New 2012 Kia Rio and Soul feature 1.6L GDI engines; stop-start on the Rio

Kia Motors America (KMA) staged the premieres of the all-new 2012 Rio sub-compact sedan and the upgraded 2012 Kia Soul at the New York International Auto Show. The 2012 Rio features all-new ISG (stop-start) technology and fuel economy of up to 40 mpg US highway.

Available in the USA with a choice of three trims—LX, EX and SX—the 2012 Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine with the option of either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic. The gasoline direct injection engine delivers 138 hp (103 kW) while maintaining a fuel economy rating of 30/40 mpg (city/highway). Rio also offers ISG technology, new to the Kia line-up.

The 2012 Rio platform is longer, wider and lower than the previous generation. Employing high-tensile-strength steel (63%), Rio’s lightweight design offers increased torsional stiffness for improved handling, ride quality and refinement, plus increased crash safety capabilities while reducing overall weight.

The 2012 Soul offers horsepower increases, new six-speed transmissions and up to 34 mpg highway. A new 1.6-liter GDI engine produces 135 hp (101 kW)—an 11% increase in horsepower from the previous engine. A new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is also available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Kia calculates that fuel economy for the 1.6-liter is 28/34 mpg (city/highway), three miles per gallon more than the previous engine.


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