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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 11 2013, 8:02 AM


Kia has announced that its 2014 model year Rio sedan will be priced from $14,600 including destination while the hatchback will cost $100 more at $14,700.

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 |  Aug 27 2013, 3:58 PM

Is the Eco package for the Rio really worth it?

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Kia was one of the first mass-market auto brands to introduce LED daytime running lights to its lineup, and once again the Korean brand is bringing technology usually reserved for luxury cars into its Rio sub-compact in the form of Stop/Start.

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 |  Aug 12 2013, 8:02 AM


Kia has made some major changes to its model lineup over the last couple of years, launching the Cadenza sedan, a redesigned Forte, and refreshed Optima, but that’s just the beginning for the Korean automaker.

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 |  Apr 22 2013, 12:07 PM

Affordable and Practical

GEAR_lowrez2-mainHatchbacks have a ton of versatility and use, and they’re also quite affordable, not to mention fuel efficient.

When it comes to the most affordable hatchback, there’s quite a few options out there. Unlike the Honda GEAR concept pictured above (which could preview a new affordable subcompact for the Japanese brand) all the cars on this list are easily attainable, and are competitively priced. Our top ten is seperated by a slim $4,000 margin from cheapest to most expensive. Check out the whole list, and see which cheap hatchback is the right choice for you!

 |  Nov 13 2012, 2:01 PM

A couple of weeks ago, Kia debuted five Justice League concept models at the 2012 SEMA Show, and now the Korean automaker has released a video of the unveiling.

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 |  Sep 10 2012, 3:31 PM

Kia has decided to produce a limited production run of 2013 Rio SX hatchback models equipped with six-speed manual transmissions, undoubtedly responding to the demands made by consumer interest.

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 |  Aug 09 2012, 12:15 PM

To help meet stricter average mpg ratings imposed by the U.S. government, big auto companies are installing a variety of fuel saving features into new cars, one such feature being stop-start technology. 

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 |  Jun 05 2012, 2:32 PM

Considering their prevalence today, it’s easy to forget that just five years ago we saw our first set of LED headlights on a production vehicle. Even back then car makers were putting LEDs on concept cars to dazzle show-goers and catch the eyes of the media. But today, LED (light-emitting diode) lights are no longer isolated to just one-off concepts or premium luxury vehicles.

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 |  Jun 05 2012, 11:57 AM

About 72,500 model year 2006-2008 Kia Rio’s are being recalled for a faulty occupant classification system mat, located in the front driver seat.

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 |  Mar 22 2012, 6:01 AM

The Kia Rio EX got top honors in Consumer Reports’ latest tests in the sub-compact sedan category, besting the Hyundai Accent and the Chevrolet Sonic.

Consumer Reports found the Kia Rio a solid and well-equipped car with nimble handling, simple controls and plenty of features for the price. Their test vehicle was a Kia Rio EX sedan ($17,275 as tested) with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine making 138-hp with 30-mpg overall. They noted that the six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly while both ride and noise were tolerable for a subcompact. They were also pleased with the braking performance of the Rio and found the trunk to be roomy.

The hatchback, on the other hand, came in third place behind the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa in the subcompact hatchbacks category. Despite the Versa having a strong showing among the hatchbacks, the sedan plunged from being at the top of Consumer Reports’ ratings to the bottom. Complaints from Consumer Reports include the engine’s whirring, jittery ride on the highway and unimpressive interior.

Even with its redesign, the Toyota Yaris continued to garner very low scores from Consumer Reports, which calling it “bare-bones transportation.” They reported that the Yaris is noisy, has a choppy ride, poor handling and slow acceleration.

The biggest surprise is probably the new Chevrolet Sonic getting high marks for its quiet cabin, agile handling, and excellent braking. What hurt the Sonic was its fuel economy, which Consumer Reports said is mediocre for the class. Even though Consumer Reports tested a fully-loaded Sonic LTZ turbocharged hatchback, they found that it was too expensive and “didn’t live up to its sporty aspirations.”

 |  Feb 29 2012, 1:15 PM

The 2012 Women’s World Car of the Year short list has just been announced, and women motoring writers from around the world will begin voting for their top picks.

Cutting a list of contenders from 300 down to 32, judges will now allocate points to the nominated cars that fall into four categories: Family Car, Luxury Car, Sports Car and Economy Car. Just one of the 10 criteria that cars are allotting points for is Child Friendliness, which is something vehicles aren’t usually judged on in a competition.

Winners of the 2012 Women’s World Car of the Year will be announced before the end of March, and awards will be presented at the Paris Motor Show in September. You can check out the complete short list after below.

