Kia For 2001
By Carey Russ
Kia has achieved success in the American marketplace by carefully-planned expansion. A year ago, the Korean automaker's lineup consisted of the compact Sephia sedan and Sportage sport-utility. It now includes the Rio subcompact sedan and sporty Spectra hatchback as well. All 2001 Kias have the company's "Long Haul Warranty Program," one of the longest warranties in the industry.
The average price for a new car is upwards of $20,000 and there are plenty of cars that cost far more. Then there is the Kia Rio. With a base price of less than $8,600, it's the lowest-priced new car in the country. But, importantly, it's a completely modern car with contemporary styling and a dual overhead cam 1.5-liter, 96-hp four-cylinder engine. It has high seating position and good room for its size. Even the base model is well-equipped, with a rear window defroster, tinted glass, and cloth upholstery standard.
The Spectra, the sportiest Kia, was introduced in April 2000. It's a four-door fastback hatchback sedan with a 1.8-liter, 125-hp twin cam engine and an all-independent suspension tuned for handling and comfort by Lotus Engineering. For 2001, the Spectra gets larger front brakes. Cars with the optional anti-lock braking system have four-wheel discs.
The four-door Kia Sportage is one of the most inexpensive SUVs made, but that doesn't mean Kia can't make a luxury model. And so the Sportage Limited debuts for 2001 with special trim, a 140-watt audio system and available leather upholstery. Like all Sportage models, it's offered with two- or four-wheel drive.
The Sportage 2-Door Convertible is offered in 4x2 form with a four-speed automatic transmission or 4x4 with a five-speed manual gearbox. Its small size makes it easy to maneuver in urban parking lots or between boulders on the trail. It is unchanged for 2001.
Kia's core model, the Sephia sedan, gets larger front brakes for 2001.
Kia Specifications 2001 Rio ENGINE 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder Peak horsepower: 96 @ 5800 rpm Peak torque, lb-ft: 98 @ 4500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN Front engine, front-wheel drive 4 - speed automatic 5 - speed manual CHASSIS & SUSPENSION Unit construction Front suspension: independent MacPherson strut Rear suspension: torsion beam axle BRAKES Disc/drum, antilock optional EPA ESTIMATED FUEL ECONOMY City / Highway: 25/31 Fuel tank: 11.9 gallons Spectra ENGINE 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder Peak horsepower: 125 @ 6000 rpm Peak torque, lb-ft: 108 @ 4500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN Front engine, front-wheel drive 4 - speed automatic 5 - speed manual CHASSIS & SUSPENSION Unit construction Front suspension: independent MacPherson strut Rear suspension: independent multilink strut BRAKES Disc/drum standard, 4-wheel antilock disc optional EPA ESTIMATED FUEL ECONOMY City / Highway: 22/30 Fuel tank: 13.2 gallons