12 May 2017

Kia Rio 2017 car review

It seems that many manufacturers are turning to the Europeans design for inspiration and the all-new Kia Rio is the latest to follow the trend. We’re glad they did as the styling replicates a popular VW hatch.

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Kia Rio 2017
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There’s a whole lot that’s new with this 4th generation Rio. It’s longer, has more cabin space and it’s equipped with heaps of technology. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have been incorporated into the 6-speaker audio system, along with a new ‘floating’ 7-inch touchscreen on all Rio models. For the first time in a Rio, satellite navigation has also been added. This can only be found in the EX and Limited models though and it includes SUNA live traffic update alerts as well. The upcoming speed camera warnings were great as well.  

The new Rio excels in the handling department and it’s all thanks to the unique, advanced RS damper valves. This is a direct result of the ANZAC suspension upgrade program which is undertaken by the Australian based ride and handling team. They’ve tuned the balance of driver enjoyment and the comfort of the ride to an even higher degree.

Three, two, one

There are three models to choose from with the Rio – LX, EX, and Limited. There are also two transmission options and one engine. All 74kW of engine horses come from the new all-aluminium 1,400cc power plant. Peak power is available at 4,000rpm, which is slightly down from the previous 4,200rpm but most models come equipped with a smooth, 4-speed automatic transmission and a 6-speed manual is available on the base spec LX. I personally found it difficult to extract the 74kW effectively in the automatic as the small engine struggled under low revs. I would expect the manual transmission to make it easier to maintain the vehicle in the power rev range. I would love to see a turbo engine added to the mix in the future, to see it head down the hot hatch route.  

A vast range of safety features are incorporated as standard while the EX and Limited models benefit from additional features, such as LED day time running lights and tail lights, projector headlamps with smart cornering lamps and projector style fog lights.

With the Rio rocking a bigger look, it’s also easier for drivers to see out of the vehicle – a common complaint about modern cars. This is all thanks to the lower window line around the car, thinner C pillars and relocated door mirrors which improves the driver’s view of the traffic behind.

The Rio has just received a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

At a glance
Models RIO LX, EX, Limited
Engine 1.4L 4 cylinder naturally aspirated
Price $22,490- $26,990
ANCAP safety rating 5-Star ANCAP safety rating
Power 74kW @ 4,000rpm
Transmission 4-speed AT, 6-speed manual
Fuel economy 5.6L/100km manual, 6.2L/100km automatic
Towing capacity 450kg unbraked, 1,000kg braked (manual) 800kg braked (automatic)
2WD/4WD/AWD 2WD, front 
Seating capacity 5
Luggage capacity/payload 325L/980 seats folded
Safety systems
ABS and EBD ESC with traction control
6 airbags Vehicle Stability Management System (VSM)
Emergency brake assist and hill start assist Reverse camera and rear parking sensors

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