New York 2011: Kia debuts all-new 2012 Rio with start-stop, good for 40 MPG
The 2012 Kia Rio debuts at the 2011 New York Auto Show today, sporting brand new bodywork, Kia's new direct-injected four-cylinder and the company's Idle Stop and Go, or stop-start technology. Kia claims the combination of direct fuel injection and stop-start means the 2012 Rio will pull down 30 miles per gallon around town and 40 mpg on the highway.
On top of that, the new Rio should be a peppy little beast, knocking down 138 horsepower from its 1.6-liter four cylinder. Switching the ratios will be either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Idle Stop and Go is an all-new feature for any Kia – when the car is stopped and the brake depressed, the computer kills the engine to save gas. When the brake pedal is released, the engine fires back up and away you go.
Outside, the Rio has been treated to a full re-skinning, taking on the high-shouldered, wedge-shaped look of the rest of the Korean automaker's lineup. Out front, the Rio gets a slightly slimmer version of the company's familiar grille, re-shaped to better integrate with the car's headlights. The 2012 Rio has also grown to 171.9 inches in length and 67.7 inches in width, but sits lower than the outgoing model. Kia claims that, despite its increased dimensions, the widened stance and use of high-tensile steel in the car's construction makes for significantly better ride and handling over the old Rio.
The 2012 Kia Rio will be available in three trim packages, starting with the LX, which gets 15-inch steel wheels, body-color door handles and side mirrors. Above that, the EX model rides on the same wheels as the LX, but gets power mirrors and locks and keyless entry. The top-level trim will be the SX, which sports 17-inch wheels, fog lamps, LED daytime running lights, a dual-tip exhaust and heated mirrors sporting turn signal repeaters. The five-door Rio5 SX, meanwhile, will be upgraded to projector headlights. Check out Kia's full press release after the jump and our gallery of images below.