Rio raises bar again

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

GROW­ING fast and mak­ing head­way is in­creas­ingly the Kia route. About 750 ex­am­ples of its Cars­guide Car of the Year­win­ning Rio sold last month, in three, four and five-door forms.

Here we’re com­ing to grips with the SLS— the top-spec three-door with six-speed auto.

VALUE

The SLS is $19,990 ($21,990 auto) so the Rio is no bar­gain base­ment buy. That’s Vw­polo money— the Polo was its pre­de­ces­sor as COTY. But cop the fea­tures. The SLS has cli­mate con­trol, Blue­tooth phone and au­dio link, USB and aux­il­iary in­put for the sixs­peaker sound sys­tem, a leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel with con­trols for ev­ery­thing, LED day­time run­ning lights, 17-inch al­loys in Con­ti­nen­tal rub­ber and auto head­lights.

Add to that rain-sens­ing wipers, key­less start sys­tem and leather seats and the SLS starts look­ing like more than value for money. Its five-year/un­lim­ited kilome­tre war­ranty is class-lead­ing.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The 1.6-litre di­rect-in­jec­tion, vari­able-valve en­gine pro­vides 103kw/167nm. It’s solid, if not with cut­ting-edge tech. Left to its own de­vices, the six-speed auto leans to fuel econ­omy.

DE­SIGN

The Rio three-door re­tains the same sharp looks and di­men­sions (although the front doors are longer than those of the five-door), which means it has the stance and solid pro­por­tions of the de­but model.

Com­ple­ment­ing the 17-inch­ers are dual chrometipped ex­hausts for a sporty look. No prizes for guess­ing the Volk­swa­gen in­spired these.

In­side, there’s an Essendon-

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