This we decided to find out by taking Rio to an adult company: Chevrolet Lazetti and Ford Focus. In the "base" these cars are even cheaper than "Rio". Test "Ford" and "Chevrolet" in a significantly richer and more expensive configuration than the KIA. But the main advantages and disadvantages of machines are generic. You cannot cover such options.
Round One - Knockout
[caption id = "attachment_185512" align = "aligncenter" caption = "Externally, " Rio "is difficult to blame for something. Maybe in restraint-
[/ caption] For the first time, “Rio” had a chance to see at the NAIAS 2005 Auto Show in Detroit. The Koreans were in such a hurry with her on the American market, which is key for export, that they were not afraid to display a semi-finished product: the interior of the car was full of stickers “pre-production model”. A little less than a year has passed since then, and Rio is already in Moscow.
I get the keys and find a golden sedan in a slender row. I like Rio more and more. Restrained appearance does not conquer at first sight, but it is difficult to find fault with the proportions: an elegant arc of the roof, a developed hood and moderately “well-fed” feed … a nice car! I take up a comfortable, pleasantly massive handle and open the door. What is it? All the same, familiar from the previous generation model, cheap not only to the touch, but also to the look of plastic! Looking around, I was convinced: they saved mercilessly on materials. The steering wheel has a convenient section, but it is unpleasant to keep it; if the top of the panel is at least somewhat reminiscent of modern “soft” plastics, then the lower part is frankly cheap; from the same “frivolous” plastic and door trim. Cheap plastic badly spoils the impression of a well-tailored interior - recognizable, but without the “toy” inherent in many classmates.
The console, deployed to the driver, sets up a quick start. I hasten to get behind the wheel: again not that! It is unclear who the perfectly flat backs are designed for without a hint of lateral support and a short pillow. There are no questions regarding adjustments in height and length; the margin is quite decent.
Cramped in the back seat. There is nothing to be done, the wheelbase is small, and the trunk is considerable. For a driver of medium height, only a passenger with a lower stature, preferably a slender physique, will sit relatively comfortably. Otherwise, the contact of the knees with the back and the head with the ceiling is inevitable. “What a fault! I forgot how much the car costs?”- I myself. And I’ll try to transfer to Ford.
No, Focus is a different matter. Plastic looks much more expensive, the grip wheel is pleasant to hold in your hands, the bucket of a hard seat reliably fixes the body, and the adjustment range is simply magnificent! Having set the goal to rise as high as possible, he shook the lever for a few seconds - and came head first to the ceiling! Moving all the way back, with a growth of 180 cm he barely reached for the pedals with his socks. Even if such a “Uncle Styopa” drives the car, a tall man will sit completely behind. True, a little lack of comfort: the interior is too dark and austere.
In contrast to the stiff Focus, the Lacetti seems plush. And this is not only a matter of soft velor seats, but also of the muffled tones of fabrics and plastic, in particular the light bottom of the front panel. The rear landing is slightly worse than in the Focus, but more comfortable than in the Rio. Well, in the first round KIA receives a knockout from Ford and a knockdown from Chevrolet …
ROUND SECOND - REVENGE
Wheels quietly rustle on not too smooth asphalt. The car readily eats small joints and potholes. On the speedometer 90, the foot only strokes the gas pedal slightly, the engine is almost inaudible. What car am I in? I myself would never have believed it - this is KIA Rio! He seemed to have recovered from a knockout. Acoustic comfort is not only substantially better than the previous Rio. Perhaps, among cars of close cost, he generally has little equal! Only the distant knock of small pebbles slightly spoils the idyllic picture. When driving irregularities, you feel them shaking, completely not hearing how the suspension is working out, and only on serious seams “slaps” of tires reach your ears. Very nice experience!
The second pleasant surprise was presented by the engine: not knowing which one under the hood, he would have added 200 cubes to it! Of course, if you load the car to the eyeballs and send it uphill, do not expect miracles from the 1.4-liter engine. In other cases, 97 forces and 125 N.m of torque are enough for the eyes. Even traction pleases already from 1500 rpm, and if you set a goal and do not trample the gas pedal to the floor, you can save a lot on gasoline.
But more often, "Rio" provokes jokes - and, fortunately, does not disappoint. The gas pedal, with the usual cable, rather than electronic communication with the throttle, with a sharp press, quickly throws the tachometer needle to the red zone. It would be possible to accelerate even faster if not for the gearbox drive. The moment when the gear is engaged is determined more intuitively than by fixing a long lever, which seems to be drowning in some kind of cotton wool and dangling limply. With reverse gear, it’s even worse: it was never possible to turn it on at the first attempt for several days of communication with the car.