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 |  Jan 29 2012, 3:00 PM


Similar to the Ford Fiesta, Europeans will be able to enjoy the cooler and more fun 3-door Kia Rio while Americans are stuck with the less-cool 5-door and downright dull sedan variants.

The Kia Rio 3-door has gone on sale in Europe, starting at £9,995 or around $15,715 based on recent conversation rates. The 3-door model will feature the same engine and model line-up as the five door, and is the first time the 3-door Rio has ever been for sale.

Four engine choices are available for the Rio 3-door, two standard gasoline models and a pair of diesel powerplants. A 1.1L CRDi engine offers a scant 74-hp and 125 lb-ft of torque with a fuel economy of around 74.3-mpg. The 1.4L CRDi is a four-cylinder engine with 89-hp and 162 lb-ft of torque and has an estimated fuel economy of 70.6-mpg combined. The two new gasoline engines for the Rio 3-door include a 1.25L Kappa engine with 83-hp and 89 lb-ft of torque. The last available engine is a 1.4L Gamma engine with 107-hp and 101 lb-ft of torque. By comparison, the US-Spec Rio gets a 138 hp 1.6-liter.

The four trim models available are similar to the five-door variant- “1″, “1 Air”, “2″, and “3″. 1 Air adds air conditioning to the vehicle while the 2 offers 16-inch wheels, front fog lights and a chrome radiator grille surround. The interior on the 2 gets upgraded black cloth upholstery, cooling glovebox, electrically adjustable heated and folding door mirrors with side repeaters, leather trim on the steering wheel and gearshift and center console armrest.

Lastly, the top of the level 3 has 17-inch wheels, LED daytime running and rear lights, automatic air conditioning with auto de-fog, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, automatic projection-type headlights, heated front seats and six speakers instead of four.

Standard with all 3-door Rios is a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

GALLERY: Kia Rio 3-Door


 |  Jan 04 2012, 7:30 PM


The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is besting the competition for safety ratings, for now. The little sub-compact Sonic scored a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to beat out the Ford Fiesta, which only scored four out of five.

Safety isn’t the only thing we’re pleased to say makes the Sonic great, it’s a peppy starter car that comes available with a six-speed manual and a turbocharged four-cylinder that had us scooting past the speed limit with surprising ease. It also comes with 10 standard airbags.

The Sonic still has to go up against its other competition: this year’s Kia Rio and Honda Fit, which both have yet to be rated. The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan also still has to be rated, but the verdict isn’t looking good for its hatchback brother with three of five in the frontal crash category and four of five in rollovers.

Poor ratings aside, the Sonic hasn’t won the race yet. It got four out of five stars in the rollover category, so there is still a chance the unrated cars can equal or best it.

Of course, that rating is coming hot off the heels of a recall over missing brake pads in the Sonic. We’re willing to assume the rating is based on completely assembled cars.

The Sonic is also a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Read Autoguide’s Chevy Sonic review here.

 |  Nov 01 2011, 3:40 PM


Kia has unveiled four custom models at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas today, with each car featuring a different sport as its theme. A custom Soul, built by West Coast Customs, is inspired by Michelle Wie, Kia’s official golf ambassador. A Rio 5-Door was built in partnership with Antenna featuring a Retro Surf theme. A custom Forte 5-Door “Hat Trick” sports a hockey theme while Kia continues its Blake Griffin collaboration with a “Slam Dunk” Optima Hybrid, also built by West Coast Customs.

Michelle Wie’s “Hole-in-One” Soul features unmistakable original artwork by Wie herself, Kia’s official golf ambassador. The “So Blue” exterior paint scheme is offset by the custom artwork that can also be seen on the 20-inch wheels. Wie’s personal logo and artwork has also been embroidered in the Soul’s “Snow White” headrests while the dash has been painted baby blue and the headliner now rocks a stylish pink. Plenty of entertainment is in the rear with an Xbox 360 with Kinect while two of Wie’s tournament-used golf bags are mounted behind the 26-inch LED TV.

The “Retro Surf” Rio 5-Door is outfitted with everything a surfer needs in a retro-styled package. An authentic Grain wood surfboard has been mounted on the roof while a set of 17-inch Rotiform gold wheels really sets off the sunset-metallic golden-brown paint scheme. A custom body kit features a front splitter made of wood. On the inside, plaid boardshorts-themed brown and beige fabric adorns the interior while the center console features a retro wood grain theme. And to ensure everyone is nice and safe at the beach, the rear center console features a shelf to hold sunblock and other beach accessories.

