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2012 Kia Rio – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2012 Kia Rio debuts at the 2011 New York Auto Show today, sporting brand new bodywork, Kia's new direct-injected four-cylinder and the company's Idle Stop and Go, or stop-start technology. Kia claims the combination of direct fuel injection and stop-start means the 2012 Rio will pull down 30 miles per gallon around town and 40 mpg on the highway.

On top of that, the new Rio should be a peppy little beast, knocking down 138 horsepower from its 1.6-liter four cylinder. Switching the ratios will be either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Idle Stop and Go is an all-new feature for any Kia – when the car is stopped and the brake depressed, the computer kills the engine to save gas. When the brake pedal is released, the engine fires back up and away you go.

2012 Kia Rio5Outside, the Rio has been treated to a full re-skinning, taking on the high-shouldered, wedge-shaped look of the rest of the Korean automaker's lineup. Out front, the Rio gets a slightly slimmer version of the company's familiar grille, re-shaped to better integrate with the car's headlights. The 2012 Rio has also grown to 171.9 inches in length and 67.7 inches in width, but sits lower than the outgoing model. Kia claims that, despite its increased dimensions, the widened stance and use of high-tensile steel in the car's construction makes for significantly better ride and handling over the old Rio.

The 2012 Kia Rio will be available in three trim packages, starting with the LX, which gets 15-inch steel wheels, body-color door handles and side mirrors. Above that, the EX model rides on the same wheels as the LX, but gets power mirrors and locks and keyless entry. The top-level trim will be the SX, which sports 17-inch wheels, fog lamps, LED daytime running lights, a dual-tip exhaust and heated mirrors sporting turn signal repeaters. The five-door Rio5 SX, meanwhile, will be upgraded to projector headlights. Check out Kia's full press release after the jump and our gallery of images below.

Live photos copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Kia]
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Sub-Compact Sedan and Hatchback Sibling Offer Best-In-Class Horsepower and Achieve Up to 40 Miles Per Gallon
• Rio models bring Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) and Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology to small car segment
• 2012 Rio offers outstanding combination of styling, fuel economy and power rarely seen in the class

NEW YORK, April 21, 2011 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today globally unveiled the all-new 2012 Rio sub-compact sedan at the New York International Auto Show. Scheduled to join the KMA lineup this fall – along with its hatchback sibling unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and shown today for the first time in North America – the all-new Rio ushers in the next chapter of Kia Motors' ongoing design-led transformation with previously unseen levels of eye-catching design, advanced technologies and sophistication in the small car segment. With all-new ISG technology and class-leading horsepower and fuel economy of 40 miles per gallon , Rio promises consumers impressive fuel efficiency without sacrificing power or fun-to-drive performance.

"The all-new Rio brings Kia's successful combination of world-class styling, outstanding fuel economy, advanced technologies and tremendous value to the smallest and most economical vehicle in the Kia lineup," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "With gas prices rising, sub-compacts are becoming increasingly more popular and with more power, up to 40 miles per gallon fuel economy and stunning design, the all-new Rio sets the standard in the sub-compact class and becomes a vehicle that is not only affordable, but one that people will aspire to own."

Class-Leading Fuel-Efficiency and Horsepower
Available in three trims – LX, EX and SX – the 2012 Rio is available with a 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder with the option of either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic. One of only two vehicles in the segment to offer a GDI engine, the 2012 Rio offers consumers an elusive combination of power and impressive fuel efficiency, achieving class-leading 138 horsepower while also maintaining a class-leading fuel economy rating of 30/40 mpg (city/highway) . Rio also offers ISG technology, new to the Kia lineup, where the engine turns off when the vehicle is not in motion such as at a stop light or in traffic. The engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake pedal, resulting in lower levels of fuel consumption.

Adding further to Rio's improved performance, engineers worked to reduce engine weight by 29 pounds over the previous generation by adding an aluminum valve cover and block to the third-generation Gamma engine, while incorporating cast iron lining for increased durability.