Ford in this regard is the exact opposite. A short lever with sports clatter enters the desired "slot" and is clearly fixed. Too bad the noise here is worse, especially on rough asphalt. The rumble of tires covers all other sounds already starting at 50 km / h. What’s on the go! Even sitting in a car with the engine turned off and clicking the box lever, you can hear how the inclusions are echoed to the body. I start the engine and sharply press the gas - in response, a distinct sigh of the opening throttle. The Chevrolet is quieter than the Ford, but it does not reach the standard in this regard, the Rio. Moreover, the noise level of the "Lacetti" for some reason is high in the usually quieter back seat.
ROUND THREE: VICTORY EXPERIENCE
Traction capabilities of Ford and Chevrolet engines with a volume of 1.6 liters are not satisfactory. Here they are the very 200 cubes that allow you to ride confidently even with a decent load. Chevrolet was the slowest to accelerate to 100 km / h, but conquered by "automatic". It is a four-stage, but there seems to be nothing to add: in kickdown mode, the box allows you to unscrew the engine almost to the limiter and only then moves on to the next stage. Jerks during transitions up and down are barely noticeable, the response to the gas pedal is fast, and engine braking is effective.
In terms of handling, the Lazetti is not ideal. There is a noticeable “smearing” of reactions to steering actions; at high, abnormal speed, the Chevrolet stubbornly seeks to swim out of the bend. When you try to return it to the trajectory breaks into a skid. And also - on irregularities with lateral loads, the Lacetti begins to rattle with something in the front suspension.
Against its background, "Ford" - self-determination: a sharp and clear steering wheel, accurate reactions. “Focus” is willingly screwed into a turn and does not frighten with sudden breakdowns or a tendency to skid.
But what is “small”? “Dynamic, youthful, assertive and sporty,” reads the advertisement. I agree with her only partially. By the nature of the KIA is most reminiscent of American cars. At first, the “empty” steering wheel even raised the question: is it an electric amplifier? No - hydraulics. The steering system not only suffers from poor feedback: the steering wheel has to be turned too far if you need to shift, for example, to avoid roughness. This is tiring the more, the higher the speed.
If you go into a turn at the limit of possibilities, Rio will openly push its front end out. Like the Lacetti, a “drum” suddenly wakes up in the corners, issuing frightening knocks.
After calculating the points, the experts were not surprised: the winner is Ford Focus. It will appeal to those who love active driving and are ready to forgive the noise and sometimes excessive sharpness for the sake of accuracy of reactions on turns.
"Chevrolet Lazetti" conquered a convenient "machine" and a comfortable lounge. The KIA Rio asset has excellent sound insulation, setting a new standard for this class and is very lively, even though it has a 1.4-liter engine. But Rio still does not reach such rivals. And not only because the test car was with the least powerful engine and poor equipment. However, he is not so far behind them.
Having looked at one of the American KIA sites, I found out: a base car with a 1.6-liter engine costs in the USA from 10 570 dollars. In Russia, the car falls into a different price category, and therefore will have to compete with high school students, although in the basic configuration. Maybe it's easier to win in their weight category?
The world premiere took place in January 2005 in Detroit. 5-door hatchback and sedan are produced with bodies. Engines: 1.4 and 1.6 liter gasoline (97–112 hp), 1.5 liter diesel (110 hp). Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic (except diesel). Options: LX, EX. Price: $ 13, 890–18, 590
The European premiere took place in 2003 under the brand name “Daewoo”. After the purchase of a Daewoo by the General Motors concern, cars for export are produced under the Chevrolet brand. Body: sedan, 5-door hatchback, wagon. Engines: gasoline 1.4–1.8 liters (95–122 hp). Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic. Options: SE, SX, CDX. Price: $ 13, 500–18, 050.
Ford Focus II
The debut took place in the fall of 2004, since May 2005 it has been released in Vsevolozhsk. Body: sedan, 3- and 5-door hatchback, wagon. Engines: gasoline 1.4–2.0 liters (80–145 hp), 1.8-liter turbodiesel (115 hp). Gearboxes: two-speed 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic (only with 1.6 liter engine, 100 hp). Options: Ambiente, Comfort, Trend, Ghia. Price: $ 11 720-17 110.
Kia Rio is a big step forward compared to its predecessor. It will conquer those who prefer comfort, but are not ready to buy a more solid and gluttonous car. Overall rating 7.6
+ Excellent sound insulation, high smoothness and efficiency, modern appearance, comfortable brakes.
- High price, cramped back seat, cheap materials.
Chevrolet Lacetti - a cozy, "home" car with a friendly character and a major interior. Overall rating 7.7
+ Excellent "automatic", a spacious lounge, good visibility, comfortable seats.
- Mediocre sound insulation and geometric cross, average smoothness.
Ford Focus - everything is balanced: driving properties and appearance, price and quality. Overall rating 8.0
+ Good materials, high-torque motor, excellent handling, roomy trunk, spacious lounge.