Following up on Blake Griffin’s amazing dunk off a Kia, the Optima Hybrid built by West Coast Customs is probably the most basketball we’ll get during the lockout. The outside orange paint features a unique basketball theme further accented by 20-inch wheels and Griffin’s personal logo on the hood. Basketball-court flooring is in the front, rear and trunk areas while a “Pop-A-Shot” basketball hoop has been mounted in the trunk for some off-court entertainment.

The cleanly-built “Hat Trick” Forte 5-Door by Antenna features an ice-metallic gray exterior paint contrasted by 19-inch six-spoke blue wheels. A custom body kit was built onto a Forte Koup front bumper that also features carbon fiber accents and LED “hockey stick” fog lights. The headliner inside features a built-in hockey coach’s board while the rear-cargo houses four carbon fiber hockey sticks, two jerseys, an ice skate rack and glove hooks.


GALLERY: Michelle Wie “Hole-in-One” Soul

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GALLERY: Rio 5-Door “Retro Surf”

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GALLERY: Blake Griffin “Slam Dunk” Optima Hybrid

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GALLERY: Forte 5-Door “Hat Trick”

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Click here to see AutoGuide’s complete 2011 SEMA Show coverage

 |  Oct 18 2011, 2:45 PM

10. Toyota Yaris 3-Door: $14,115

You can sound polite and say “inexpensive” but if you’re strapped for cash, the most important question when shopping for a new car is: what’s the cheapest car on the market? AutoGuide has got the answer, along with the nine runners up.

Toyota‘s warmed-over Yaris makes the 10th spot on our list with a base price of $14,115 for the 3-door model. The pricier 5-door will run you $15,150.

Using a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder like many of its counterparts the Yaris makes 106-hp and is rated at 38-mpg on the highway making it one of the most efficient models in its class, but not the most efficient. Growing three inches overall, Toyota claims the new car has 68 percent more cargo room than the outgoing model, which it shares a near-identical resemblance with. Standard on all models is air conditioning, nine airbags and power windows.

 |  Oct 12 2011, 9:45 AM

Kia will be joining in on the B-Spec racing series fun by offering race-prepped versions of the new 2012 Rio 5-door, joining the likes of the Mazda2 and Honda Fit. The B-Spec racing series is designed for low-budget racing enthusiasts featuring compact hatchbacks with little to no engine modifications. Kia will be working with Kinetic Motorsports to get Rio 5-Doors ready to race and is planning to announce more details at the upcoming 2011 SEMA Show.

Based on other B-Spec racing vehicles, we can safely assume that the race-prepped Rio will feature a roll cage, racing seats, harnesses, suspension modifications and a new wheel and tire package. B-Spec series racers are designed to compete in SCCA, NASA, Grand-Am and World Challenge race series. With basically stock engines in all of the vehicles, the race-ready Rio will sport the factory 1.6L that pumps out 138-hp and 123 lb-ft of torque, significantly more than either the Honda or Mazda.

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Kia Rio 5-Door review and see a preview of the 2011 SEMA Show here.

 |  Sep 28 2011, 10:45 PM

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Kia will hold off on expanding its production facilities and sales targets in favor of improving the quality of its vehicles, CEO Lee Sam-ung told Automotive News at a launch event for its new Rio hatchback.

“Quantitative growth is important, but qualitative growth is also important. We plan to focus on improving product quality and our brand,” said Sam-ung. Industry analysts worry that limited production capacity will be the biggest factor stunting Kia’s future growth. Sam-ung set a goal of 2.5 million vehicles sold in 2011, and wants to boost Rio sales from 110,000 in 2011 to 260,000 in 2012.

Sam-ung also said that Kia will get an all-electric compact car in 2015, one year after Hyundai launches their own model.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Sep 26 2011, 1:30 PM

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Kia will launch their 2012 Rio Hatchback with a starting price of $13,600, plus a $750 destination charge (bringing the total to $14,350).

The base car will come only with a manual gearbox, while an automatic transmission equipped version will cost $14,700 ($15,540 with destination included) while the top-of-the-line SX model will set you back $18,000 ($18,750 with destination included). The Rio will come generously equipped with air-conditioning, power steering, stability control, ABS, a hill-holder for manual transmission cars, and a 1.8L 138-horsepower engine capable of returning 30/40 mpg.

The Rio will also offer a start-stop feature, a class exclusive, that will boost city fuel economy to 31 mpg.

 |  Apr 14 2011, 5:20 PM

The 2012 Kia Rio and a facelifted Soul will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show next week.

The Rio and its five-door hatch Rio5 will get the same design language and H-shaped grille as the rest of the Kia lineup. The Rio sedan was last shown at Geneva, but the Rio5 hatchback will be an all-new debut. Both Rios will feature direct-injection and stop-and-go technology, enabling 40mpg on the highway or better.

