(SOUTH AFRICA), 22 December 2011. After its unveiling at the 2011 Johannesburg International Motor Show, the new Rio sparked the interest of many South Africans. It was launched to the South African media exactly two months later, and has turned out to be a very popular and sought after Kia model.

“The new Kia Rio is a complete revolution from the previous model, and is a highly competitive offering within the very competitive B-segment”, comments Ray Levin, CEO of Kia Motors South Africa. “The Rio TEC is our flagship model and is very successful. This model offers features only found in more expensive C-segment models, and this creates a very high value proposition due to very competitive pricing”, he adds.

After not being on the local market for more than two months, the new Rio has already raked in numerous awards, both nationally and internationally. On 15 December 2011, Independent Newspapers South Africa announced the new Rio as the overall winner in the “Best small/budget car” category in their Motoring Car of the Year competition. The publishing group describes the Rio as a car “blending trendy styling with impressive ride quality and neat handling” and further describes it as a B-segment car with a “larger than average” interior.

Merely a day later, the Rio was crowned as the Australian Car Guide’s Car of the Year, beating close rivals, the Volvo S60 T4 and Ford Focus, finishing second and third respectively. “We are very excited about this news and feel that the Rio was the deserved winner in both cases”, adds Levin. “We are confident, that these wont be the only awards that this fantastic product will receive, and that there will be many more to follow”, he concludes.