Posts Tagged ‘new zealand’



With the demise of the Australian built big bangers, the Commodore and Falcon, we in New Zealand and Australia are left with a gap in the market and a hunger for rear wheel drive sports sedans to give us the thrill of power and the feeling that only a front engine rear drive layout can give, plus being able to have the convenience of a family sedan. Without of course spending crazy amounts of hard earned cash on European equivalents.




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.