The new Soul will get LED headlights and more streamlined styling, as well as a host of new six-speed transmissions that will deliver 35mpg.

 |  Mar 31 2011, 4:11 PM

Autoblog has revealed that the 2012 Kia Rio will make its debut at this April’s New York Auto Show, with an expected 1.4L 4-cylinder making 108 horsepower and 100 lb-ft of torque.

Expected transmissions are a 6-speed manual and an automatic, rumored to be a 4-speed. The sedan will complement the hatchback previously revealed at the Geneva Auto Show. Also possible is a 138-hp direct-injection 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, similar to the one offered in the 2012 Hyundai Accent.

AutoGuide will have complete coverage of the New York Autoshow starting April 20th, so stay tuned to our site for more photos and videos.

[Source: Autoblog]

 |  Mar 14 2011, 6:34 AM

Kia‘s new designs are helping brand the Korean automaker in a more positive light, particularly here in North America with the stylish new Optima. But in other parts of the world mid-size sedan’s don’t hold the same cache, nor do they sell all that well, so Kia is looking at alternative ways to create a boost in brand image.

In a recent interview, Kia product boss Benny Oeyen commented on three such methods, including a hot hatch, convertible or coupe. While the coupe idea, along the lines of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, may seem like the obvious choice, it’s the hot hatch the is the most likely. The reason for this is the importance of small hatchbacks in other parts of the world, like in Europe were sub-compact models, like Kia’s new 2012 Rio, make up the majority of sales for automakers.

A Rio hot-hatch is also the easiest to bring to market, as it would be based on the existing new car. Plus, it helps put the brand focus exactly where Kia wants it to be.

Exactly what a juiced-up Rio might bring to the table is unclear, with standard models in Europe getting 1.4-liter gasoline and diesel engines as well as a tiny 1.25-liter gas engine. One possibility is the 138-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that’s expected to come standard in the North American model, although for a ‘hot hatch’ we’d like to see more.

[Source: AutoCar]

 |  Mar 02 2011, 7:49 AM


The Kia Rio used to have the ignominious honor of being a “penalty box”, a car you didn’t want to spend time in unless absolutely necessary. But with the upswing in quality from Kia, and shared underpinnings from the promising new Hyundai Accent, the all-new Rio, shown for the first time at the Geneva Auto Show, might just be a solid little car for entry level buyers.

On sale in the U.S. this fall, the Rio features Kia’s new corporate styling cues, but still maintains a very close resemblance to the Ford Fiesta – not a bad thing in this segment. While only European specifications were announced, the North American version will probably use the 1.6L 138-horsepower 4-cylinder engine that the Accent uses, which will also deliver about 30-mpg in town and 41 mpg on the highway. The Rio should also boast one of the lightest curb weights in its class, and may even undercut the Accent’s MSRP.

Gallery: Kia Rio


 |  Jan 13 2011, 4:13 PM

The Kia Rio is well overdue for a replacement, and with a new Hyundai Accent on the way, it stands to reason that its platform-mate will also get a thorough re-design.

Although only a sketch has been released so far, the familiar design language brought forth by Kia styling boss Peter Schreyer. Mechanically, the car should share the new Accent’s 1.6L Gamma 4-cylinder, which is estimated to return 37 mpg in the city and an astounding 50 mpg on the highway.

Full details will be revealed at the Geneva Auto Show in March. Until then, see AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Geneva Auto Show preview here.

Hit the jump to see the official press release

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 |  Apr 27 2010, 2:38 PM


Consumer watchdog, Consumer Reports has released its list of 2010 cars, which includes the Hyundai Accent and the Chevrolet Aveo, that do not come with the electronic stability control (ESC) safety feature.

A computerized technology that improves the safety of a vehicle’s stability by detecting and minimizing skids in a turn, electronic stability control will become a standard feature in all light-passenger vehicles come 2012. This category includes cars, pickup trucks and SUVs. According to Consumer Reports, the majority of manufacturers have already equipped their vehicles ahead of the mandate.

The list was a short one – only nine other cars managed to make the cut. Others on the list include the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Dodge Dakota, Dodge Viper, Kia Rio, Lotus Elise, Tesla Roadster and Scion tC.

But don’t worry if you’re in the market for a Hyundai Accent – it will have electronic stability control upgrade shortly. According to Hyundai spokesman Dan Bedore, “The Accent is our only non-ESC vehicle. It is also the oldest in our lineup. We continue to roll out new technologies as vehicles are freshened and replaced.” At this time, the Accent is the only current vehicle made by Hyundai that does not come with ESC.

[Source: Inside Line]