01/11/05 ID: 4019

Class-Leading Horsepower and Interior Room Help Kia Set the Value Standard for Subcompacts 

DETROIT, January 11, 2005 – Kia Motors America (KMA) unveiled the all-new 2006 Kia Rio subcompact sedan today at the North American International Auto Show. Already recognized as a value leader in the entry-level segment, the all-new Rio sedan features distinctive styling with a longer wheelbase, a wider track and more horsepower than its predecessor for better handling, a smoother ride and improved performance. The new Rio also offers class-leading interior volume and six standard airbags, including full-length side-curtain airbags.

The all-new Rio’s longer wheelbase and increased width and height contribute to a best-in-class 92.2 cubic feet of passenger room with a long list of standard features, increasing its appeal for the value-conscious shopper.

“The 2006 Rio reinforces Kia’s position as a value leader in the subcompact class with its comprehensive list of standard features and emphasis on safety, delivering an affordable and fun-to-drive vehicle,” said Peter Butterfield, president and CEO of Kia Motors America, Inc. “With Kia’s commitment to value, quality and safety, the all-new Rio will continue to be a success in the entry-level segment.”

The 2006 Kia Rio is the company’s latest new product designed specifically to attract a larger number of American consumers to the Kia brand. In the past three years Kia has aggressively expanded its product offerings to include new products such as the Spectra compact sedan and Spectra5 five-door, the Amanti large premium sedan, the Sorento mid-size SUV and the Sedona minivan.

A Distinguishing New Look
Designed to stand out from the crowd in the entry-level segment, the all-new Rio’s European-inspired exterior design radiates a youthful personality from the sedan’s sportier, more substantial appearance.

Built on a new platform with a longer wheelbase (98.4 in.) and increased overall width (66.7 in.) and height (57.9) compared to its predecessor and most of its competitors, the new Rio offers a spacious interior package:

  • With total interior volume of 92.2 cubic feet, the Rio has the roomiest cabin in its segment, and more interior space than the larger Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla.
  • The 2006 Rio’s trunk capacity is significantly larger than ever before. At 11.9 cubic feet, the trunk volume represents a 29-percent increase over the previous generation vehicle.

The all-new Rio’s exterior design refinements provide a more athletic stance and a more significant, yet modern appearance to the vehicle. Changes to the front of the Rio include an aggressively styled black mesh grille, swept-back headlamps and bumpers with black inserts.

A distinctive black bodyside molding runs the length of both the front and rear doors and ties into the black inserts on the bumpers creating a unified look with a subtle wedge shape. Sculpted arches at each fender contribute to the Rio’s wide, assertive stance.

Peace of Mind Comes Standard
Following in the footsteps of the all-new Kia Spectra introduced in 2004, the new Rio sedan is the latest realization of Kia’s efforts to offer an unprecedented level of standard safety equipment in all of its vehicles.

  • The all-new Rio features six standard air bags, including dual advanced front and front seat-mounted side air bags, and full-length side curtain air bags. Sensors controlling the front supplemental restraints determine the position of the seat, whether the seat belt is buckled, whether the front passenger seat is occupied, and the severity of a frontal impact before deployment.
  • Rio is the only vehicle in its class with standard full-length side curtain air bags, and replaces the Kia Spectra as the lowest priced car in the U.S. to offer this feature as standard equipment.
  • The 2006 Rio comes equipped with standard front-wheel disc brakes. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with four-wheel disc brakes are optional.

Additional safety features include: front seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters, 3-point seatbelts for all five seating positions and dual Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) child safety seat anchors in the rear seat.

Improved Performance
With increased horsepower and torque with reduced emissions from the previous generation vehicle, the all-new Rio offers improved performance. In fact, the new Rio offers more standard horsepower than any vehicle in its class.

  • Rio ’s new 1.6-liter DOHC engine, which incorporates continuously variable valve timing, produces 110-horsepower and 107 lb-ft. of torque.
  • The all-new Rio provides the most standard horsepower in the subcompact segment, ahead of Chevrolet Aveo, Toyota Echo, Hyundai Accent and Scion xA.
  • Rio ’s engine can be mated to either a five-speed manual or an optional, electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.

Stopping power has increased due to larger diameter (10.0 in.) front disc brakes. Four-wheel antilock brakes with rear discs are optional.

Better Handling, Smoother Ride
Unlike many subcompact sedans that offer low-tech, entry-level suspension layouts, the 2006 Rio features an independent front suspension and semi-independent rear suspension for responsive handling and ride comfort.

  • Rio ’s suspension layout uses MacPherson struts with coil springs in front and a torsion beam axle with coil springs in the rear, tuned to achieve a healthy balance between a comfortable ride and responsive handling.
  • Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard on all Rio models. Aiding handling is a precise rack-and-pinion steering system.
  • Rio’s wider track and improved suspension and steering systems provide better handling characteristics and improved performance over the previous generation Rio. A longer wheelbase helped designers carve out more space for rear seat passengers while enhancing ride comfort.

More Standard Features, Limited Options
Occupant safety, as well as a long list of standard convenience features, is one of the defining qualities of Kia’s recent wave of new products. The all-new Rio was engineered to provide a quiet, vibration-free cabin that would compliment the vehicle’s improved performance and handling characteristics.

The all-new four-door Rio is available in two trim levels: Base and LX.
Like all of Kia’s vehicles, each model offers a generous list of standard features inside and out, including dual advanced front airbags, front seat side and full-length side curtain airbags, three-point seatbelts for all five seating positions, eight-way manually-adjustable driver’s seat, rear window defroster, variable intermittent windshield wipers, dual body-color outside mirrors and black bodyside molding.

The LX trim level offers additional standard equipment, including: full wheel covers, air conditioning, an AM/FM/CD audio system with four speakers, 60/40 split folding rear seatback, power steering and a height-adjustable steering column.

A Power Package -- only available on the LX model -- adds the following features:

  • Power windows and door locks
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Power heated outside mirrors
  • Front door-mounted tweeter speakers
  • Dual map lamps with sunglasses holder

Sport Package Introduces Fun
Following in the footsteps of the new Spectra SX and Spectra5, the 2006 Rio will also offer an optional Sport Package. Exclusive to the LX trim, the package includes 15-inch alloy wheels with 195/55R15 tires, four-wheel disc brakes, fog lights, a rear spoiler, metal grain trim, metal pedals and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. A vibrant exterior color -- Sunset Orange -- will be available exclusively with the Sport Package.

Leaving Room in the Budget to Accessorize
Accessories are important for adding value in the subcompact segment and Kia offers several from which to choose, including a front mask, hood protector, rear spoiler, mud guards, wheel locks, license plate frames, floor mats, trunk tray, cargo net, multi-rack with attachments, valve stem caps and block heater.

The 2006 Rio will be covered by Kia’s comprehensive 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and five years of roadside assistance.

The all-new Kia Rio is built at Kia’s Sohari manufacturing facility in South Korea, and will be available in showrooms in early summer. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

Kia Motors America is the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corp. in Seoul, South Korea. For more information, including photography, visit

Press Release Information Accuracy Disclaimer
Information posted in press releases on the Kia Media website was accurate at the time of posting but may be superseded by subsequent releases or other information.