shoulder lines and wedge-shaped exteriors, both the sedan and hatchback project athletic profiles that convey power and agility while mimicking the aggressive lines found on other recently launched Kia vehicles such as the 2011 Optima and Sportage. The Rio sedan drops the wedge line only slightly toward the rear door down to the trunk to differentiate it from the hatchback profile.

    Class-Leading Power and Fuel-Efficiency
    Offered in three trims LX, EX and SX the 2012 Rio is available with a 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder with the option of either a six-speed manual transmission (LX only) or efficient six-speed automatic. One of only two vehicles in the segment to offer a GDI engine, the 2012 Rio provides an inviting combination of power and fuel efficiency and achieves class-leading 138 horsepower while maintaining a class-leading6 fuel economy rating of 30/40 mpg (city/highway) for the sedan and hatchback. Rio also will be the first non-hybrid or luxury vehicle to offer ISG technology (available later this year), which helps to reduce fuel consumption and improve fuel economy by turning the engine off when the vehicle is not in motion such as at a stop light or in traffic and automatically restarting when the driver releases the brake pedal.

    2012 Kia Rio 5-door brings class-leading horsepower and fuel-saving technologies to subcompact segment

    Adding to the Rio’s improved performance, Kia’s engineers worked feverishly to reduce engine weight by 29 pounds over the previous generation vehicle by adding an aluminum valve cover and block to the third-generation Gamma engine, while incorporating cast iron linings for increased durability.

    Attractive and Functional Exterior
    Accentuating the hunkered down and muscular exterior profile, Rio offers no shortage of standard exterior features. Starting with the LX trim includes body-color door handles and side mirrors, rear wiper and washer, multi-reflector headlamps and 15-inch steel wheels with 185/65R15 tires, while the Rio 5-door also comes with a standard rear spoiler to improve aerodynamics. Moving to the EX trim brings additional standard conveniences, including power door locks with keyless entry and a chrome front grille surround, adding to Rio’s sophisticated and sleek look. For consumers looking for higher levels of sporty refinement, the SX trim offers standard 17-inch wheels with 205/45R17 tires, fog lamps, LED accent lights and rear combination lamps, dual chrome exhaust tips, power-folding outside heated mirrors with turn signal indicators and, unique for the Rio 5-door, projector headlamps.

    Lavish and Comfortable Interior
    Moving inside, the 2012 Rio greets drivers and passengers with a bold and modern cabin, centered on Kia’s horizontal three-cylinder instrument panel and a two-tone color scheme to emphasize a feeling of spaciousness and comfort. An extended wheelbase (101.2 inches) greatly enhances passenger room and comfort, offering 40 inches front headroom, 37.6 inches rear headroom, 43.8 inches front legroom and 31.1 inches rear legroom for the Rio sedan and Rio 5-door hatchback. Those looking for ample cargo space for quick weekend getaways or trips to the grocery store will not be disappointed, with an impressive 13.7 cubic feet for the sedan and 15 cubic feet in the hatchback.

    Adding to the Rio’s earth-friendly theme, 85 percent of the vehicle’s materials are recyclable at the end of its lifespan, and the Rio features seat foam material that uses 100-percent biodegradable and non-toxic castor oil, which benefits the environment in several ways, including reduced use of petroleum-based products and because castor oil comes from plants, this material is generated from a completely renewable source.

    85-percent of the materials found on the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door are recyclable at the end of the vehicle’s life

    Standard on the LX trim is a driver’s seat height adjuster and six-way adjustable driver’s seat, tilt steering column, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, trip computer, electric power steering, 60/40 split folding rear seats and a cargo cover for the hatchback. Moving to the EX trim includes standard power windows with automatic up/down on the driver’s window, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth®7 wireless connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for compatible mobile phones and a sleek metallic finish throughout with leatherette door trim. The SX trim offers consumers an even more upscale and athletic look and feel with standard metal pedals, metal grain, a Supervision meter cluster, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual map lights, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, UVO powered by Microsoft®8 voice-activated infotainment system with rear camera display9.

    In addition to offering a comfortable cabin, impressive technology features also come standard on all trims, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SiriusXM Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service10 and auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players with full iPod® and MP3 controllability via the audio head unit and steering wheel-mounted controls11.

