Arab Today, arab today 2012 kia rio ex 5door
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2012 Kia Rio EX 5-door

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Arab Today, arab today 2012 Kia Rio EX 5-door

London - Arabstoday

EXECUTIVE EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: I like this little 2012 Kia Rio EX 5-Door runabout as much as our long-term SX model, which is to say quite a bit. The car seems well-built, reasonably strong, loaded with equipment, practical and economical. I\'d have to think long and hard about the ride quality and quiet though--it might be OK for a short commute, but anything longer than 10 miles might prove tedious, especially on harsher road surfaces. Making matters worse is the car\'s dead on-center and lack of linearity on the application of steering input, and more of the same in the suspension. In both cases, small inputs result in little response, but then steering response quickens rapidly an inch off center while the suspension shifts dramatically from flat. I\'ve noted this in the two Kia Rios that I\'ve driven in recent days. If you can get past those limitations, the Rio is a great car for not a ton of money. ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: There is certainly a handling difference between the range-topping Rio SX and this mid-grade EX model that probably represents the volume model in Rio line. While the SX has a stiffer sport suspension and 17-inch wheels with more aggressive tires, the EX has softer suspension tuning and 16-inch wheels. I agree with Bob\'s assessment on the steering with its numb on-center response that tightens up when you dial in more steering input. Call it a sneeze buffer, but the fact is that the majority of shoppers don\'t mind the muted response of the steering. The enthusiast-minded compact-hatchback shoppers will certainly want to upgrade to the SX. Is this Rio EX particularly thrilling to drive? No, but I would say it\'s tighter than the Toyota Yaris and the Nissan Versa, but behind the Mazda 2 and the Honda Fit. With 138 hp from this direct-injection 1.6-liter four-cylinder, it gets moving swiftly, and the six-speed automatic isn\'t half bad. The only other car in the class to match the Kia\'s output is the Chevrolet Sonic, which also boasts 138 hp from both the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter and a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. There\'s noticeable body roll but not a horrendous amount. Ride quality could use some work. The soft suspension and these all-season Kumho tires don\'t offer the most surefooted feeling. Things are a little floaty. What stands out the most about the package is all of the equipment the Rio offers at this price point. Considering that this Rio has auto headlights, power-folding side mirrors, a rearview camera and a slick entertainment interface, the $18,000 price tag doesn\'t seem out of line. The front dash surfaces are covered with soft-touch materials, and the hard plastics sport attractive graining. Seat comfort is also decent, but I\'m always a huge supporter of more aggressive side bolstering, even in economy cars. Compared with its Hyundai Accent sister car, I like the Rio\'s exterior appearance better. It\'s sportier with the smaller version of the \"tiger grille.\" It has just the right amount of styling punch in my opinion. All Kia has to do is tighten up the ride with some suspension changes and some better tires. As is, it\'s still a competitive entry for the meat of the market. SENIOR ART DIRECTOR CHERYL L. BLAHNIK: I had this red 2012 Rio EX 5-Door for the weekend and did plenty of running around. For the price and practicality this hatchback offers, I came away with positive feelings for this little guy. Front-end styling is well executed, but the rear treatment could use a little more work. The interior is good for the segment with nice-looking materials. My only complaint is about the seats; they\'re a little too hard for my tastes. Another surprise came with the back seat that features decent legroom to accommodate a six-foot-two-inch-tall passenger. However, I do have to side with Bob in regards to the loud cabin that isn\'t that well isolated from road noise. There are times when the Rio\'s small four-cylinder sounded as if it was working really hard, too. Maybe a little more sound-deadening material between the engine bay and the cabin is in order. I keep going back to the price, which is more than reasonable. I wish the car was a little smoother and not as noisy, but for $18,000 this is a whole lot of car if you can put up with a louder cabin. NEWS EDITOR GREG MIGLIORE: I had a decent night in the Rio EX, and this mite is rather fun to look at and drive. It\'s not Chevrolet Camaro fun, but for a small car powered by a four-cylinder, this is respectable. I like the looks. It can be tricky to make a car this size look sharp, but Kia pulls it off with cool lines and snazzy headlights and taillights and wheels. The interior is OK. It appears rather basic, though the colors and materials are nice. The powertrain is adequate. As Wong notes 138 hp is solid for the class, and it propels this little runner adeptly. Passing and merging onto the expressway are no trouble, and it\'s a reasonably tight suspension setup. I can\'t wait to try our long-term SX version. For what it\'s worth, the Rio more than conquered the wet conditions I encountered on the way to work, which is more than a lot of small cars can say. This is a decent little machine; it looks and drives well. The numbers line up right too: low sticker, high mpg figure, low curb weight--that all adds up to a solid value by my calculations. 2012 Kia Rio EX 5-Door Base Price: $17,250 As-Tested Price: $18,345 Drivetrain: 1.6-liter I4; FWD, six-speed automatic Output: 138 hp @ 6,300 rpm, 123 lb-ft @ 4,850 rpm Curb Weight: 2,483 lb Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 33/29.8 mpg Options: Convenience packaging including alloy wheels, front fog lights, auto-on/off headlights, outside mirrors with turn-signal indicators, power-folding outside mirrors, UVO in-vehicle infotainment system, rear camera display, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, illuminated vanity mirrors, dual map lights, soft-touch dash ($1,000); carpeted floor mats ($95)

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