Premier Automobiles has recently launched a petrol version of its compact, under-four-metre SUV, the Rio. Powered by a 1173cc engine that produces 75bhp, the petrol Rio starts at Rs 4.95 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) for the basic GX version with grey interiors. The top-end version comes with alloy wheels and roof-rails and costs Rs 5.86 lakh. This petrol motor is BS-IV compliant, so unlike its diesel counterpart, the petrol version is now available in metros as well.
Premier Automobiles, erstwhile maker of the Fiat 1100 or the Premier Padmini, had returned to the Indian passenger car market in 2009 with this Chinese-sourced compact diesel SUV. Powered by a modified but antiquated 1.5-litre Peugeot diesel engine that makes only 65bhp, the Zotye-sourced first-generation Daihatsu Terios held only limited appeal due to poor performance from the engine.
Premier is hoping this more powerful version will improve the appeal of its rather unique but basic under four meter SUV. The company is also looking to strengthen its dealer network from 50 dealers to 100 in the next few months.
Issue: 211 | Autocar India: March 2017
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