KIA has revealed local details of its fourth-generation Rio city car, which now offers crucial technology upgrades, sharper handling and a greater emphasis on quality as it takes the fight to the Mazda 2, Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta.
Larger, more spacious and more comfortable than the model it replaces, the new-gen Rio is also now also available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the first time, yet prices remain unchanged across the line-up.
Starting at $16,990 for the base Rio S in six-speed manual transmission trim, the range tops out at $22,990 for the SLi with a four-speed automatic. Even sharper drive away deals are also being offered at dealers across the country.
Currently offered with a single engine option, every Rio in the three-tier range (S, Si and SLi) is powered by a carryover 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine producing a modest 74kW/133Nm.
The engine remains virtually unchanged from the previous-gen car, though has undergone efficiency improvements to see a minor official fuel consumption gain from 6.3L/100km to 6.2.
A more powerful and more efficient 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine is tipped to join the Rio line up in the near future, with Kia Australia currently evaluating the business case for a range-topping Kia Rio GT variant.
The GT will also add crucial safety upgrades, including the addition of Autonomous Emergency Braking. This potentially life-saving technology is currently absent from the new-gen Rio range.
“AEB wasn’t developed for the 1.4-litre engine,” Kia Australia product planner Roland Rivero told ufcnancy.
“It’s strictly available on the 1.0-litre. At this stage we’ve added a lot of passive and active safety features to the Rio, but AEB is something we want in the future, absolutely.”
Like most of Kia’s model range, the new Rio has undergone extensive local suspension tuning to improve the comfort of its ride on lumpy Australian roads.
It’s inside, though, where the Rio’s improvements are felt most. Rolling on a wheelbase that’s now 10mm longer (overall length is up 15mm), the Rio’s cabin is now roomier and more comfortable.
Leg and shoulder room has increased in both rows, while boot space has also grown to 325 litres, which is amongst the best for this class.
A redesigned and more-upmarket cabin imparts a distinct European feel, and standard equipment includes a 7.0-inch ‘floating’ central touchscreen, reverse parking sensors, reversing camera, keyless entry, automatic headlights and power windows. Si grades and above add satellite-navigation, digital radio and cruise control.
Kia Rio pricing
S manual: $16,990
S auto: $19,090
Si auto: $21,490
SLi auto: $22,990