Kia Rio: Six-speed man­ual or four-speed auto?

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - MOTORING -

Man­ual or au­to­matic? With the new Kia Rio, we know which one we pre­fer. By

au­to­matic. As a re­sult, many times with the Kia we found our­selves ei­ther chug­ging along in slightly too high a gear, or revving too much in slightly too low a gear.

The trans­mis­sion can be op­er­ated man­u­ally Tip­tron­ic­style, and it also has to be said that the Rio’s en­gine seemed to ab­so­lutely en­joy be­ing revved out in lower gears. But come on – only four gears? It’s the one big miss with this oth­er­wise ex­cel­lent car.

The Rio is built on a new plat­form that is shared with the Hyundai i20. Slightly larger than the model it re­places, it is a nice drive, fea­tur­ing sus­pen­sion set­tings that have been tuned for the Aus­tralasian driv­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

At the LX level there is quite heavy use of hard plas­tic and the seats are cov­ered in a black cloth, while the Lim­ited of­fers con­sid­er­ably higher spec­i­fi­ca­tion that in­cludes soft-touch ma­te­ri­als, leather up­hol­stery, prox­im­ity key and key­less start, rain-sens­ing wipers, and nav­i­ga­tion. Both models have a 7-inch tablet-style touch screen, and both are set up for Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto.

They’re both very good lit­tle ve­hi­cles for their prices. But Kia – how about a cou­ple more ra­tios in that au­to­matic?

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