Just before Christmas there was a rather nice Kia Cee’d 1.6 T-GDi GT in the car park outside MotorMartin Towers, a car, it has to be said, that managed to combine the practicalities and comfort of a family hatch with an 1.6L turbocharged engine producing a forceful 201bhp. We loved it here at the Towers. Once the Cee’d had been returned attention turned towards its little brother/sister, the Rio and the desire to see what Kia could do if they ever decided to sharpen it up a little. When the latest news then arrived from Kia up on the top floor, it was with some excitement that the following was noted.

Here then is the new Kia Rio, launched just a few months ago and Kia have now decided to set pulses racing faster with the introduction of a special Limited Edition model. Excellent news.

MotorMartin has been informed by Kia that the Rio Pulse enters the line-up between the mid-grade 2 and high-grade 3 versions and costs a very reasonable £14,595 on the road. The price includes either Clear White or Midnight Black paint as standard, this is an extra-charge on other models in the Rio range, but applied for no additional cost on Pulse.

Kia have certainly made sure that the Rio Pulse is easily distinguished by adding a red roof and red front vents, mirror caps and side skirt trims. A similar theme is extended to the interior, where there is black and red faux leather upholstery and red faux leather door inserts. The fascia trim is finished in red metallic paint and looks fantastic in MotorMartin’s opinion.

There are 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/45 R17 tyres, a black radiator grille with chrome surround and privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate. Inside, the sporty leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter are complemented by stainless steel pedals. 

As you would expect, in-car entertainment and connectivity is taken care of by a six-speaker audio system and a five-inch colour touchscreen linked to a DAB radio with RDS messaging. There is Bluetooth with music streaming, front and rear USB charging points, a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines, rear parking sensors and a 3.5-inch cluster display.

Active safety provisions include Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Cornering Brake Control, Straight-Line Stability and Hill Start Assist. 

The Rio Pulse is powered by the four-cylinder, 16-valve, 1.25-litre version of Kia’s Gamma multi-point injection petrol engine, developing 83bhp at 6,000rpm and 121Nm of torque peaking at 4,000rpm. It features continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) to give a good combination of mid-range driveability and top-end performance, and drives through a five-speed manual gearbox.

ISG, Kia’s engine stop/start system, is standard. This shuts down the engine when the gearbox is in neutral with the driver’s foot off the clutch, and restarts it as soon as the clutch is pressed. As a result no fuel is used and no emissions are created when the car is stationary in traffic. The Rio Pulse is capable of up to 58.8mpg (combined), with CO2 emissions 109g/km. It accelerates from 0-60mph in 12.5 seconds and has a top speed of 107mph.

Also, if you buy your Rio Pulse between 1 July and 30 September, you’ll receive one year’s free motoring insurance which includes unlimited mis-fuelling cover, a courtesy car and 90 days EU recovery cover which should offer further savings for the lucky purchasers. Kia have done it again, turning their Rio into something more, MotorMartin can’t wait to have one in the car park.

Where will you go?

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