- - Thursday, April 14, 2011

For years the Kia Rio has stood out a for exceptional fuel efficiency and as an overall value leader, receiving accolades such as a 2010 Consumer Guide® Automotive “Recommended Vehicle” and being included on the “Most Fuel-Efficient Cars for the Buck” list by Forbes.com for the 2009 model year. This week the fuel-sipping Rio added another award to its trophy case when the sub-compact sedan was named a “Best Overall Value” on the Most Fuel-Efficient Vehicles list by TrueCar.com. An online authority on new car pricing, trends and forecasts, TrueCar.com included Rio for its invaluable combination of a low average purchase price and high fuel efficiency — significant as gas prices continue to rise.

“With the continued increase in gas prices, more and more consumers are basing their purchase decisions not only on impressive fuel efficiency, but overall value and what features you get for your money,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, Kia Motors America (KMA). “The 2011 Rio is a practical and economical car that exceeds the expectations of today’s discriminating small car shoppers.”

To compile the list, TrueCar.com divided the average national purchase price of a vehicle by the average annual cost of fuel for that particular vehicle. All vehicles included on the list have a TrueCar.com Average Price between $13,685 and $17,000 and a combined mpg between 28 and 33, resulting in a fuel cost per year between $1,654 and $1,971. To be considered, all models must currently be on sale with a seating capacity of four or more and an automatic transmission.

Available in base, LX and SX trims, pricing starts at a competitive $12,295 for the base model, which is equipped with 14-inch wheels and 175/70R14 tires, body-color bumpers, outside mirrors, door handles and body-side moldings matched with black-bezel headlights that give the sub-compact a sleek, attractive profile. The LX trim starts at $14,995 and adds 185/65R14 tires with the option of upgrading to 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels paired with 195/55R15 tires. Consumers wanting even more can opt for the sporty stunner SX model, which starts at $16,095 and comes standard with beefier 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels with 205/45R16 tires, front fog lights, a bright exhaust finisher and a body-color rear spoiler for an athletic finishing touch.

In addition to tremendous value, the 2011 Rio also offers outstanding fuel efficiency. When paired with the manual transmission, the spirited four-cylinder produces an estimated 28/34 mpg (city/highway), while the same engine, when mated to the automatic transmission, outputs an impressive estimated 27/36 mpg. Also available on LX and SX trims is the EcoMinder fuel efficiency monitor, an added benefit in tracking real-time fuel economy.