For 2019, Kia Australia have announced a series of updates for their light hatch, the Rio. As we had expected, the range has now been tweaked to include the new GT-Line spec in addition to the Sport to replace the Si and SLi. The entry-level grade is still the S, which kicks off the upgraded Rio at $16,990, not including ORCs.
The most significant element to the new Rio GT-Line is its engine. While the rest of the range makes due with the familiar 1.4-litre naturally aspirated MPI four-cylinder, the new range-topper now features a 1.0-litre three pot, turbocharged to 88kW and 172Nm.
It’s an engine that’s also used in the Stonic crossover, and does provide more power and torque over the older atmospheric units while promising to return better fuel economy. It’s mated exclusively to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic as opposed to 6-speed torque converters in the lesser Sport variant, improving consumption figures even more. The base Rio S is still supplied with the older 4-speed auto should the 6-speed manual not be chosen.
Speaking of the S, move value has been injected to the least expensive of Rios, and it comes standard with features such as a reversing camera, six airbags, ABS and ESP, as well as compatibility for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via its touchscreen infotainment system and 6-speaker stereo.
Stepping up to the Sport brings 17-inch alloys, cruise control, leather trim on the steering wheel and gear knob, electric folding mirrors, and of course the aforementioned 6-speed automatic transmission, but curiously does not build on the S’ safety features.
Finally, there’s the new Rio GT-Line. Here, and in addition to the perkier engine and specific exterior aesthetic upgrades, Kia has given it a more dynamic suspension tune to make everyday drives that little more enjoyable.
Being the best specified, this version also comes with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Keep Assist, and Idle Stop & Go. The top-spec Rio will be easily identifiable on the road via its LED Daytime Running Lights, LED Position Lamps, LED rear combination lamps and LED fog lamps.
- Rio S - 1.4L MPI - 6-speed Manual - $16,990 (without ORCs)
- Rio S - 1.4L MPI - 4-speed Auto - $17,490 (Driveaway)
- Rio Sport - 1.4L MPI - 6-speed Manual - $17,990 (Driveaway)
- Rio Sport - 1.4L MPI - 6-Speed Automatic - $18,990 (Driveaway)
- Rio GT-Line - 1.0T - 7-speed DCT Auto - $21,990 (Driveaway)