Performance– Our test car came powered by a familiar 1.2-litre Kappa petrol motor that’s seen under the hood of Hyundai’s Grand i10 and the Elite i20. The 1.2-litre engine produces 83 PS of power and 115 Nm of torque. The low-end performance isn’t satisfactory and lacks punch but the top-end is where this powerplant really shines. The engine redlines just above 6500 RPM and the 5-speed gearbox is slick-shifting. The powertrain is superbly refined and add to that the light clutch, the Kia Rio is very much a fun to drive car. In terms of mileage, the vehicle will return around 11-15 km/l which is on par with the Hyundai Elite i20.
Driving Dynamics – The Rio’s suspension is set up on the stiffer side. While body control is good, the ride quality feels choppy. There is a thud felt inside the cabin over most of the bad surfaces. However, this is largely to do with the low-profile rubber but again, due to the wider tyres, the car feels planted and stable. When launched in India, Kia is most likely to offer the vehicle with smaller wheels and tweak the suspension which could do wonders to the ride quality. Steering feel and feedback is not all that great but the brakes offer stupendous stopping power.