Fangs for Rio – Auto Review

Updated Kia Rio enters the market six months later than its sibling Solaris… What are the differences between these machines and what problems did the engineers solve when updating? For answers, I went to St. Petersburg, where both of these cars are assembled on the same conveyor.

They say that men love with their eyes. And the majority of buyers of budget B-class sedans are men. Now it’s clear why the Rio is even more expressive after the facelift? The radiator grille has become larger and acquired a more textured filling, the lower lip has turned into a sharpened splitter. And the headlights have grown predatory fangs, by which Rio is now easily recognizable in the mirrors.

It is interesting that the author of this “plastic” was my namesake Oleg by the name of Son, who heads the Chinese design bureau Kia Motors, and previously worked for Citroen for many years. Moreover, he tried exclusively for Russia – in the Chinese market, the updated Kia K2 / Rio family will be different.

At the rear, Son and his team have painted on the car with small teeth inside the LED position lights (a privilege of the Style and Premium trim levels) and trapezoidal exhaust pipes. More precisely, their imitation. Perky! But the stylists took a rest on the interior – perhaps they changed the shape of the molding on the front panel. The new Style version has a striking red color to match the stitching of the seats, the automatic selector and the steering wheel – on older models, a similar finish is used on the GT and GT Line versions, which are not in the Rio price list.

Technics? They are not looking for good things – the proven atmospheric engines 1.4 and 1.6 with gearboxes are left unchanged. By the way, remember sore subject of scuffing in the cylinders of these motors? Sergei Znaemsky already told in detail about the fact that Solaris solved this problem in 2019 – and, of course, Rio received the same changes in the design of the catalytic converter with reprogramming of the injection and ignition control map. After all, engines to St. Petersburg are supplied from the Chinese plant of the Hyundai concern in the same specification for both Rio and Solaris. Engineers say that the main stream of claims came from car-sharing companies. Say, riders with mobile applications do not bother themselves even with a short warm-up of the motors – and press the gas to the floor immediately after a cold start. As a result, the enriched (including due to misfiring) mixture burns out already in the exhaust manifold – the ceramic honeycomb of the neutralizer experiences a temperature shock, the material begins to crumble due to internal stress, the pieces fall into the cylinders and … Ceramics are especially hard in winter.

<img src="" alt="" width="1200" height="586" image_desc="• Препарированный катализатор, производства компании Faurecia. В доработанной конструкции минимизированы внутренние напряжения — в частности, отшлифован сварной шов корпуса
• Engines complete with catalysts and attachments are now supplied from China, but in October 2021, the production of Gamma 1.6 engines will be launched at a nearby plant. The volume of investments in the new enterprise is 13.1 billion rubles, the planned capacity is 240 thousand engines per year “/>

• This is a prepared Faurecia catalyst. In the modified design, internal stresses are minimized – in particular, the body weld is ground
• Engines complete with catalysts and attachments are now supplied from China, but in October 2021, the production of Gamma 1.6 engines will be launched at a nearby plant. The volume of investments in the new enterprise is 13.1 billion rubles, the planned capacity is 240 thousand engines per year

Until 2016, a ridiculous guarantee of a thousand kilometers was provided for converters – and dealers, referring to it, often refused to customers. But now the period has been extended to three years or 100 thousand kilometers – despite the fact that the general warranty for the Rio is five years. By the way, there are no regulations for repairing the cylinder block of motors installed on Rio / Solaris – only replacement. And Kia engineers still recommend warming up Rio engines after a cold start for at least a few minutes, and then gradually increasing the load on the power unit. I’d like to add that this recommendation is universal and suitable for any car.

The only suspension change is the less rigid rear bushings, which should improve comfort. Having swept across St. Petersburg, I did not feel any changes in the ride. But the noise from the road, perhaps, has become a little less. Apparently, the increased area of ​​soundproofing of the luggage compartment and the change of plastic fenders to woven ones worked. For the rest – the same Kia Rio with a good power unit (for me, 1.4 is still rather weak, but 1600 cc is in the very suit). And with a good balance of handling and ride. No frills, but no failures.

By the way, exactly the same Shumka changes were introduced on Solaris. And new options went to both cars – this is a remote start, electrically adjustable lumbar support, folding mirrors, front parking sensors in addition to the previously available rear ones.

