Interview: Erick Uceda – 2006 Kia Rio 1.6 LX (Texas – USA).

by Feb 25, 2009All News2 comments

Link to the complete album.

Well friends, let’s start with the new section, dedicated to all those people who have modified their Hyundai or Kia. The idea of this section was born thanks with thehelp of my friend Erick, so i decided to start with his car. To all who have uploaded a photo of your car in our Facebook page don’t worry, in a few days we’ll reveal the person/ride who’ll be  interview next. Even if you are not choosed now, does not mean that you will not be in the future, we’ll try to do everyone.

Here we go with the questions:

1ª Question: How did you find out about Kia?.

“My dad recommended The Korean automaker, at the time when prices were (and still are) extremely comfortable. Before I used to drive a Volvo 240DL, very nice car, had all the options but I got into  an accident with it and it was totaled. Once I got the check by the insurance, I’m not going to lie, at first I wanted the Honda S2000 but “unfortunately ” I just started my credit history so it was going to be very difficult to get one. Also it was constantly on television and then that’s when I decided to go to a dealer”.

2ª Question: Why did you decided for the Rio? What you saw in it? Did you had other models in mind? Which one?

“It really was pure coincidence, if you can call it that. I went to the dealer to buy a Spectra minded that no one (sellers) would change my mind. As soon i got to the dealer I saw the Rio and it was like an arrow to the heart … after that i just wanted the Rio … but it was not easy because i only wanted the Rio with MT and all dealers only had AT. After a few days calling all dealers near and far to my city … I finally found one, was “used” with only 65 miles so I bought at a good price”.

3ª Question: When did you bought your Rio? Did you thought to make any changes from the beginning, or you preferred to go slowly and see the progress?.

“I bought my Rio in August 2006 and I’ll be honest, i only used my Rio it to get from point A to point B nothing else, but my priority at that time was to improve my credit and swap it a few years later for the S2000. It took about 2 years until I found StreetkiaZ, which made me see the potential of my car and started from there all the changes, it was like the rebirth of my Rio”.

4ª Question: What modifications have you done to the Rio so far?.

“Wow, is a very long list but here we go”.

– Sound:

  • Pioneer Premier DEH-P690UB.
  • 2 12′ Subwoofer Blaukpunt.
  • 1K Watts Crunch.
  • 1 Farad Rockford Fosgate Capacitor.
  • Kicker wiring cables.

– Perfomance:

  • UR Rear Sway Bar.
  • UR Lower Bars.
  • Kfx Front Strut Bar.
  • B&m Racing Short Throw Shifter.
  • Custom CAI.
  • Kfx 4-1 Headers.
  • NR Engine Damper.
  • Seibon CF hood with scoop.
  • SMA Coilovers.
  • Falken Tires 205/40/17 with wheels 17×7.
  • Exhaust  2 1/4″ from the cat, with muffler USA Racing.
  • KJB Motorsports Delrin Shifter Bushings.
  • KJB Motorsports Shifter Base Bushings


  • Retrofit Headlights with Acura TL Projectors.
  • Lens ZKW.
  • Hella Ballast.
  • 4,300K Phillips bulbs.
  • Leds blue and red in dashboard, A/C, Clock.
  • LED lights on driver and passenger.

– Exterior:

  • Sharkfin Antenna.
  • Smoked tail lights.
  • Tinted windows 20%.

– Next Mods:

  • Dual exhaust exit.

Now we will show you a little of the process of some of the most outstanding mods.

-Bars and Suspension:

5ª Question: Did your car change your opinion about Kia? What is the people’s opinion about Kia over there?.

“It was a 360 degrees change, I never thought I could be so comfortable Rio, low on mpg(before modifications) and above all reliable. Also, Kia is going up on sales and as new members were(still are) registering with the same aspirations that I have, thats awesome for me. I made a promise to myself, to place the KIA name on everywhere i could and featured the Korean brand as one of the best, not only as a daily drive car, but also as tuneable car”.

“The big majority of people see Kia as an economy car and that just gives you good mileage and nothing else. Now with the new models, Kia is being seeing with different eyes, clearly not yet on par with other brands but I think is the same as it was before with Honda, a brand that was not considered reliable took change and is now one of the known brands with many sales”.

– Rear Lights:

6ª Question: Is it your first and only Kia?.

“Yes is my first and only Kia car but not in the family. Since I bought my Kia only gave good advice on the Korean brand and then it came the time for my brother to buy a new car. At first he bought a Nissan Versa, but due to problems with the seller my brother returned the Versa, and I automatically said … FORTE! Hehehe sounds funny, but I did told him that … I immediately began to give information to my brother about the Forte, unfortunately he was also building up his credit, if not he would bought the Koup”.

7ª Question: What can you tell us about how people react when they see your car?.

“Hahaha (laughs) The first words out of htheir mouth is “It’s a Kia ?!?!”  And I love that reaction! Also many times I’ve taken my car to the dealer they always ask me, now what have you done to the car?. It is a great satisfaction to know that my car is recognized by many people, either as good or bad. Fortunately, the vast majority of all people like my car because there is nothing fancy, despite the modifications that I still keep the car’s design but with an extra touch made by me”.

8ª Question: You have recently begun to make Autocross, you can tell us about it?.

“Is a unique experience by itself but to do it with my Rio makes it even more special. When I was in Autocross classes I gave my car to two instructors to test it and both were surprised at how well the car handles the curves and especially the brakes, which left me very satisfied with the coilovers that I have and especially the brakes that are OEM”.

9ª Question: Personal notes.

“Since I bought my Kia has been a boom for me, its not only been a means of transportationbut an intermediary or a connection to new adventures, friends (including people from other countries), joys, challenges and lots of emotions. Now I’m leader of my state/region for StreetkiaZ and still competing with my Kia in this new experience called, Autocross”.

– Front lights:

I hope you liked it. Greetings!

Written by Jose Antonio Lopez

Passionated about Korean cars from Hyundai, Kia & Genesis. Photographer. I love being in nature, hiking. Tech lover.

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