Posts Tagged ‘kia’

Kia’s 2013 Rio SX sedan – loaded.

You’re no doubt familiar with the phrase, “Good things come in small packages.” When we talk about small cars, specifically the 2013 Kia Rio SX sedan, just about any one out there can have something positive to say about this stylish 4-door vehicle.

While it is classified as a compact automobile, the interior space may well surprise. OK, so you will not be holding any parties in the back seat any day soon, but as a mode of transport to take you and three adults to your destination, this Peter Schreyer-designed car need not offer any apologies to anyone.

Perhaps it’s not a car for drifting or even performing burnouts in a remote parking lot, but as a well-engineered and relatively-speaking stylish mode of transportation, this third-generation Rio blows the doors off its competition when the whole value-added package is examined. And not just inexpensive-this-should-appease-all-customers-value-added, either. There is an abundance of features – most standard – in this as tested at $21,895 sedan. And this model included a credible and intuitive navigation system with satellite radio, too.

How many brand new off the lot cars with a list price of just shy of $22 grand can you name that have a heated leather steering wheel?

The answer, to save you time and worry is none. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

But Kia has not stopped there. This delightful small car comes equipped with standard (note the use of the word standard) features such as:

  •    Rearview camera
  •    Fog lights
  •    17” alloy wheels and low-profile tires
  •    Bluetooth connectivity – and easy to set up into the bargain!
  •    Full navigation system
  •    Leather seats – front and back – again, on a $22,000 car – leather!
  •    Heated seats up front
  •     Power windows and locks
  •     Automatic climate control
  •     Power folding heated side mirrors
  •     Power sunroof
  •     Smart key with push button start
  •     Vehicle stability management
  •     Electronic stability control
  •     4-wheel disc brakes (larger than LX and EX models) – and ABS
  •     6 airbags
  •      A 1.6L Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 4-cylinder engine providing 138hp and 123 foot pounds of torque.

All of the above and also a more than respectable EnerGuide/Government of Canada gas consumption rating of 6.8L/100 city, 4.9L/100km which to the non-metric among you translates into 42 mpg city and 58 mpg on the highway.

With its sport-tuned suspension, 17” wheels and available 6-speed automatic transmission, good things do indeed, come in small packages.

Soaking wet and weighing in at just over 2,400 pounds, this smart-looking, surprisingly spacious and quite respectable small sedan will not look out of place on many driveways. Some owners may even make a point of leaving their Rios on their driveways – just to show off a little. Laugh if you like, but you know it’s going to happen.

Along with sister company Hyundai, Korean manufacturers are doing their bit to turn an often staid automotive industry on its ear. Even today, they are beating Japanese manufacturers at their own game by adding incredible and desired value-add all the way through their product lines.

But can they produce stylish in-demand cars? Yes.

Interior of the 2013 Kia Rio SX sedan – surprised? Don’t be.

Can they consistently engineer and build reliable vehicles. That’s how things seem – especially when you look at what may well be coming down the proverbial pike.

The conclusion? Well, that will be up to consumers. From this person’s perspective, these days, there are now several very attractive 800lb gorillas in the room from this one manufacturer.

And aren’t we all now just a little bit mad as hell? Perhaps. The next year or two will tell the complete story.

Almost across the board, Asian manufacturers and designers can continue to hold their head a little higher.

Based upon recent driving experiences, the more traditional Japanese car builders are upping their game, too. Will the North American Big Three respond? Let’s hope so. At the end of the day, it will strengthen the industry generally.

And for the record, did no-one learn anything from the days of too many multiple marques and variations just a few short years ago?

Advertisements

Just announced earlier this morning from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) announced the names of 11 vehicles that will now compete for 2012 Canadian Car, and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year.

The annual event known as Testfest and held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, brought 70 Canadian automotive journalists together to road and track test some 57, 2012 model year vehicles now arriving in dealer showrooms.

Today’s announcement followed almost a week of rigourous road and track testing by AJAC members, with the purpose of narrowing a field of 57 entries down to winners in 11 categories.

The winners in the 11 categories are:

  • Best New Small Car under $21K: Hyundai Accent
  • Best New Small Car over $21K: Hyundai Elantra
  • Best New Family Car under $30K: KIA Optima LX
  • Best New Family Car over $30K: KIA Optima Hybrid
  • Best New Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class C350 4MATICSedan
  • Best New Sports/Performance Car under $50K: Hyundai Veloster
  • Best New Sports/Performance Car over $50K: BMW 1 Series M Coupe
  • Best New Prestige Car over $75K: Mercedes-Benz S-Class S350 Bluetec 4MATIC
  • Best New SUV/CUV under $35K: Dodge Journey
  • Best New SUV/SUV $35K-60K: Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel
  • Best New SUV/CUV over $60K: BMW X3

Did you spot the lonely North American automobile? Does this surprise you? Seriously?

The AJAC 2011 car of the year was General Motors Cruz; is that once highly regarded vehicle now considered flavour of the month – yesterday’s news?

Of the 70 Canadian journalists who participated in Testfest this month, there are few, if any changes from last year. Why the apparent about face? Public opinion? Or can North America not build a decent automobile? Hold on a moment; consider Honda Canada with their Alliston manufacturing facilities. Recently back on line at full production, they are producing between 1,400 and 1,600 Honda Civics per day for the North American market. A Japanese car, built in Canada that may well lay claim shortly to its 14th consecutive year of being Canada’s number one selling car. When was the last time we saw that honourable statistic bestowed upon one of Detroit’s Big 3? Oh yes, right… before there was any serious competition from European or Asian manufacturers, that’s when.

I digress. As can clearly be seen, Korean automakers did extremely well, actually winning five of the 11 categories — including the KIA Optima, which sewed up both family car categories.

If you follow cars, the end result may not come as a complete surprise to many. For the past couple of years, Korean manufacturers Hyundai and Kia, a once bankrupt manufacturer not too many years ago has been bringing cars to the market with tremendous style and appeal while loaded with safety features and excellent value for the dollar.

We’ll still have to wait a few months to hear the declared overall winners for 2012 Canadian Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year; they’ll be announced at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto in February 2012.

One wonders; given the bailouts in North America to some automakers who were teetering on the brink, can they too, in the future return to their once former glory? Or are the stakes quite simply way too high?

Time and public opinion will tell.