FRIDAY, MARCH 30: Quite often a new model of a successful car can just be the older version with a few extra accessories and more than a few extra dollars on the price tag.
This has not happened with the Kia Rio.
The old Rio was a great family vehicle; sleek, sport and spacious and more importantly a reasonably cheap car to run on a day-to-day basis.
What Kia has done with the 2012 model is take all the good stuff they had with the old Rio and added an extra level of comfort as well as useful and impressive new features.
The new Rio arrived at Bermuda Motors at the beginning of the year and has already proved a bit of a hit with islanders, which is all the more impressive given the decline of the international automobile industry.
It’s a five-door hatch back with a sporty twist and comes with leather interior for the princely sum of $28,500.
Externally the new Rio sports 17-inch alloy wheels, a 1.4-litre engine, electric wing mirrors and a shape that is smart and compact.
Internally it boasts push button start, Bluetooth hands-free and a child support anchor.
The new Rio manages to find the fine balance between sporty and safety, and loses nothing in terms of performance.
It is a speedy little hatchback that is also easy to control and manoeuvre.
And if you were after little mod cons — then there are plenty of those too from the indicator lights in the wing mirrors to the driver’s armrest.
And the new Kia possesses one of the most peculiar features I have come across.
On the central dashboard is a small transparent square. At first glance it is difficult to work out what it is actually for.
But in fact it is a picture holder. So you can slot a picture of your family, your child or even a dog if it takes your fancy.
But apart from the mini photo frame there are also much more useful accessories on board the new Kia.
It comes as an automatic with the option of Steptronic gear changes and it got great handling for a hatchback.
There is telescopic steering for the driver to find his ideal position and the option of plugging your iPod in to play your favourite songs.
Parking and reversing is a doddle thanks to the back-up sensors, and you have the benefit of electric windows in the front and the back.
The new Rio sports a decent sized trunk as well as a good glove box and there is also plenty of space in the back seat too.
While the leather steering wheel’s controls allow you to increase and decrease the volume of the stereo.
Mike Butler, general manager of Bermuda Motors said: “I honestly don’t think there’s a better value compact on the market right now.
“The Rio was already one of the best-selling cars in its class but with the 2012 model Kia have added so much more in terms of design, performance, technology and standard features that are expensive extras on other cars, that it’s essentially a different car.
“People will be surprised just how much room there is inside and there’s a real dynamic feel to the handling too.”
The new Rio comes in a range of colours including; white, bright silver, signal red, wendy brown, platinum graphite, fresh beige, caramel yellow, electronic blue, deep blue and black.
And it is available from Bermuda Motors on Church Street in Hamilton.