Sport, GT in Kia Rio line-up

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

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.

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