Sleek and Streamlined Exterior
Conceived at Kia's design studios in Irvine, Calif., the all-new Rio sub-compact sedan and hatchback exhibit highly sculpted sloping shoulder lines and wedge-shaped exteriors, projecting an athletic profile that conveys power and agility while mimicking the aggressive lines found on other recently launched Kia vehicles such as the 2011 Optima and Sportage. Both Rio models sport their own interpretations of Kia's signature grille, slimmed down to connect to the dynamic headlamp design, providing a new twist on the Kia family look that includes a bigger air intake to exude a youthful persona. The Rio sedan shares the sleek skin of its hatchback sibling, only dropping the wedge line slightly toward the rear door down to the trunk.

The LX trim includes body-color door handles and side mirrors and 15-inch steel wheels with 185/65R15 tires, while the Rio5 also comes with a standard rear spoiler to improve aerodynamics. To accentuate a premium look, the side mirrors are attached to the door rather than the plastic triangle like so many others in the segment. Moving to the EX trim brings additional standard conveniences, including power door locks with keyless entry and a standard rear wiper for the Rio5. For consumers looking for higher levels of sporty refinement, the SX trim offers standard 17-inch wheels with 205/45R17 tires, fog lamps, LED daytime running and rear combinations lamps, dual chrome tip exhaust, outside heated mirrors with turn signal indicators and, unique for the Rio5, projector headlamps.

Luxuriously Equipped Interior
Moving inside, the 2012 Rio envelopes driver and passengers in a bold and modern cabin, centered on Kia's characteristic horizontal three-cylinder instrument panel, two-tone for the 2012 Rio to emphasize a feeling of spaciousness and comfort. An extended wheelbase (101.2 inches) greatly enhances passenger and cargo capacity for additional comfort, offering 40 inches front headroom, 37.8 inches rear headroom, 43.3 inches front legroom and 31.1 inches rear legroom for the Rio sedan and Rio5 hatchback.

Standard on the LX trim is a driver's seat height adjuster, while moving to the EX trim includes standard power windows with automatic up/down on the driver's window, Bluetooth® wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for compatible mobile phones, telescoping steering column, 60/40 split folding rear seats and leatherette door trim. The SX trim offers consumers an even more upscale look and feel with standard metal pedals, metal grain, a Supervision™ meter cluster, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, maplight with sunglasses holder, illuminated vanity mirrors, trip computer, cruise control, UVO powered by Microsoft® in-car hands-free communication and entertainment system with rear camera display, and chrome-coated accents throughout.

In addition to offering a comfortable cabin, impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service and auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players.

Available packaging upgrades for the Rio EX include a Convenience Package and Eco Package, while the SX level offers an available Premium Package. The Convenience Package includes 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic light control, fog lamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, maplight with sunglasses holder, illuminated vanity mirrors, outside heated mirrors with turn signal indicators, trip computer, cruise control and the UVO powered by Microsoft® in-car hands-free communication and entertainment system with rear camera display . The Eco Package appeals to the environmentally friendly consumer with ISG technology and an Active Eco System for optimal fuel-efficient driving. Upgrading the SX trim with the luxurious Premium Package includes a navigation system (replaces the UVO system), push-button start with Smart Key, leather seat trim, heated front seats and a moonroof to give an open, airy feeling.

All-New Advanced Platform
The 2012 Rio brings with it an all-new platform – longer, wider and lower than the previous generation. Its aggressive and playful stance is assisted through an overall length of 171.9 (Rio sedan) or 159.3 (Rio5) with a platform measuring 67.7 inches wide and 57.3 inches high. Employing high-tensile-strength steel (63 percent), Rio's lightweight design offers high torsional stiffness for improved handling, ride quality and refinement. Though a more expensive alternative, using these materials also increases crash safety capabilities while reducing overall weight. To ensure good noise vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction, the 2012 Rio was outfitted with hood and dash insulators as well as expandable foam in the A and C pillars and Thinsulate™ in the A and B pillars.

Built on a unibody frame, the front-wheel-drive Rio utilizes independent front and rear suspension systems. MacPherson struts, coil springs and a stabilizer bar are used in the front with a torsion beam axle suspension in the rear to engage drivers with responsive handling and provide the utmost comfort for a variety of driving situations.

