A compact SUV is great for our cities. The only vehicle to tick that box currently is the Premier Rio. And now there’s an upgraded version of the Rio with a petrol engine...
Premier Rio Review
The Rio’s design is the same as the Daihatsu Terios, which is now built by Zotye, a Chinese car manufacturer which bought the Terios dies from Daihatsu after it launched the next-generation Terios. Currently, the Zotye sells the Rio as “Nomad” in China. The good quality paint finish and the alloys make the Rio look good, not to forget the 215/70R15 tyres and the compact design.
The Rio has grey and blue-coloured interiors like the typical 1980s Japanese cars sold in America and Europe. The plastic quality inside is not satisfactory – the hard plastics, flimsy feeling hazard light button, inconsistent gaps between the panels, and the peel-off Premier stickers could have been much better. The grab handles feel flimsy and should have been sturdier. The Rio comes with a four-speaker CD player and radio system which has the radio antenna on the left hand side A-pillar, as Chinese cars are left hand drive and shifting the antenna to the right side would have increased the cost.
The Rio isn’t just compact from outside, but is congested inside as well. Both rows lack adequate space, especially the second row but the boot has a fair amount of space. The seat cushioning could have been better. The steering wheel feels a little small and even though the headlights are twin-barreled, they don’t turn on high and low beam together which would have helped visibility by a lot during night driving. The electrically adjustable mirrors are a welcome addition to the Rio.
The Premier Rio uses the Peugeot TUD5 engine technology which powers the other two Premiers; namely Sigma and Roadstar. This tough, reliable engine in its earliest avatar used to power the Zen and Esteem diesels, and even the first Accent diesels before they switched to the CRDi engine. Premier has reduced the cubic capacity by 30cc to 1489cc, however the engine block and cylinder head are still imported from France and produces a maximum power of 65bhp. The compact SUV uses a Zotye gearbox. The rear-wheel driven Rio handles surprisingly well and considering the small wheelbase and track, the car has negligible bodyroll.
The Rio targets the aspirational customer, with its compact SUV looks and rear wheel drive. It is a viable alternative to a large hatch or entry-level sedan at the price (Rs 5.48 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai), but the aspirational customer will most likely be disappointed by the interiors of the Rio. This is a shame, since the Rio could have been so much more – it is, after all, a good handler, and the only taste of true front-engine, rear-wheel drive that the Indian customer has at the price range.
Premier Rio Colours
Premier Rio is available/sold in the following colours in India.
- Paradise White
- Sterling Silver
- Cherry Red
- Mystic Black
- Topoz Blue
Premier Rio Images
Premier Rio Expert Reviews
Premier Rio User Reviews
Exterior It's about the exterior of this car that makes it stand out. A compact SUV in the right sense of the word. Very smart cuts and edges make it stand out in a crowd. Interior...
Exterior very good Interior (Features, Space & Comfort) Clear & more space Engine Performance, Fuel Economy and Gearbox Very good Ride Quality &...
I brought this car in Jan 2014 with more refined fiat 72 BHP engine as they say it is the same engine maruti and tata is using after driving this car upto leh and ladhk via srinagar...
It offers a mix of appearance, price,comfortable interiors and an efficient diesel engine that the competition can't match. I'm writing to say that it is an excellent...
Exterior Look and Style - Verry Verry NICE , Good colours available, Wheel size adds value in look and apearace Comfort - Good Pickup - Good Mileage - Yet to check...
Premier Rio in News
Premier LTD will build a network of 100 dealers and 200 service stations across India, by end of 2012.