Almost eighty years ago, the Kia Motor Corporations was founded in Korea. Initially specialising in motorbikes and bicycles, Kia has grown exponentially and is known globally for being the second-largest motor manufacturer in Korea. Kia also holds a significant place in the South African market for their outstanding vehicles and innovative products.

Kia Northcliff is a Dealership representing this brand with pride and enthusiasm. The Kia corporate philosophy is based on the idea of being better together, and this is apt when it comes to this Dealership. Headed by Dealer Principal Colin Thorpe, Kia Northcliff has garnered a reputation for consistency in service. With experience and passion for the brand filtering down from the Dealer Principal himself, the Dealership is manned by a strong team of motoring enthusiasts.

Sales Manager Portia Sangweni has been in the industry for the past nine years – and although she is relatively new to the Kia brand – believes in delivering world class service to her customers. In line with a world-class product, Portia thrives on customer satisfaction.

Similarly, Vusi Tsosane, Sales Executive at Kia Northcliff, is said to focus on the clients who come seeking the best possible vehicle to suit their needs. In this regard, the Kia Rio makes a good case for itself when it comes to seeking a small vehicle with big-vehicle benefits.

A Tiger-nose grille distinguishes this vehicle from the crowd; smooth curves identify the aerodynamic shape that also gives it a determined and solid stance. With a new, longer wheelbase, the Rio now has more head and leg room than ever before. High-quality cloth upholstery makes the interior practical and yet modern (and leather seating can be added as an optional extra). High-end finishes throughout compliment a well-designed cockpit that makes everything within easy reach. A multi-function steering wheel telescopes to the ideal positions and adds to the sense of comfort in the cabin.

The cockpit is straight-forward and neat, with features such as air-con, auto defogger that detects fog on certain models, rear-mounted USB ports in the front, as well as fully-flat folding rear seats in the boot. There are sufficient cupholders in the front, as well as an arm-rest, which I particularly like as added touches. I note the practical design of the vehicle, and can summarise it as a modern, funky and likeable vehicle.

The Rio is released in four derivatives that include the 1.2 LS model, 1.4 LX and EX, and the top of the range 1.4 TEC model. Available in both manual and automatic, this nifty little car boasts a fuel consumption of 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres in urban conditions, and 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres on combined cycles. This makes the Rio an ideal family car as well as the perfect vehicle for the young executive, or even the working student.

Power delivery is smooth and with 135 nM of torque, the Rio promises to be strong on take-off and maintain a consistent buzz on the road. Smooth and nimble driving is what the designers had in mind, with agile responses and a lovely, solid feel around the corners in my experience. With a naturally aspirated engine, the Rio responds with predictable and familiar power when needed; I am left with a sense of confidence as I know exactly what the vehicle is capable of. Full control rests with the driver and the added benefits of a better sounding engine with no turbo lag makes this a neat little package.

The Rio was awarded the Kia Rio the prestigious Red Dot Award for exceptional design in 2017 by leading industry professionals (along with two other Kia vehicles, namely the Optima Sportswagon and the hybrid crossover Niro in other countries). With intelligent active-safety technology built into the vehicle, as well as significant passive-safety features (including two airbags in the front), the Rio also lends itself to being a family vehicle safely carrying your most precious cargo.

Family is important to Kia and this concept is also inherent to the Dealership in Northcliff. The customer drives the sales process, resulting in an experience which is unique and hassle-free. For more information, follow the link below: Kia Northcliff



Journalist: Desh Bechan

Reporter: Inge Stols

Editor: Belinda Anderson