For the 2012 model year, Kia Motors America (KMA) equips the all-new Rio subcompacts and enhanced Soul urban passenger vehicle with a state-of-the-art 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder Gamma powerplant, which was recently honored as one of Ward's "10 Best Engines." The editors of WardsAuto recognized the engine's combination of performance and fuel efficiency with a class-leading 138 horsepower4 while maintaining class-leading fuel economy of 30/40 mpg (city/highway)5 in the Rio 5-door and sedan. The flexibility of the 1.6-liter is demonstrated by the availability of the fuel-saving Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology, which turns off the engine when the vehicle is not in motion, such as at a stop light or in traffic.
"With direct injection and ISG technology, Kia's new 1.6-liter GDI engine is truly state-of-the-art and strengthens the brand's position as a fuel economy leader in the U.S.," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "With a standout combination of world-class design and dramatically cutting-edge engine technology, Kia has become the fastest growing car company in the U.S. and the Ward's 10 Best achievement is further validation of the brand's relevance in the market."
In its 18th year, the "Ward's 10 Best Engines" competition recognizes the latest powertrain technologies that are affordable and available to most consumers. During their evaluations, Ward's editors consider engines that increase horsepower and torque numbers, sound appealing and integrate well with their respective vehicles.
About the 2012 Soul
Refreshed for the 2012 model year, the Kia Soul has been fine-tuned with a significant number of technological, powertrain and style enhancements. The 2012 Soul delivers class-leading horsepower6 and significantly improved fuel efficiency of up to 35 miles per gallon (mpg)7 on the highway. Kia Motors' hatchback remains a class-leading value8 with the lowest starting price of its competitive set at $13,900 MSRP9. Later this model year, Soul also will be the first among its competitors to offer the fuel-saving ISG technology, which turns off the engine when the vehicle is not in motion, such as at a stop light or in traffic.
About the 2012 Rio
Available in three trims – LX, EX and SX – the eco-friendly 2012 Rio is available with a 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder with the option of either a six-speed manual transmission (LX only) or efficient six-speed automatic. One of only two vehicles in the segment to offer a GDI engine, the 2012 Rio provides an inviting combination of power and fuel efficiency, achieving standard class-leading 138 horsepower10 while maintaining a standard class-leading11 fuel economy rating of 30/40 mpg (city/highway).
Design-Led Transformation and Product Line
Kia Motors has undergone a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand's continued gains in U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and brand growth through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technology. Kia's commitment to the U.S. market is represented by its U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – which is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and added the critically-acclaimed Optima midsize sedan12 to its production line in September. Kia's model year 2012 vehicle line includes the Sorento CUV, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, all-new Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.