<img class="ar-slider" data-slider="[{'alt':'• Если у Соляриса электрорегулировка поясничного подпора — базовое оснащение, то у Rio это привилегия топ-версии Premium
• Сзади появился USB-разъем для зарядки гаджетов’,’src’:’’},{‘alt’:’Задние сиденья не изменились, электрообогрев по-прежнему положен только самым дорогим комплектациям Prestige и Premium’,’src’:’’}]”/>

But if Solaris offers only basic reflective halogen headlights and top-end full LED headlights with cornering illumination, then the Kia Rio has an intermediate option – halogen lens optics with running light fangs in the Style and Prestige trim levels. By the way, the prices for Rio halogens from dealers are 32,220 and 39,202 rubles, respectively. A lot. Taking into account the fact that the base headlight for dorestyle from the officials costs 17,000 rubles, and in online stores it can be purchased for 10,000 rubles. And the LED headlight of the new Rio costs as much as 45,000. However, everything is relative – remember the basic LED headlights for the new Volkswagen Polo for 76,000 rubles!

Now Rio has three types of headlights (from left to right): “in the base” – reflector halogen, in the middle trim levels – also halogen, but lensed, and the top Premium versions have full LED units with static illumination of turns. Fog lights on all versions are halogen

The second fundamental difference between Rio and Solaris is media systems. “In the base” both cars have only audio preparation and a plug on the center console. In the second configuration, a simple media system appears with a five-inch monochrome display, the possibility of hands-free communication via Bluetooth and steering wheel control. However, full multimedia with an eight-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 800×480 pixels is offered only in mid-range trim levels – Comfort for Hyundai and Style for Kia. And if in Solaris Android Auto services and Apple CarPlay are available only by wire, then you can connect your smartphone to Rio “over the air” – a unique offer for this class.

The screen of the media system is now eight-inch (instead of the previous seven). In the simpler version (AV8), it is possible to wirelessly connect a smartphone using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto protocols, and in the top version (AVN8), these connections are possible only through a cable, but the resolution is better, there is a standard navigation and an interface, like the Kia K5 model

And in the top-end versions, personalization is even higher. If Solaris offers Yandex.Auto with navigation and traffic jams, then Rio is an advanced Korean-made LG Electronics system with premium graphics (resolution – 1280×720) and the same functionality as the new Kia K5. Even sound atmospheric themes are there! It is a pity that neither Kia nor Hyundai offer this media gloss as an additional equipment – only in a set with other options and only at a price that is almost one and a half times higher than the base one, that is, almost 1.2 million rubles.

The center display in the Supervision instrument cluster is slightly larger (4.2 inches instead of 3.5), but is now only available in the top Premium version

Prices? After the facelift, the base Rio went up in price by only 5,000 rubles, to 814,900 rubles for a car with a 1.4 engine and a six-speed “mechanics”, on steel 15-inch wheels, with a “plastic” steering wheel, reflex headlights without glowing “fangs”, two airbags, air conditioning and front power windows. The 1.6 engine (123 hp) appears only in the Comfort version: 899,900 rubles with “mechanics” and 939,900 rubles – with “automatic”. And these are the minimum-sufficient versions with heated front seats, leather steering wheel and selector trim, central locking with remote opening and a basic audio system.

The Style version features a red-accented bonnet, same-colored foglights and redesigned dark gray wheels

For lovers of red jewelry, the Style version for 1,029,900 rubles with alloy wheels, climate control, lensed headlights and LED taillights, an eight-inch multimedia display and a rear-view camera is addressed. And at the top – Premium for 1,169,900 rubles. If we compare Rio and Solaris, then Hyundai has fewer trim levels, but “finishes” them with packages. That is, Solaris allows you to save 30-40 thousand rubles when buying running middle versions, abandoning irrelevant equipment. But Rio does not provide such an opportunity.

By the way, if we compare sales of sedans only, then Solaris is ahead – 58 thousand cars last year against 55 thousand Rio. But Kia has the X-Line cross-hatchback, which accounts for about 40% of the total – and along with the five-door the figure rises to 90 thousand. Of course, the facelift will affect them too, but a little later.

So in general, the Rio family is ahead. And as a person who is also accustomed to “loving with his eyes,” I am not against this alignment.


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