Kia has added a sporty GT-Line variant to top of the Rio light-hatch range that’s powered by a gutsy 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine to better complement the Rio’s well-controlled ride and steering.
Priced at $21,990 drive-away, the Kia Rio GT-Line lines up nicely against other sporty small hatches, including the Toyota Yaris ZR and Renault Clio GT-Line. It is the first Aussie Kia to come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and the first Rio to feature autonomous emergency braking (AEB).\
The GT-Line’s 3-cylinder turbo produces 88kW and 172Nm, which puts it lineball with its rivals for performance. As well as being more powerful than the 1.4-litre engine already in the range, it’s more economical too, sipping 5.4L/100km compared to the bigger engine’s 6.2L/100km.
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The ageing 1.4-litre engine, which was carried over from the previous model, is now available with a six-speed automatic gearbox, as well as the standard four-speed, to get more out of its 74kW/133Nm output and reduce fuel economy a little to 6.0L/100km.
Each engine runs on regular unleaded (RON91) petrol.
The introduction of the new powertrains has seen the Rio range overhauled, with sharp driveway pricing introduced that brings the overall cost down.
The entry-level Rio S remains unchanged, with the original 1.4-litre engine and six-speed manual/four-speed automatic options, and standard features including 15-inch steel wheels, reverse parking sensors, dusk-sensing headlights, reversing camera, six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth, and Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
As before the Rio S manual starts at $16,990 before on-road costs, while the auto is now priced at $17,460 drive-away, which is $1600 less than the former retail price.
The Rio Si and SLi versions are no more, replaced by the new Rio Sport that’s also powered by the 1.4-litre engine, but with a choice of six-speed manual and the new six-speed auto.
Rio Sport features include 17-inch alloys, cruise control, leather trim on the steering wheel and gear shifter and electric folding mirrors.
It does lacks several key features that were in the Si and/or SLi though, including satellite navigation, digital radio, climate control air-conditioning, and electric sunroof, however this is reflected by a significantly lower drive-away price of $17,990 and $18,990, for the manual and auto respectively.
The first-ever Rio GT-Line adds sporty trim and suspension tune and is safest-ever Rio with AEB and lane-keeping assist. It will also stand out aesthetically from the others, with a body kit, LED daytime running lights and position lamps, LED fog-lamps, and LED rear combination lights.
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The 2019 Kia Rio range is now available in showrooms, and is covered by the brand’s seven-year warranty, capped price servicing and roadside assistance.
2019 Kia Rio pricing
- Rio S, manual - $16,990 (RRP)
- Rio S, 4-speed auto - $17,490 (drive-away)
- Rio Sport, manual - $17,990 (drive-away)
- Rio Sport, 6-speed auto - $18,990 (drive-away)
- Rio GT-Line, 7-speed DSG - $21,990 (drive-away)