Kia Rio 1.1 Ecodynamics says...
Good to live with and cheap to run reasonable conviction. True, this is no performance car, and the motor gets a bit noisy if you stretch it, but the Ecodynamics Rio is a lot more sprightly, and enjoyable, than its name suggests.
What is it? Super-economical version of new Kia supermini Price from £11,895 On sale Now MPG 88.3 CO2 85g/km including engine stop-start, low-rolling-resistance tyres, longer gearing, an extended tailgate spoiler and a closed-off radiator grille, help its efficiency.
Then there’s the economy, or at least the promise of it; the Rio returns a claimed 88.3mpg. Official numbers like these are increasingly unrealistic, but it’s likely that it will return excellent fuel figures.
The Rio’s handling and ride are less characterful than its engine, although the smaller wheels and tyres of this eco version allow it to deal more effectively with small bumps, especially in town. The Ecodynamics tackles corners tidily, but you miss out on the pleasure that Ford’s Fiesta serves up on a twisty road.
UNLESS YOU GO electric, no car produces fewer CO2 emissions than this 85g/km Rio Ecodynamics supermini. It easily betters any hybrid or eco diesel model on sale.
However, the real key is the 1.1’s pulling power: the stout 125lb ft arrives at just 1500rpm, so you don’t have to work it hard to make decent progress.
It’s powered by a 1.1-litre three-cylinder turbodiesel engine with direct fuel injection and a variable-vane turbo. Low weight and a long list of fuel-saving aids,
The engine is eager to rev, too. You don’t need to use the smooth six-speed gearbox as much as you’d think to maintain pace, and it will even pull sixth gear with
Kia says it’ll average 88.3mpg
It’s not the cheapest supermini at £11,895, but this particular Rio is a mechanically sophisticated car that’s thoroughly up to date, well equipped (with plenty of safety kit) and comes with a strong seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty. You’ll pay no road tax, no London Congestion Charge and enjoy potentially spectacular fuel consumption. For many, that will prove an irresistible combination.
Richard Bremner Editorial@whatcar.com
BUYER’S FILE Engine size
INSURANCE GROUP tbc AIRBAGS 4 DOORS 5 SEATS 5 COLOURS 5 TARGET PRICE tbc It has only just gone on sale, so discounts won’t be huge. They’ll get bigger, though OR TRY A .. . Ford Fiesta Econetic VW Polo Bluemotion
See how the Rio fares against its rivals page 52
Renault Grand Scénic 1.6 dCi 130
ISN’T PROGRESS WONDERFUL? The new flagship diesel engine in the Renault Grand Scénic is smaller than the unit it replaces, just as powerful, has more torque, lower emissions and much better fuel economy. It’s enough to make
BUYER’S FILE Engine size
INSURANCE GROUP 21 AIRBAGS 6 DOORS 5 SEATS 7 COLOURS 13 TARGET PRICE From £17,952 You should expect a similar discount to that you can find on the rest of the range OR TRY A .. . Ford Grand C-Max Peugeot 5008
Seat Leon FR/FR+
Plenty of shove above 1500rpm this one of the most efficient MPVs on the market. The Grand Scénic is also one of the easiest to drive, with strong acceleration and good flexibility.
On the road, this model is much the same as the rest of the range; its ride is firm, but you can tackle corners with confidence.
Inside, likewise, this Grand Scénic is no different from any other: the driver gets a good view out, the driving position will suit most people and you can just squeeze five adults into the rear.
The blend of performance and economy makes this a fine Grand Scénic. Trouble is, it’s also the most expensive, so for us the dCi 110 still makes the better buy.
A QUARTER OF all Leon buyers opt for the sporty FR trim. That proportion is only likely to grow because Seat is introducing a broader range of engines.
The new entry-level FR uses the firm’s smooth and flexible 122bhp 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine, while the cheapest diesel option is now a 138bhp 2.0-litre that pulls strongly from below 1500rpm and returns almost 60mpg. Just don’t expect acceleration worthy of the FR’s sporty looks; both engines need almost 10 seconds to get the Leon from 0-62mph.
Those after hot-hatch pace will need the 168bhp 2.0-litre diesel or
BUYER’S FILE Engine size 1.4 T
Price from £18,205 £20,245 Power 122bhp 138bhp 0-62mph 9.8sec 9.5sec Top speed 122mph 127mph Economy 45.6mpg 58.9mpg CO2 g/km/tax 145/19% 125/18%
INSURANCE GROUP 15-30 AIRBAGS 6 DOORS 5 SEATS 5 COLOURS 9 TARGET PRICE From £16,815 Aim to haggle around £1400 oﬀ the list price at your local Seat dealer OR TRY A .. . Ford Focus Volkswagen Golf
208bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol that have been available for years. However, there’s change here, too, because they have been rebadged FR+ to reflect the fact they have more standard equipment (not to mention a higher list price).
