2012 Premier Rio: Behind the wheel experience

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In the year 2009, the Premier brand resurrected with the launch of Rio – India’s first and only compact SUV. Recently, the company has upgraded its compact Rio with new looks and improved drivetrain, which is BSIV compliant 1.2-litre petrol engine. Team Incarz gets behind the wheel of 2012 Premier Rio to experience the change brought in the updated model by Premier’s Automotive Division.


Undoubtedly, the SUVs are the mostly loved vehicles in India. This has resulted in many of the auto makers to enter this segment in the Indian auto market. Moreover, the success of Mahindra XUV 500 and the Toyota Fortuner have added more excitement in the segment with the sales of the vehicles soaring high. These SUVs with bulgy and devouring looks rule the Indian roads, but finds parking in tight spaces difficult and manoeuvring uncomfortable in city traffic. The Premier’s compact Rio takes advantage here and provides solution to this problem with its compact and precise dynamics.

The dynamic profile of the Rio is that of an SUV, albeit it’s just slightly bigger to an average B-segment hatchback. The new updated Rio is beautiful and refreshing in looks. This new SUV comes loaded with an all new bumper, revised headlamps and integrated fog lights too. With a sleek chrome plated strip, the redesigned grille looks appealing to the eye. Alongside this, the 205 section tyres have added more modern and chunky look to the base of new Rio.

On the inside, the change is not much promising enough to be spoken of. Although the interior has received some improvements on the quality end, the SUV remains same like the outgoing model with respect to lack of premier feel inside the cabin. The beige-colour theme followed inside gives an airy feel to the cabin. The space inside the car is sufficient enough for a comfortable ride.

Performance & Handling:

Powered by 1.2-litre 4-cylinder petrol drivetrain, 2012 Rio delivers output of 76.6 PS at 5800 rpm and peak torque of 103.9 Nm between 3500 rpm and 4250 rpm. This compact SUV can sprint from 0-100 kmph in 20.8 seconds. However, as the SUV surpasses the 100 kmph mark, the weakness in the Rio’s engine can be noticed. The car offers sufficient mileage of 13 kmpl in city traffic and 15 kmpl on highway.

In terms of Handling, the car is good enough with the power the engine generates. Handling the car around the city traffic feels more agile and sleek. With 200mm of ground clearance, the vehicle takes on the bad roads and the bumpers smoothly without passing much of the effect of bumpers into the cabin. The ABS equipped brakes provides good car retardation.

Incarz Rating:

With the ex-showroom price tag of Rs. 5.96 lakh for the base variant and Rs. 6.23 lakh for the top variant GLX, Rio is a blend of the goods of an SUV and a compact hatchback. We at incarz give 6.5/10 to this compact SUV, mainly because it isn’t cheap enough with all that it offers.

Final Verdict:

The 2012 Premier Rio is certainly a good compact SUV provided the company Premier focuses on the lot of quality issues prevailing in the vehicle.

  1. INES GRACIAS says:

    I’m awaiting the delivery shortly model GLX limited edition with beige interior.

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