2011 KIA Rio: Egypt-exclusive from Portugal – First driving impression of the new ‘Polo’ from KIA

We at Auto Arabia and Radio Masr 88.7 were the only Egyptian media to test-drive the KIA Rio in Portugal this week at the international launch event.

And guess what?! … The car is really impressive!

Not as impressive as a Lamborghini (although the Rio uses some Lamborghini design elements in the interior, thanks to ex-Volkswagen designer Peter Schreyer), but it is surely impressive within its category and I am sure it will find lots of fans and potential customer in Europe, Egypt and the Middle East.

Many German car magazines already started calling the Rio as ‘the new Polo from Kia’. Something KIA Motors should surely be proud of. The Rio’s new 1.1 diesel engine even managed to out-perform the famous Polo Blue motion in terms of fuel economy as well as emission. A good sign that KIA’s 1.1 diesel might get some good points or even win an award in next year’s round of the renowned International Engine of the Year Award.

We drove three different engines, the 1.4 petrol (gasoline), the 1.4 diesel and the 1.1 diesel. My personal favorite was definitely the 1.1. diesel. But unfortunately so far only the 1.4 petrol (gasoline) is planned for the Middle East and Egypt.

The prices for the Egyptian and Middle Eastern markets have not been announced yet.

The KIA Motors officials were not very amused when I confronted them during the press conference with a questions about KIA Germany offering the all-new 2011 KIA Rio almost 2000 Euros cheaper than the previous Rio, although the new one even offers Electronic Stability Porgram (ESP) and six (!) airbags as standard.

But again, this 2000-Euros-discount for the KIA Rio offered in Germany could be a good sign that the KIA Rio will be offered in Egypt and the Middle East with a very competitive price. Let us wait and see!


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