Rio raises bar again
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.
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.
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.
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-