Available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback, Kia’s Rio provides seating for five, and comes in three different trim levels. This year, the small hatch gets some minor styling tweaks to the front and back. There’s the base LX and the LX+, middle-of-the-road EX and well-equipped and sporty SX. The LX+ adds air conditioning, heated front seats, keyless entry and Bluetooth, and an efficient six-speed automatic is available across the range. Powering the Rio is a 1.6-litre inline four-cylinder engine, and when coupled with the automatic transmission, Kia offers an Active Eco System that, at the push of a button, optimizes engine and transmission management to reduce fuel consumption. Both the Rio sedan and hatchback wear Kia’s signature grille, and are further accentuated by deeply carved flanks.
Entry-level Grade 1 cars get air conditioning and front electric windows as standard, plus a 3.8-inch display screen, Bluetooth and daytime LED running lights. Hill-start assist is bundled in as well.
Grade 2 cars are priced from £13,745, including 15-inch alloy wheels, electric windows all round plus a 5-inch colour infotainment display. It complements the reversing camera, which itself is bundled with rear parking sensors. A leather trimmed steering wheel and gearstick spice up the cabin, while more assists such as Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning are included.
Starting from £16,295, range topping Grade 3 Rios 16-inch wheels, a 7-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, sat-nav, Bluetooth and voice recognition, plus rain sensing wipers. In the cabin, automatic air conditioning makes the cut, alongside black faux leather upholstery and heated front seats. At launch a First Edition model is on sale too, with 17-inch wheels, smart key entry with a start/stop button, more interior styling features and LED taillights, from £17,455.
Those angling for a diesel can pick up the 76bhp 1.4-litre CRDi in Grade 1 trim, priced from £13,495.
New Kia Rio Design
The overall design isn’t a radical departure from the look of the outgoing Rio, but the new model has visibly smoother surfaces and sharper details. Kia’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille is thinner and shorter, and flanked by a set of reshaped headlights, which also feature a new U-shaped LED lighting signature.
Changes are less evident around the back, but new rear lights feature an arrow-shaped LED light signature. The rear overhang is also shorter, while the more upright rear windscreen gives an increased sense of size. The new Rio won’t be available as a three-door model either – a more practical five-door is the only option.
Kia Europe design chief Gregory Guillaume said: “It has reached a point where it can be a bit more mature in the impression it gives. The previous Rio was trying to grab your attention. Now the car is more self-confident in its proportions.”