|Aviva Kier 1.4L CXE 5-SPEED MT|
For 2007, the New Aviva Kier is the First Vehicle to wear the name change from Icono to Aviva. The Chicago-based automaker has introduced a Subcompact vehicle, aimed squarely at the Montgomery Gyro and Honda Fit. The Kier is Meant to be different than the Slow-selling (now Discontinued) Icono Iza, and Icono Cosmos.
Let??s start with the outside. The Car is shaped interestingly, with an angular sloping C pillar, and a small front end with almost no overhangs pared with HID Headlamps, almost unseen in this segment. The Back pares with short overhangs, and thin jeweled tail lamps that remind us of the Nissan Altima.
Inside, Aviva put their money where it belongs. The quality parts are where they are needed, but cheaper parts, like certain plastics, are put in places where they aren??t really seen. Driving ergonomics are good, being a rather tall car, you sit more upright than it??s competitor the Montgomery Gyro. The seats are comfortable, yet supportive, and there??s even a leather or leatherette option on the Grace and Elegance model grades. The Back seat is wide, and has a lot of legroom, and can hold two regular sized adults. It isn??t as clever as the Honda Fit??s rear seat, but the one in the Kier does fold. Headroom is lacking, due to the design; the long sloping c-pillar. The trunk is deep, but is short, making carrying longer items impossible, without using the folding seat pass through.
Driving the car is fun. Aviva mounted the engine closer to the ground and farther back, for a more pleasurable driving experience. The ride is a bit rough, due to the stiff suspension of the car. The transmission is precise, though the 5 speed automatic is a bit to jumpy and rough with gear changes. The manual transmission in our tester car is quick and diverse, though throws can be a little long, more like a pickup truck or SUV rather than a small car. The Engine is quick, our model came with only 97 HP. This may sound like little, but the Kier is 250LBS lighter than the Fit. Overall, it was adequate, and we longed to test the much acclaimed DualShift (Manumatic) Transmission.
The Kier is a safe car. It scored 5-stars in front and side impact tests and comes with a numerous array of safety features. ABS is standard, as well as dual front airbags and head-curtain airbags, covering all three rows. Our tester car came equipped with traction control, which a few of the drivers found it to be a bit too intrusive. Thankfully, you can turn it off. Side airbags are optional on all model grades. The Aviva is smart. With optional OnStar, when the airbags are deployed, Onstar automatically calls you to see if you are okay. If there is no response, the local police department is called. The engine in a crash, is designed to bounce under the car, rather than inside the cabin.
Pricing for the Kier is very reasonable. The Kier CX starts at $11,000 and comes with a manual transmission and the 97 HP as in our tester car. The Ranger Topping Elegance comes with leather, and navigation, manual, automatic, CVT or DualShift transmission and the more powerful 1.6L 114 HP engine, starts fully loaded at $14,550. The MPG??s are quite good and will save you money. Our tester car got 35city/45Highway when regularly driven. If driven lightly, it would achieve more.
Pros: Nimble, Quick, Cheap, Good on Gas. Out-of-the-box styling.
Cons: Short (although deep) trunk, 97HP only Adequate, 5-speed Manual shifts are a bit long, rear headroom a bit lacking.
Verdict: A serious competitor to the Fit, Gyro and Yaris.