There are a lot of important points to make about the all-new 2012 Kia Rio Sedan, but the most surprising is that it will be the first in the sub-compact segment to feature start-stop technology. Called Idle Stop and Go (ISG for short), the Rio will completely shut off its gasoline engine when at a stop and immediately restart it just before the gas pedal is pressed.
Powered by the same 1.6-liter direct-injection engine found in the new 2012 Hyundai Accent, the Rio also gets the same 30-mpg city and 40-mpg highway rating. Those EPA ratings don’t include technology like ISG, however, so real-world fuel economy could exceed the EPA estimates.
And as impressive as those fuel economy numbers are, the Rio doesn’t loose out in power either, making 138-hp and sharing the title of the most potent engine in the sub-compact class.
Kia continues to deliver in the design department as well, offering more style in the sub-compact segment than you’d expect. The Rio sedan even gets a slightly different front end to its Rio5 hatchback counterpart.
Available in three trim levels LX models include 15-inch steel wheels and not much else, while the EX trim brings features like power locks, windows and keyless entry as well as Bluetooth. The top-level SX trim includes fog lights, LED daytime running lights, dual chrome-tipped exhaust pipes, turn signal indicators, a leather wrapped steering wheel, the Microsoft UVO infotainment system with a rear-view camera and 17-inch wheels.
Options include that ISG setup as a part of the Eco Package, while SX models can be had with the Premium Package that delivers navigation, a push-button start, leather heated seats and a moonroof.
Official pricing has yet to be released, but the Rio will start at under $13,000.