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Kia Rio Hybrid

The Kio Rio Hybrid is the pride of Hyundai, so to speak. Being called the Kia Pride in some markets, the Rio Hybrid has been unveiled at the 2007 Geneva Motor show (77th Salon de l'Automobiles in Geneva).

This four door sedan aims to be the lowest price hybrid on the market with an expected selling price of under $20,000 MSRP.

By comparison, the Saturn Aura Hybrid is currently the low cost leader coming in at around the $22,500 mark. The Kia Rio Hybrid offers a 44-percent gasoline savings over the standard Kia Rio with an average of city / hwy 53.4 mpg. The Kia Rio Hybrid also offers a 37-percent reduction in emissions making this a green car lover's delight.


Kia Rio Hybrid

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If you're looking for a speed-burner, however, you may wish to look in a different direction as the Rio Hybrid achieves 0 - 60 mph acceleration in just 12.2 seconds. The vehicle does, however, have a top speed of 112 mph, which is more than enough for the average driver wanting to avoid speeding tickets. The Kia Rio Hybrid comes equipped with a small 4-cylinder 1.4 liter, 90 bhp engine with a 12 kw electric motor and a CVT transmission.

The Kia Rio Hybrid is considered to be a mild hybrid in that the electric motor assists the gasoline engine when it comes to starting, accelerating and climbing hills. The Rio Hybrid also employs engine idle cut-off and restart as needed. Regenerative braking recharges the NiMH 144 volt battery pack.

The Rio Hybrid has also cut its weight considerably (23-percent) over the standard version by employing an aluminum hood, trunk and front seat frames. The Kia hybrid also uses lightweight wheels and low-friction tires. The hydraulic power steering system has also been replaced by an all electric system to help cut down on the weight of the vehicle.

The Korean Ministry of the Environment has ordered an additional 3,390 hybrid vehicles from Kia Motors and Hyundai over the next two years as part of their real world hybrid testing program. This also includes the Rio Hybrid's sister car, the Hyundai Accent Hybrid. There is no word yet on when the Kia Rio Hybrid will be available in the U. S. commercial market.