It Stops And It Goes!

Posted: June 11, 2012 in All, Kia, New Car Reviews
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We have recently tested the Kia Rio 1.4 Automatic and a wee bit later we tested the Kia Picanto 1.2 Manual ISG. Now, it would seem, these two cars have been heading along the highway towards each other, crossed the centre-line and smashed themselves into one machine, the Kia Rio 1.4 Manual ISG. The standard Rio auto is a great car and economical enough although I felt it did lack a little something. That something, it would appear, is the manual gearbox. Kia have imported the ISG technology into the Rio with rather surprisingly pleasant results, whereas the original Rio achieves great fuel economy (6.4 litres per 100k) the fitment of a manual shifter and the Instant Stop & Go wizardry have reduced the economy to a frugal 5.3 litre/100k.


Commuting in the Rio ISG is easy and smooth and it’s also a comfortable open road cruiser but chuck it around some back roads and you can have a tonne of fun flicking through the gearbox. The gear leaver slides effortlessly through the cogs, the clutch has good feel and is light to use, which is a godsend as you could be changing gears quite often, there are six of them, if you’re crawling through peak hour traffic or flicking the Rio through some tight ‘S’ bends on the way out to the beach.



On the outside the Rio ISG will be hard to distinguish from a standard Rio with the same stunning body with only an EcoDymamics badge on the tailgate. Maybe if you sweet talk your local Kia dealer they might be kind enough to slap some of those nice ISG ‘leaf’, as my daughter calls it, decals on the side for you, but would you, really. I personally prefer the Signal Red colour of the previous test car but the Rio looks just as good in Electronic Blue.



The Rio range consists of the LX Manual Diesel that sips fossil fuel at just 4.3 litres/100k for $24,990+ORC, the cheapest in the range is this LX ISG Manual at $22,990+ORC, the LX Automatic for $23,490, and at the top of the list the EX Automatic at $25,790+ORC. Still waiting on a two litre turbo rally version, Kia. Hint hint.



I didn’t have a lot of luck photographing this car as for the week I had it the weather was rather dodgy. On the Sunday the weather was looking perfect so off up the road I went with daughter in tow. Just my luck, get to the location and ka-boom! Down comes one of the biggest down-pours I’d seen in years, and of course on returning home the ground was dry and the sun was shining. Typical!


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