Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Rio Grooves to a Samba Beat

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Rio Grooves to a Samba Beat

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE TORPEY

CAR companies are no strangers to special effects, but progressive Korean brand Kia has just trumped them all - by bringing a Brazilian carnival to Britain. Kia's fifth new model in a mere 18 months, the Rio, hits the streets on September 1 and the manufacturer revealed the classy-looking supermini amid a fiesta of gaudily plumed Samba dancers and a Latino band along with an exhibition of the silky skills that have made the famous yellow jersey the most iconic in international football.

Of course there's no rhyme without reason and for Kia, the Rio means serious business - it's a hugely important model to the fast-growing company. Back in the day this was the car that set Kia on its path to recognition in the UK by offering value-conscious buyers a shedload of metal for their money.

But the goalposts have changed, and launches like the Venga, Sorento, Sportage and new generation Picanto have underpinned the marque's status as a manufacturer of quality rather than budget-buy vehicles. And they all now include a seven-year warranty. Fortunes have moved swiftly for Kia in the four years since the company set a goal to become a worldwide top ten volume player. Having achieved that position the vision is to shake up the top five and, with superminis representing one in four of all new car sales in the UK and set to dominate the European market even more too, there's genuine scope for growth.

Rio is the car Kia believes will, more than any other, help deliver that aspiration - hence the decision to add a three-door model early next year.

The confidence is well-founded because this car, which will cost from pounds 10,595, has much to recommend it. Like its eye-catching stablemates, the Rio has been designed under the scrutiny of design guru Peter Schreyer.

Dynamic and sporty, the supermini is longer, wider and lower than the model it replaces, with a coupe-like roofline and fresh interpretation of the family tiger nose grille. …

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