The 2012 Rio is equipped with a high level of standard safety features, as is the rest of the Kia line-up. Rio's high-strength steel structure includes an innovative Halo Body construction designed to help protect occupants in certain side impact and roll-over collisions, while additional standard safety features include six airbags (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side curtain), side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions and Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH). Also standard on all Rio trims for increased driver and passenger safety are Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), which coordinates the car's ESC and ABS to help the driver stay in control of the vehicle.

Competitive Warranty
The 2012 Rio is covered by Kia's warranty program , which offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in this program are a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the vehicle coverage.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm really digging that hatch, with its wheels out stance. I see a lot of Seat and Alfa in the back, but regardless, it looks goooood! Damn, the Rio went form an almost embarrassing anonymous econobox to this actually desirable little thing in one year? I want to know what the new Nissan Versa thinks about this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        SEAT is exactly what comes to mind when i look at it... which is a good thing, cause imo along with audi, SEAT has the best looking cars from VW... and alfas were designed by water d'silva who is now working for VW... i always find the butts on the audis similar to the alfas.... still preferred the italians tho hehe
        • 4 Years Ago
        ya that rear end picture looks like a gti...overall i like the styling
      • 4 Years Ago
      Where'd the Forte stand in all of this...? Seems a bit like cannibalization, unless it's receiving a refresh soon
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm guessing Forte is competing in sub-compact league against civic, corolla, elantra, etc This one is in a whole another league that niches under.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A question. How does Accent w/o start-stop gets the same millage as the Rio? Aren't they based on the same platform? I would expect Kia to at least have higher city by ~10%
        • 4 Years Ago
        Simple. The EPA test doesn't cover when a car is standing still (when it would normally be idling), so while stop-start would help you get better mileage in the real world, it doesn't get reflected in the EPA numbers. That is also why stop-start tech hasn't really reached USDM cars even though its a fairly easy thing to implement (slightly more beefy starter) and could increase mileage a fairly decent amount. Companies don't want to spend the extra money (as minimal as it might be) to help you get better mileage if they can't advertise that benefit with better EPA numbers, which is kind of pathetic, but true.
      • 4 Years Ago
        • 4 Years Ago
        looks like someone loves them some good ol 'merican cars! most of them aren't even made here, btw. instead of hating on a country for actually coming up on their game, give them props. i loved honda, and unfortunately they now suck and have no life left in them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ford didnt create the hatchback, all cars in this class look a little similar
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, that hatch is easily the best looking B-segment vehicle on the market today. 138HP and 40MPG sounds great to me. A performance version with a 1.6 liter turbo and ~190HP with LSD and a six speed manual sounds even better.
        • 4 Years Ago
        • 4 Years Ago
        OMG almost 200hp on this lil car wow that is what I call a pocket rocket. I agree with you tell KIA now that they should build few of those just to add more spice who knows they listen to us. Cuz lately look like Korean listen to most people complains.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What a hideous boring looking appliance. That gray interior is rental car ready.
      Rui Wang
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hyundai and Kia are on a roll with their newest designs and the Japanese are falling behind.
      • 4 Years Ago
      honda called they said they want their grill back
      • 4 Years Ago
      Based on the new cars coming from Hyundai, Kia, Ford, and Chevorlet I see no reason for the masses to just blindly buy Toyota and Honda because consumer reports or your neighbor you want to compete with says so. Toyota and Honda better wake up because their market share is sure to drop
        • 4 Years Ago
        japanese marques have been resting on their laurels, im starting to see more new hyundais than hondas in berkeley
          • 4 Years Ago
          can you even recognize a NEW Honda anymore? They are so subtle on the redesigns it's almost pointless...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like that hatch..... good stuff from Korea.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Totally agreed. I'm blown away by this car. The interior looks phenominal too. Could you imagine if they drop the turbo 4 in this thing? I may actually consider a Kia.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Me too that is a nice hatch this and elantra hatch really tempt me to get one of these babies. This will be a great commuter car for someone like me who live in NYC easy on gas not too big so i can find parking easily.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As expected a good redesign. The Japanese companies are falling asleep at the wheel.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd buy that in a second--looks, great cabin, killer fuel economy and value. The Japanese mfrs are woefully behind the Koreans now more than ever. I never thought I'd want a Kia but I do now...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes me too lately I been tempted to go get Korean cars I tried Japanese an European car for many years and drive American for my work but I never tried any Korean cars
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