It was easily one of the best entries in the old CAR magazine “Good, Bad, and Ugly”: “Good: Her name is Rio… Bad: …and she’s crap.” Don’t look for this new-generation Rio to receive the same dismissive insult, at least not among the journalists who actually have a chance to drive and honestly evaluate the vehicle.
Just when you think 40mpg is the new, um, 40mpg, it turns out that more than 40mpg is the new 40mpg.
The 2012 Rio5 and Rio will offer more horsepower and increased fuel economy thanks in large part to the utilization of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) and idle stop-go technology. Despite the fact that both models are longer and wider than the models they replace, the all-new Rios are expected to achieve better than 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
Kia’s wildly popular Soul urban passenger vehicle also receives a series of updates for the 2012 model year with significant power and fuel efficiency upgrades under the hood.
Youthful and spirited drivers will appreciate the Soul’s new six-speed transmissions and ability to deliver nearly 35 miles per gallon on the highway. Updated exterior features include new LED projector headlamps that are slightly bulged giving the overall shape of the Soul a smoother, more streamlined silhouette.
Oooh, interesting. The Honda Civic HF is already claiming 41mpg, but will the smaller Rio beat it? This super-exciting contest is, in way, kind of like horsepower wars for all the people who actually went and put on a sweater back in the Carter era. Remember 1982, when the Dodge Omni Miser, the Toyota Starlet, and the Honda Civic 1300FE all busted the 50MPG mark… equivalent to about 45-46mpg by the new rating system, I believe? Those days are coming back with a vengeance.
The Rio will debut at the New York Auto Show. Until then, if you want more than 40MPG, you’ll just have to do the decent thing and buy a Prius like everybody else.