Kia Motors America believes it's about time everybody had a well-made car, and today it made that much easier for American buyers by announcing pricing that makes its upcoming 2001 Rio subcompact sedan the lowest-priced car in America. The Rio, which will go on sale Aug. 1 at 580 Kia dealers nationwide, will have a base price of just
$8,595. That is more than $1,000 less than the segment's leading four-door.

And to deliver consumers even more peace-of-mind, the Rio, like all 2001 model-year Kias, will be covered by a new comprehensive customer protection plan that features substantially improved basic and powertrain warranty coverage plus an extended roadside assistance plan. The just-announced Kia Long Haul Warranty Program(TM) consists of three basic components: a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year or 60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year or 100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance plan also is

While the Rio's base price and customer protection are news-making, Kia also recognizes that many bargain shoppers want something more than a base vehicle, so it has priced individual and option packages in the same value-conscious manner as its base price. For example, a Rio sedan equipped with power steering, tilt steering wheel, full wheel covers, bodysiden moldings, air conditioning and AM/FM/cassette stereo has a manufacturer's suggested list price of just $10,045. Adding the optional four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission increases that total by just $875.
Despite its eye-popping pricing that will make it possible for thousands more consumers to afford a new car, the Rio will reflect Kia's reputation for building affordable, high-quality vehicles. The vehicle offers its buyers state-of-the-art technology in a contemporary wedge-shaped body.

Inside the Rio features extensive head room and leg room, and its
higher-than-normal seats give the driver and passengers a command-of-the-road feel. The driver's seat is height-adjustable and also features an integral fold-down armrest. The instruments are housed in an ergonomically designed dashboard that relays information quickly, and the switchgear is exceptionally simple to use.

The Rio's drivetrain is equally value-filled. The all-new MI-Tech(Millennium Innovation Technology) powerplant offers multi-port electronic fuel injection, dual overhead cams and tuned intake and exhaust manifolds. The 1.5-liter engine produces 96 peak horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 98 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm. Backing up the engine is a five-speed manual transmission or an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.

The Rio's compact exterior dimensions make it maneuverable and easy to
park. It's 165.9 inches long and reasonably tall at 56.7 inches in height for better head room and convenient ingress and egress. The 94.9-inch wheelbase contributes to the Rio's handling as does the independent MacPherson strut front suspension. The rear suspension is an elegantly simple torsion beam with coil springs. Steering is by rack-and-pinion, with power assist part of an upgrade package that also includes tilt wheel.

On the safety front, the Rio uses Kia's exclusive CIAS (Crush Impact
Absorbing Structure) body design, which combines minimal weight with maximum strength. Stopping power is provided by ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes. An antilock brake system available at a suggested retail price of just $400.

Even in base trim the Kia Rio will feature a variety of added touches like rear window defroster, tinted glass, full cloth interior and center console. An upgrade package will add power steering, tilt steering wheel, dual visor vanity mirrors, full wheel covers and body-color bodyside moldings. On the freestanding option list are automatic transmission, air conditioning, two audio systems, body color rear spoiler, alloy wheels and antilock brakes.

The addition of the Rio brings the Kia U.S. model lineup to five vehicles:

Sephia compact sedan, Sportage sport-utility vehicle, Sportage 2-Door
Convertible and the Spectra sporty hatchback sedan, which went on sale this

Kia Motors America is the U.S. sales, marketing and service arm of Kia
Motors Corp. in Seoul, South Korea.

MSRP for 2001 Kia Rio and Options

Kia Rio Sedan

Base price $8,595
Automatic transmission $875
Air conditioning $750
Antilock brakes $400
AM/FM/casette stereo $320
AM/FM/CD stereo $395
Upgrade Package
(power steering, tilt steering
wheel, wheel covers, bodyside moldings,
visor vanity mirrors) $380
Alloy wheels $275
Spoiler $85
Carpeted floormats $69
Destination charge $450