- power steering

India’s Cheapest SUV – The Premier Rio

If you are looking for a car that is big but priced as much as a small car then let me introduce you to the PREMIER RIO. Yes, that’s right, Premier, this company is back in the car market ever since it’s Premier Padmini back in the 1990’s. And this time Premier promises big car for small price, infact, to be a little more specific it’s a mini SUV. Don’t get too excited, read on.

Walking past the Rio without looking at it is absolutely impossible, it is extremely eye-catching specially in the colour brick red and will definitely get one’s attention. Despite it’s square like dimensions this SUV manages to convince it’s buyer within no time, looking at the Rio from any angle will tell you that at this price, you can get something really handsome, it also conceals itself with dual tone colours which I liked(no body coloured bumpers). The huge wheel arches give the SUV a muscular look, it stands mighty on massive 205/70 R15 tyres aided by rugged Macpherson struts up front and a five-link set-up at the rear.

The Rio is planted with a 1.5 litre turbo-charged diesel motor churning out 65bhp and 14kgm of torque, snug proportions of the Rio will make it an ideal vehicle for the narrowest, most congested lanes of the city, piloting this SUV through traffic with power steering should be a finger-tip job, married to the 1489cc motor is a five-speed transmission. Though the thing that impressed me is the tail-mounted spare wheel which makes it quite different from anything else in the market. Doors shut with an impressive sound quality which ensures solid build quality and promising safety.

Getting into the Rio can be defined as climbing into and not bending. It’s interiors are quite decent, not flashy but quite boring to look at, texture of the plastic feels cheap and not up-to the mark. The seats are well bolstered and offer good thigh support, there are certain areas in the Rio where the finish of plastic isn’t good, as you can see a few gaps here and there. The Rio’s floor on the inside is high and makes tall people’s knees reach the window, though, knee room is reasonably good, head room could be a problem for six-footers, up-front the dashboard design is simple and there is nothing too impressive, the grey panel integrated into the centre console is oddly fitted and leaves this to be a major eye sore inside the cabin, the steering felt good to hold and looks cute as well.

The instument cluster is very ordinary and didn’t really catch my eye, although, gearshifting should be a boon since the gear lever is placed nice and high, the pedals below can be operated with ease even in case of a short person as the driver, high seating position up-front allows you to have a commanding hawk-eye view of the road, buttons on the dashboard are just fine after all, this is Chinese quality. It’s interiors are compact, cozy and can seat upto five passengers which sums up to a small car’s cabin capacity, isn’t that amazing? A cute, compact and capable little SUV for premium hatchback money and a vehicle that you can actually take off-roading on a weekend with your family. All of this at an attractive pice tag of 5-6 lakh rupees.