Don't like the vagueness at low speed (ie trolling parking spaces, etc.) but it seems to work well at normal driving speeds.
Doesn't answer our query, but just adding my thoughts. Don't know ho the system works, sorry.
There is a variable electric motor attached to the column that provides assist. Depending on vehicle speed and wheel torque and position, it will vary the assist as needed, full power during parking lot maneuvers to almost no assist at highway speed. At highway speed it is basically the same as a manual system.
I find that at speed there is a big dead spot and I am constantly making small corrections in the steering. I also notice that the power assist is almost like an on off switch rather than the progressive feel of the hydraulic power steering that my Focus had.
Reminds me of the force feedback on my Logitech wheel when playing rFactor.
David Scott.. THANK you, thank you, thank you. Finally, someone else has realized it too!! When I tell friends my Rio's EPS sucks and explain why, they just glaze over.
David, you call it dead-spot, and I call it 'non-neutral' steering but we are actually describing the SAME problem with the Kia EPS system/software. It results in constant micro adjustments to keep the car going straight. I realized it just 1 week after driving my Rio every day. My dealership blew me off saying its basically an UN-fixable characteristic of the car. Oh, YesFrancois!, your dealer will feed you a line of bull as well.
Let me see if I can explain non-neutral steering to other Rio owners.. on a properly assisted steering system when you make small adjustments/inputs to the steering wheel AND quickly let go, the car should make a small direction change and then continue straight (back to neutral). This makes staying in your lane rather effortless.
Not the Rio. What IT does is when you apply a small input (way too heavy for a car this small, IMHO) and let go, the car slowly continues in the requested direction. This forces you to make another input (shortly thereafter) in the OPPOSITE direction in order to get back to straight (neutral). However, now your Rio will continue in the other direction UNTIL you correct it AGAIN. It is nearly impossible to find NEUTRAL straight. These constant adjustments result in the effect of 'ping-ponging' back and forth in the lane. This makes the car irritating/tiring to drive for more than a 20min. ***REALLY, REALLY wish Kia would fix this!!
Here's a neat trick.. when sitting stopped at a traffic light, put your hand on the wheel at 6-oclock and QUICKLY move it left and right a half inch or so. You can actually FEEL the EPS stuttering on and off. LAME.
I did an hour and a half drive to Lindsay and found myself constantly making corrections. Very annoying and tiring. It might be worse here in Ontario as our roads are not the greatest. The 400 series highways are rutted (except the fast lane) and rest have serious crowns.
I drive in rush hour traffic and I find that the car tends to wander a bit if the road is not dead straight. Not a good thing when lots of traffic is around.
When I first got the car I complained about the EPS being too light on highways.
110+k.. After I got the car back at one of my normal services the car had a light wheel in parking lots a heavy on highways.. Not sure what they have done but one of the best feeling EPS I have driven. My VW had a very unpredictable EPS.. Light or heavy and heavy or light.
Don't people test drive before they buy? Can't believe after ownership steering becomes a problem I've had my Rio SX for 2 years & 19000 kms the steering is fine.I've taken 4 10 hour trips on rough potholed roads & the ride is a little tough on worn or broken pavement but the Electric steering is good & great @ low speed maneuvering.