The auto formerly known as the Aspire makes its return.
by Brenda Priddy
The Kia Avella, known by a variety of names around the world, is undergoing a complete makeover for the 2001 model year and will once again be sold in the United States. This time badged as the Rio, the littlest Kia will make its debut at this week's Chicago auto show.
Known as the Ford Aspire to American consumers, the Avella has been sold worldwide under the Avella, Ford Fiesta (Japan) and Mazda 121 nameplates since 1993. Ford dropped the Aspire at the end of the 1997 model year, but Kia will bring their all-new version back to the States next fall with modern styling and updated amenities. A sloping waistline, high rear end and stylish headlamps help make this a new entry into Kia's American market.
Sources tell us the Avella will be powered by either a 1.5-liter or 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, and will be followed a year later by a more upscale and more powerful 2002 Sephia.
© 2000 The Car Connection