Whichever engine you choose there’s a lot of fun to be had, thanks to tight body control and sharp steering. Unfortunately, the Leon lets in a lot of road noise and all-round vision is woeful.
Andy Pringle Andy.Pringle@whatcar.com
‘Soft’ FR cars are no hot hatches
Steve Huntingford Steven.Huntingford@whatcar.com
| NOVEMBER 2011 whatcar.com ‘You have to work the engine to its limits’
The Toyota Yaris’s 1.0-litre petrol engine is one to avoid
What is it? Third generation of spacious supermini Price from £11,170 On sale Now MPG 52.3-72.4 CO2 104-123g/km
WITH ALL THE sensational new superminis that have appeared over the past couple of years, the poor old Toyota Yaris has been somewhat left behind. That’s where this new third-generation model comes in; Toyota is promising more space, more equipment and a more enjoyable driving experience.
Five- or six-speed gearboxes, or a CVT; TR trim adds air-con, Bluetooth
Our group test on page 52 reveals whether Toyota’s new baby can cut it against its super-talented competition. Here, though, we’re concentrating on which version of the Yaris is the best one to go for.
reasonable acceleration, and even then you’re still left wanting more. The engine also gives off far too much noise and vibration, whether you’re revving it hard or simply letting it idle.
your extra cash gets you decent pace and flexibility, and 72.4mpg compared with the smaller petrol’s still-impressive 58.9mpg.
The mid-range 98bhp 1.3-litre petrol will be the one most buyers
Let’s start with the engines. We’d avoid the entry-level 68bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder. You don’t expect it to have thunderbolt performance, but even the quoted 0-62mph time of 15.3 seconds feels optimistic. You have to work the engine to its limits for any
The 1.4 turbodiesel isn’t particularly smooth or quiet, either, but it’s not as raucous as the 1.0-litre. It costs thousands more, though. Still, at least
BUYER’S FILE Engine size 1.0
Price from £11,170 £12,760 £14,260 Power 68bhp 98bhp 89bhp 0-62mph 15.3sec 11.7sec 10.8sec Top speed 96mph 109mph 109mph Economy 58.9mpg 52.3mpg 72.4mpg CO2 g/km/tax 111/10% 123/15% 104/13%
The 1.3 TR is the one to go for
INSURANCE GROUP 4-11 AIRBAGS 7 DOORS 3-5 SEATS 5 COLOURS 10 TARGET PRICE £10,864-£14,348 You’ll get around 3% oﬀ to start with, but that figure will grow OR TRY A .. . Ford Fiesta Volkswagen Polo go for. It needs some revs to get going, but it accelerates pretty eagerly once you oblige. It’s the most refined engine of the bunch, too, and it costs only £500 more than the 1.0-litre. Yes, it has the heaviest emissions and worst fuel economy in the range, but it’s still more efficient than most similarly powered rivals.
Ivan Aistrop Ivan.Aistrop@whatcar.com
For more information
Toyota Yaris on whatcar.com
Yaris goes head-to-head with superminis page 52
Mercedes C63 AMG
THE C63 AMG looks like a brilliant combination of big and small numbers. Its 6.2-litre V8 engine produces 451bhp and a whopping 442lb ft of torque, which is enough to get you from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds and leave a BMW M3 gasping to catch up.
Complimenting the engine is a new seven-speed automatic gearbox, which helps the C63 average 23.5mpg and emit ‘just’ 280g/km of CO2. These figures aren’t going to impress Friends of the Earth, but they represent a 10% improvement over the old car’s.
When this monster of a Mercedes is in its Comfort setting it’s surprisingly quiet and civilised. However, switch to Sport and the engine sounds a whole lot meatier, while the ’box hold on to gears for longer and speeds up shifts to maximise acceleration. Sport+ takes things a stage further, only allowing upshifts at the engine’s redline, and in both Sport and Sport+ the gearbox blips the throttle when changing down.
Huge grip, mighty brakes and a ride that’s firm but never crashy add further to the C63’s appeal. It’s just a pity the car feels a little sterile. An M3 might be slower, but it’s more involving.
Matt Sanger Matt.Sanger@whatcar.com says...
BUYER’S FILE Engine size
INSURANCE GROUP 45 AIRBAGS 6 DOORS 4 SEATS 5 COLOURS 9 TARGET PRICE £55,565 Don’t spend long haggling over the price – dealers don’t oﬀer discounts on AMGs OR TRY A .. . BMW M3 Lexus IS-F
whatcar.com NOVEMBER 2011 |