While some cars get our juices flowing, others are merely a means of transportation. We have to recognize that the Kia Rio
sedan is one of the latter. In fact, both its profile and equipment, which are starting to seem out of place compared to some of the Rio’s recent competitors, like the Ford Fiesta
, justify the upcoming arrival of a replacement, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show
this March. But that doesn’t mean the current model doesn’t efficiently carry out its mission: get four people from A to B for cheap.
|The Kia Rio Convenience is a compact, practical and affordable means of transportation. (Photo: Luc Gagné/Auto123.com)
The Rio, as we currently know it, dates back to 2006. Kia treated it to a light makeover last year, in a bid to keep up with the times. The Rio inherited the traits that are common to the entire lineup, namely the signature tabbed, chrome-trimmed grille set over a huge, asymmetrical, black mesh air intake. A few touch ups here and there designed to keep clients happy while they wait for the overhauled Rio.
Does that make the current model any less attractive? In my opinion, no. The upcoming arrival of the 2012 Rio highlights two aspects of the current iteration. First, at this time in its life, the boo-boos afflicting the Rio have undoubtedly been dealt with. Second, to make room for the new vintage, which will soon be appearing in Canadian dealerships, incentives will shortly be offered to try and sell off all those leftover 2011s. Which will give consumers more negotiating power.
Few direct rivals
This Rio is part of a small subcompact niche, those sedans I like to call “econominis”. Buyers considering a Rio sedan for their next purchase won’t have more than five other models on their shopping list: Toyota Yaris, Chevrolet Aveo (soon to make way for the Sonic), Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent.
People prefer hatchback econominis. Which makes sense, as the flexible cabin creates more versatile machines. But there are still some drivers out there who prefer the nice conservative lines of a sedan.
|Last year, the Rio inherited the signature grill common to all Kia products. (Photo: Luc Gagné/Auto123.com)