NEW YORK -- Kia says the redesigned Rio will be the Korean automaker's first gasoline-powered vehicle to achieve 40 mpg on the highway when it goes on sale late this year.
The 2012 Rio sedan made its global debut today here at the New York auto show. The five-door hatchback Rio5 also was shown in New York after making its global debut in March in Geneva.
A 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine with gasoline direct injection and start-stop technology are new additions for the 2012 model.
The powerplant, producing a maximum of 138 hp, is combined with new six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, giving the car a company-estimated 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway.
The 2012 Rio also sits on a wider, longer and lower platform than the outgoing Rio.
"With gas prices rising, subcompacts are becoming increasingly more popular," Michael Sprague, Kia's U.S. marketing boss, said in a statement.
Kia said pricing for the new Rio, excluding destination charges, would start below $13,000.
The automaker is banking on the additional horsepower, 40 mpg highway fuel economy, sleek styling and affordable pricing to draw new buyers to the Rio.
Tom Loveless, Kia's U.S. sales boss, declined to set an annual sales target for the Rio, but said he expects the new Rio to outsell the outgoing car.
Kia sold 24,619 Rios in 2010 in the United States. Through March, Kia sold 4,885 Rios in the United States, down 26 percent from the same period in 2010.