First Drive: Premier Rio

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So, when we first drove the Rio, we appreciated it, but it had its drawbacks. It looked too utilitarian. The interiors were just too bland and the quality wasn’t great either. It also lacked refinement. With the new one some of these issues have been ironed out. As is clear in the pictures, it does look more polished than before. It gets a new hood, revised fenders and totally new design for the headlamps, grille and front bumper. In the flesh, it looks more upmarket now. 

Even on the inside, things are looking up. The finish has improved and though the design remains the same, use of beige for the upholstery and some of the plastics, has not only given the car’s insides a richer look, but it feels roomier too. There’s some equipment on board too. ABS for instance is standard on the new Rio, so are power windows up front and electrically adjustable ORVMs. Furthermore, the top-end  LX version also gets a stereo system.

The Rio, though marketed as a five-seater, can, for all practical purposes, only seat four. The fifth is a real squeeze. For four people the room, while not too great, is still acceptable. And with a short rail for the front seats, the rear passengers always have tolerable kneeroom. Boot space however could be better and the cabin could do with more stowage areas as well. There are no cupholders at the front for instance.


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