    Available packaging upgrades for the Rio LX include the Power Package (A/T only), which adds power windows with automatic up/down functionality on the driver’s window, power door locks with two-turn entry system and remote keyless entry. For the EX trim, the available Convenience Package includes 15-inch alloy wheels, the UVO powered by Microsoft® voice-activated infotainment system with a 4.3-inch color touch screen and rear camera display12, automatic headlamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power folding side mirrors with turn signal indicators, front fog lights, dual illuminated vanity mirrors and dual map lights. An available Eco Package can be added to the EX trim when the Convenience Package has been selected and adds ISG technology for increased fuel efficiency (expected to be available shortly after launch), enabling 31/40 mpg13 for the sedan and hatchback. With the luxurious Premium Package available on the SX trim, passengers will benefit from a navigation system with SiriusXM Traffic (replaces the UVO system), push-button start with Smart Key, leather seat trim, heated front seats and a moonroof to give an open, airy feeling.

    Advanced New Platform
    Further distinguishing itself from the previous generation Rio, the 2012 Rio brings with it an all-new longer, wider and lower platform. Its aggressive stance is achieved through an overall length of 171.9 (Rio sedan) or 159.3 (Rio 5-door) with a platform measuring 67.7 inches wide and 57.3 inches high. Employing high-tensile-strength steel (63 percent of body), Rio’s lightweight design offers high torsional stiffness for improved handling, ride quality and refinement. Use of these high-quality materials also helps to improve performance in the event of a crash while reducing overall weight. For increased noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction, the 2012 Rio was outfitted with hood and dash insulators as well as expandable foam in the A and C pillars and Thinsulate in the A and B pillars.

    Built on a unibody frame, the front-wheel-drive Rio utilizes an independent front suspension system. MacPherson struts, coil springs and a stabilizer bar are used in the front with a torsion beam axle suspension in the rear to engage drivers with responsive handling and provide the utmost comfort in a variety of driving situations. A sport-tuned suspension on SX trims offers enhanced handling characteristics for drivers interested in a more spirited drive.

    Class-Leading Safety Features
    The 2012 Rio is equipped with high levels of standard safety features, including an innovative Halo Body construction designed to help protect occupants in certain side impact and roll-over collisions. Additional standard safety features include six airbags14 (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side curtain), side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions and Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH). Also standard on all Rio trims for increased driver and passenger safety are Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) which coordinates the car’s ESC and ABS to help the driver stay in control of the vehicle.

    Industry-Leading Warranty
    The 2012 Rio and Rio 5-door are covered by Kia’s comprehensive warranty program15, which offers consumer protection at an exceptional value. Included in this program are a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the comprehensive vehicle coverage.

    Design-Led Transformation and Product Line
    Kia Motors has undergone a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand’s continued gains in U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and brand growth through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technology. Kia’s commitment to the U.S. market is represented by its U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in West Point, Georgia KMMG which is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and added the critically acclaimed Optima midsize sedan16 to its production line in September. Kia’s model year 2012 vehicle line includes the Sorento CUV, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, all-new Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.

    About Kia Motors America
    Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 745 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.” In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.

    Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle lineup is available at its website For media information, including photography, visit

    1 EPA claim for highway mileage for 2012 Rio. Class-leading MPG and horsepower claims based on comparisons to 2011 and available 2012 sub-compacts as of September 2011 and available 2011 EPA city/hwy mpg claims for sub-compact competitors. Actual mileage may vary.
    2 Starting price is manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRP excludes $750 destination and handling fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
    3 MSRP excludes $750 destination and handling fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
    4 Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
    5 The rear camera display is not a substitute for proper and safe backing-up procedures. Always drive safely and use caution when backing up.
    6 EPA fuel economy estimates for 2012 Rio. Actual mileage may vary.
    7 The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Kia is under license. Other trademarks and tradenames are those of their respective owners. A compatible Bluetooth® wireless technology enabled cell phone is required to use Bluetooth® wireless technology.
    8 Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
    9 The rear camera display is not a substitute for proper and safe backing-up procedures. Always drive safely and use caution when backing up.
    10 Sirius services require subscriptions, sold separately after 3-month trial included with vehicle purchase/lease. Subscriptions governed by SiriusXM Customer Agreement at© 2011 SiriusXM Radio Inc. Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of SiriusXM Radio Inc.
    11 iPod® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Apple cable required for iPod® mobile digital device connectivity. Navigation system requires optional Kia accessory cable, sold separately.
    12 The rear camera display is not a substitute for proper and safe backing-up procedures. Always drive safely and use caution when backing up.
    13 KMC fuel economy claim for 2012 Rio. Actual mileage may vary.
    14 For maximum protection, always wear your seat belt.
    15 See retailer for warranty details or go to
    16 Optima Hybrid will not be built at KMMG.

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