Kia’s re­li­able Rio takes sporty turn

Albany Extra - - Motoring - Ewan Kennedy

The Kia Rio com­petes in one of the most hard-fought sales seg­ments in Aus­tralia, so it made sense to give it a full-on re­vamp with ma­jor me­chan­i­cal changes to give it more weapons to fight with.

The en­try-level Rio S is un­changed, with a 1.4-litre petrol en­gine mated to ei­ther a six-speed man­ual or four-speed au­to­matic.

Much big­ger news is that the Rio Si and SLi mod­els have been re­placed by a new Kia Rio Sport.

It has 17-inch al­loy wheels and, im­por­tantly, a six-speed au­to­matic that re­places the four-speed.

It has cruise con­trol, leather trim on the steer­ing wheel and gear lever, as well as pow­ered fold­ing door mir­rors.

At the top of the range, the GTLine has a sporty 1.0-litre three­cylin­der turbo-petrol of­fer­ing 88kW/ 172Nm. It now drives the front wheels through a sev­en­speed dual clutch trans­mis­sion.

The GT-Line fea­tures a body kit and a full-on range of LED lights: day­time run­ning lights, po­si­tion lamps, fog­lights and rear lights.

In­fo­tain­ment uses a six-speaker sound sys­tem and Blue­tooth, as well as hav­ing Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto com­pat­i­bil­ity.

Safety is in­creas­ingly im­por­tant to buy­ers in this class as many are young­sters and their par­ents are con­cerned about them.

Stan­dard fea­tures on all in­clude ABS, ESC, VSM, re­verse park­ing sen­sors, rearview cam­era and six airbags. The GT-Line adds AEB and lane keep as­sist to the pas­sive safety fea­tures.

Kia’s seven-year war­ranty, seven-year capped price ser­vic­ing and seven-year road­side as­sist is a ma­jor plus for the Rio.

Pric­ing starts at $16,990 for the man­ual and $17,490 drive-away for the au­to­matic.

The Sport trim starts at $17,990 drive-away for the man­ual and $18,990 for the six-speed au­to­matic. The GT-Line is $21,990 drive-away.

Your lo­cal Kia dealer is Al­bany Au­tos 9841 4555.

The lat­est Kia Rio fea­tures ma­jor changes un­der the skin.

Pic­tures: Warren Kirby

The leather trim will im­press.

The Kia Rio GT has plenty of safety fea­tures..

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