Premier Rio hasn’t been the most popular of cars out there and the mini SUV needs a lot more than luck to make car buying lot look up and notice. The little known offering from Premier, which comes from Chinese manufacturer Zotye, is essesntially a first generation Daihatsu Terios. A compact SUV for pocket friendly price was and still is a very fascinating proposition but unluckily Premier failed to gain from the massive potential that this idea holds and have sold merely 2500 units till date. Thanks to an outdated diesel engine, Rio could not enter BS4 cities and that confined the diesel version’s sales to tier 2-3 cities. Premier Automobiles have finally looked up to its old partner- Fiat- to borrow the ‘national’ diesel engine – Fiat Multijet for the Rio. This is the same engine that powers almost every other diesel car in India. We also reported when it emerged that Premier was busy expanding its dealer network and now, it has become official that Premier will start the deliveries of the Rio Multijet from 2nd of next month. Being called as CRDI4, the 1.3 litre engine produces 72 hp of power, which has to be the lowest output from this motor on any car. Premier claims a fuel economy of 19 kmpl for Rio CRDI4. It may be noted that usage of this engine will enable the manufacturer to sell the diesel Rio in BS 4 markets and hence, have a potential for increased sales. As for the dealer network, the Indian automaker now has 55 dealers and 200 service centres spread across the nation. It will be interesting to see if the Rio would perform better on sales chart with the new engine. The Rio CRDI4 range starts at INR 6.7 lakhs (ex showroom, Pune).
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