Sport, GT in Kia Rio line-up
KIA Motors Australia, KMAU, has added Sport and Gt-line variants and deleted the Si and SLI grades from its Rio line-up as part of a model-year update that ushers in driveaway pricing for the light hatchback.
The Rio continues to kick off from $16,990 before on-road costs in entrylevel S form with a six-speed manual gearbox, while opting for a four-speed automatic transmission brings the purchase price to $17,490 driveaway.
The S grade is still motivated by a 74kw/133nm 1.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that previously did service in the Si and SLI variants.
This powertrain also powers the new Sport grade that is available with a pair of six-speed units, with its manual and automatic priced from $17,990 and $18,990 driveaway respectively.
Checking in at $21,990 driveaway, the Gt-line variant is exclusively available with an 88kw/172nm 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine and a seven-speed dualclutch automatic transmission – a first for a Kia model sold in Australia.
Standard equipment in the S includes Apple Carplay and Android Auto support, a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and six airbags. The Sport adds 17inch alloy wheels, power-folding side mirrors, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear lever, and cruise control.
Meanwhile, the Gt-line asserts its flagship status with autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and an idle-stop system, all of which are firsts for the Rio.
It also features a Gt-line-specific bodykit and LED bulbs for its foglights, daytime running lights and tail-lights. As with all Kia models available Down Under, the Rio comes with an industry-leading seven-year/ unlimited-kilometre warranty, plus seven years of roadside assistance and capped-price servicing.
According to KMAU chief operating officer Damien Meredith, the Rio’s most recent upgrade comes as a response to feedback from customer and media.
“The Rio has always been a foundation stone of the Kia brand and remains so with this latest range of improvements,” he said.
“Competition in this segment is extremely tough, but we have continued to listen to what our customers and the industry commentators say and made improvements based on that feedback.”
Sales of the Rio have backtracked this year, with 5105 examples sold to the end of September – a 4.4 percent decrease over the 5340 deliveries it managed during the same period in 2017.
As a result, the Rio is currently placed sixth in the sub-$25,000 lightcar segment, trailing the Hyundai Accent with 12,130 units, Mazda2, 8419, Toyota Yaris, 7305, Suzuki Swift, 6289 and Honda Jazz, 5539.
MODEL-YEAR UPDATE: Kia has introduced two new drivetrain options to highlight the sportier Rio light hatchback.