What you need to know
- Progressive exterior design and modern cabin with ‘floating’ interface
- New in-car technologies and connectivity features, including Android and Apple smartphone integration
- Significantly stronger steel body shell for improved safety
- Engaging handling and more comfortable ride
- Class-leading cabin spaciousness and 325-litres luggage capacity
The Rio is one of KIA’s best selling models globally, with particularly the outgoing third-generation model credited with establishing the Korean brand as a force to be reckoned with. Despite it nearing the end of its life cycle, the outgoing model still sold almost 450,000 units globally in 2016, accounting for 15% of KIA’s annual sales. In South Africa, the Rio has also been a consistent bestseller for KIA, along with the Picanto and Sportage making up the brand’s core trio of game changers.
In profile, the fourth-generation Rio’s lengthened, more balanced stance is achieved with a long bonnet and longer front overhang, a 10 mm longer wheelbase (up to 2,580 mm), a thinner, more upright C-pillar, and a shorter rear overhang. Overall, the new car is 15 mm longer than its predecessor (4,065 mm in length) and 5 mm lower (now 1,450 mm tall). Straight, clearly defined lines run down the full length of the car’s shoulder and along its doors, further stretching the appearance of the car for a more confident look.
Comfort & Technology
The new KIA Rio features a strikingly modernised new cabin, with sculptural forms and a more ergonomic layout than its predecessor, designed to accommodate the Rio’s new infotainment system. As has become the norm with KIA vehicles, the new Rio is available with both USB and auxiliary-in ports for front passengers, enabling occupants to connect a mobile device to the Rio’s audio and infotainment system, as well as recharge batteries on the move. An additional 12V power socket is also available for additional charging devices. All models feature steering wheel-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony. Higher specification models’ Bluetooth systems also incorporate Voice Recognition.
The Rio’s 10 mm-longer wheelbase and 15mm-longer body contribute to larger cabin and cargo area dimensions. Legroom grows to 1,070 mm in the front and 850 mm in the rear, while the new model offers more shoulder room than most other cars in its class – 1,375 mm in the front and 1,355 mm in the rear. Despite the new Rio being 5 mm shorter in height than the outgoing model, front and rear headroom (987 mm and 964 mm, respectively) are among the best in the B-segment.
Engines & Safety
Two engine options, and four specification grades
The new KIA Rio is offered with revised versions of KIA’s familiar naturally aspirated 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre MPI (multi-point injection) petrol engines. The 1.25-litre engine produces peak power of 62 kW at 6,000 r/min and 120 Nm torque at 4,000 r/min. The 1.4-litre engine produces 74 kW at 6,300 r/min and 135 Nm torque at 4,200 r/min. Both engines apply power to the front wheels, either through a five-speed manual transmission (on the Rio 1.2) or a six-speed manual transmission (on the Rio 1.4-litre). A four-speed automatic transmission is available on 1.4-litre models.
The bodyshell of the new Rio is made up of a significant proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). The extensive use of AHSS in the body of the Rio is part of a wider effort by KIA to achieve a 5% reduction in the average weight of new car bodies by 2020 when compared to 2014, while achieving greater safety and security. 51% of the new Rio’s body is made out of strong, light AHSS, compared to 33% in the third-generation model.
The increased application of AHSS has strengthened the passenger cabin ‘cell’ for greater occupant safety and more effective distribution of impact forces. The stronger steel has been used to reinforce the A- and B-pillars, as well as side sills, roof structure, engine bay and floor pan.
Despite the all-new KIA Rio representing the next big step forward for KIA in its quest to provide customers with a high-quality, all-encompassing vehicle, KIA is launching the new model range at price points that are virtually unchanged from the outgoing model.
Rio 1.2 LS Manual R 219,995
Rio 1.4 LX Manual R 234,995
Rio 1.4 EX Manual R 249,995
Rio 1.4 TEC Manual R 274,995
All models are available with an optional automatic transmission for an additional R13,000. A sunroof is available as an option on the Rio TEC for an additional R8,500.
Adding even further value to the KIA Rio package is KIA’s class-leading 5-year / Unlimited Kilometre Warranty, inclusive of 5-years / Unlimited Kilometres Roadside Assistance, as standard, as well as a 4-year / 60,000km Service Plan.