KIA Rio Station Wagon Offers Real Affordability
7 January 2001
New Model Backed by 10-Year/100,000-Mile Warranty Protection IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 5 Kia Motors America has brought some post-holiday cheer to American families with the unveiling of the Kia Rio station wagon. The versatile and stylish new model is being introduced simultaneously at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will go on sale later this year at more than 600 Kia dealers nationwide. The Kia Rio station wagon will build on the already strong base established in the basic small car segment by the Sephia and Rio sedans. With the addition of the Rio station wagon, Kia will have three distinct entries in the basic small segment, making it an even stronger power to be reckoned with in that portion of the market. In keeping with the Kia philosophy of delivering more car and more features per dollar than its competitors, the Rio station wagon will be priced in the same value-conscious manner as other Kia vehicles. Though prices have yet to be announced, the new model is expected to have a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price slightly higher than the Rio sedan. Despite the eye-popping pricing that will make it possible for thousands more consumers to afford a new station wagon, the Rio will reflect Kia's reputation for building affordable, high-quality vehicles. And to deliver consumers even more peace-of-mind, the Rio, like all 2002 model-year Kias, will be covered by a new comprehensive customer protection plan that features substantially improved basic and powertrain warranty coverage plus an extended roadside assistance plan. The industry-leading Kia Long Haul Warranty Program(TM) consists of three basic components: a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year or 60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year or 100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance plan is also part of the comprehensive coverage program. The program has already proven to be very popular with consumers across the country. The Rio station wagon is based on the very successful Rio sedan that was introduced in America in August 2000 and has already become a hugely successful model. Like its well-styled sister sedan model, the station wagon offers its buyers state-of-the-art technology in a contemporary wedge-shaped body. Inside the Rio features extensive head room and leg room, and its higher-than-normal seats give the driver and passengers a command-of-the-road feel. The driver's seat is height-adjustable and also features an integral fold-down armrest. The instruments are housed in an ergonomically designed dashboard that relays information quickly, and the switchgear is exceptionally easy to understand. The Rio's drivetrain is much more sophisticated than the buyer might expect in a vehicle so inexpensive. The MI-Tech (Millennium Innovation Technology) powerplant offers multi-port electronic fuel injection, dual overhead cams and tuned intake and exhaust manifolds. The 1.5-liter engine produces 96 peak horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 98 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm. Backing up the engine is a five-speed manual transmission or an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. The Rio's compact exterior dimensions make it maneuverable and easy to park. The 94.9-inch wheelbase contributes to the Rio's handling as does the independent MacPherson strut front suspension. The rear suspension is an elegantly simple torsion beam with coil springs. Steering is by rack-and-pinion with power assist standard as is a tilt steering wheel. On the safety front, the Rio uses Kia's exclusive CIAS (Crush Impact Absorbing Structure) body design, which combines minimal weight with maximum strength. Stopping power is provided by ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes. An antilock braking system is optional. Even in base trim, the Kia Rio station wagon will feature a variety of added touches like rear window defroster, tinted glass, full cloth interior and center console. The station wagon will also offer standard niceties that are part of its sedan sibling's upgrade package. In addition to power steering and tilt wheel, these include dual visor vanity mirrors, full wheel covers and body-color bodyside moldings. Also included as standard equipment on the Rio station wagon are an AM/FM/cassette audio system, rear wiper/washer and 12-volt power outlet in the rear cargo area. In addition to that upscale convenience, the Rio station wagon is exceptionally roomy and versatile. It has 102.6 cubic feet of interior space, 10.5 cubic feet of cargo space and easy-to-operate 60/40-split folding rear seats. The cargo area can be shielded from view via the standard luggage area cover. The rear seats are also equipped with three adjustable headrests. On the freestanding option list are automatic transmission, air conditioning, a more sophisticated and powerful AM/FM/CD audio system, alloy wheels and antilock brakes. All Rio options will be priced in the same value-conscious manner as the vehicles themselves. The addition of the Rio station wagon brings the Kia U.S. model lineup to seven distinct vehicles: Optima midsize sedan, Rio subcompact sedan, Sephia compact sedan, Sportage sport-utility vehicle, Sportage 2-Door Convertible and the Spectra sporty hatchback sedan. Kia Motors America is the U.S. sales, marketing and service arm of Kia Motors Corp. in Seoul, South Korea.