Some time has passed since then, and today the Chevrolet Aveo (a Chevy-badged, Korean-built Daewoo) has replaced the Rio as the penny-pincher’s dream car. Plus, there’s renewed interest in the compact car segment, due in part to the emergence of the youth-oriented Scion brand but mainly because gas prices have crested $3 per gallon. The result is a more competitive market that’s home to better cars, so Kia engineers upped the Rio’s game for the 2006 model year with a significantly stiffened body structure, a completely new look, a more powerful engine, and six standard airbags. They’ve also replaced the Cinco wagon with the sporty, five-door Rio5, all while keeping the price competitive and the powertrain warranty unmatched.
The 2006 lineup consists of the Rio Base sedan, Rio LX sedan, and five-door Rio5 SX.
Photos courtesy of Kia Motors America