2011 Geneva Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The 2012 Kia Rio was revealed on Friday ahead of its debut at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show.
- The Rio wears the new face of the Korean brand that has been rolling out across such vehicles as the Kia KV7 concept shown at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
- Kia confirms that the 2012 Rio will go on sale in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2011.
GENEVA — The 2012 Kia Rio was revealed on Friday ahead of its world debut at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show and it appears that the little subcompact's long identity crisis is over. The Rio has more European flair and wears the new face of Kia, which has been slowly rolling out across the Korean brand in such products as the Kia KV7 concept shown in January at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
The redesigned Rio bears the signature and sure hand of Kia's global design boss Peter Schreyer, who once described the brand as "anonymous" in a 2006 interview with Business Week. Schreyer, the German design star who came to Kia from Volkswagen/Audi, shaped the look of such iconic cars as the Audi TT and Audi A6. Kia officials tell Edmunds.com that Schreyer's goal has been to make Kia vehicles immediately identifiable in the rearview mirror.
Kia confirms that 2012 Rio will go on sale in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2011. Pricing and range details will be announced closer to launch.
For the 2012 model year, the wedged-shaped Rio's wheelbase is stretched by nearly 3 inches, while the height is lowered by half an inch. The Rio gets Kia's so-called "tiger face" grille and a more muscular look.
Specifications are preliminary. Kia said the Rio would get a new high-performance 1.2-liter turbo gasoline direct injection engine, as well as a 1.1-liter diesel engine, the latter presumably for Europe. No word on fuel-economy ratings.
Edmunds.com says: Nobody can accuse the Kia Rio of being anonymous anymore. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent