Kia Rio: New model 'can make an impact'
THE fourth generation of the Kia Rio has gone on sale in Ireland with a starting price of €15,950.
Rio is one of the brand’s global best-sellers and helped introduce the Kia brand to Irish consumers since Kia first entered the Irish market 13 years ago. The third generation of the model won Irish Car of the Year in 2011.
While the new car has been designed and engineered to meet the needs of a wider range of buyers, it is targeted specifically at ‘younger and female’ customers. This segment has a gender split of 50:50.
Kia Ireland's MD James Brooks said at the car’s Irish launch last week: “We are confident that this new model can make an impact in the Irish market but it is more difficult for a smaller company to make inroads into the segment because of some long-established ‘hero’ models like the VW Polo and Nissan Micra.
Petrol choices are important in this B segment because buyers are reluctant to pay the diesel cost premium.
Six models are offered with one 1.2- 85hp petrol engine and two 1.4 diesel units of 77 and 90hp. The 1.0 100hp turbo petrol engine will follow later in the year.
The petrol variants are entry level L model (€15,950); the volume seller EX (€18,150) with rear parking sensors, automatic cruise control and manual air con; the EX ADAS model (€19,450) fitted with the safety pack including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning and a rear-view camera. A top Platinum grade, at €20,450, comes with sat nav and Android Auto connectivity. Rio is the first car in the class to offer radar pedestrian detection with its AEB system. The 1.2 petrol unit has annual road tax of €190; the diesel 92 and 98 are €180 p/a.
The diesel engine model starts with the LX at €17,750 and the EXE at €19,950, respectively with the smaller and larger output units.
James Brooks notes that “in our outgoing model, 60pc of buyers chose petrol, and we would see the shift more towards petrol. Especially when diesel and petrol fuel prices are harmonised from a tax point, as seems to be on the cards.”