All-New Kia Rio
- Progressive new design for Kia’s global best-seller
- New technologies and connectivity features, including Android™ and Apple smartphone integration
- Enhanced safety with extensive active and passive safety systems
- Engaging handling and comfortable ride specifically tuned for Australia
- Cavernous cabin spaciousness and 325-litre cargo capacity
Kia’s fourth-generation Rio has hit Australian roads with enhanced ride and handling, improved safety and full connectivity for Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™.
The Rio has long been a favourite of Australian Kia buyers and is the Korean manufacturer’s global best-selling model, with annual sales approaching 500,000, accounting for 16% of Kia’s annual sales.
“While the days of Kia being the Rio car company in Australia are long past, the model remains a core plank in the growth and success of the brand in our market,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Damien Meredith said.
“With the improvements and the additional technology and connectivity in the all-new Rio we expect it to remain one of the primary drivers of increased sales and brand awareness in the Australian market.”
Mr Meredith said that the advancements in the new Rio, coupled with Kia Motors Australia’s industry-leading customer care package of 7 year Factory Warranty, 7 year Capped Price Servicing and 7 Year Roadside Assist, makes a compelling purchase consideration case.
Now entering its fourth generation, the new Rio will offer B-segment buyers a peace-of-mind package, with an attractive new design, high practicality and convenience, extensive safety technology, new connectivity features and more engaging ride and handling.
Designed and engineered to meet the needs and desires of a wider range of buyers, the new Rio will play an increasingly important role in the Kia model line-up.
The new Rio is manufactured at Kia’s Sohari facility in Korea.
Exterior design: Defined by straight lines and smooth surfaces
The Rio’s progressive new exterior and interior design was led by Kia’s design centres in Germany and California, in close collaboration with the company’s domestic design base in Namyang, Korea, all under the guiding hand of design boss Peter Schreyer.
The appearance of the new Rio is defined by straight lines and smooth surfacing, giving the car a distinctive new look and more mature character than its predecessor.
At the front, the Rio wears the latest evolution of Kia’s ‘tiger-nose’ grille, now thinner in height and wider across the front of the car, with a gloss black grille cover on the Si and SLi. The grille is integrated with the newly-designed bi-function headlamps, more sculpted for a sharper look, and featuring a new U-shaped LED (Si & SLi only) daytime running light signature. The Rio’s front fog lamp surrounds are moved outwards and upwards in the front bumper compared to their position on the third-generation model, adding greater visual width to the front of the car for a stronger overall look. The longer bonnet features bracket-shaped creases that run down from the base of the A-pillars to the grille and headlamps.
In profile, the fourth-generation Rio’s lengthened, more balanced stance is achieved with a long bonnet and longer front overhang, a 10mm longer wheelbase (up to 2580mm), a thinner, more upright C-pillar, and a shorter rear overhang. Overall, the new car is 15mm longer than its predecessor, at 4065mm in length, and 5mm lower (now 1450mm 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.
The rear section of the Rio is now more upright, with a near-vertical rear windscreen and a shorter overhang. The straight line that runs from the grille, through the headlamps and along the top of the doors, continues around the back of the car, paired with thinner, more sculpted rear lamps, which now feature a new arrow-shaped LED light signature (SLi only). Like the wider-looking ‘face’ of the car, the rear design of the new Rio gives the car a stronger overall appearance.
The all new Rio will be available in seven colours in Australia: Clear White, Silky Silver, Platinum Graphite, Aurora Black Pearl, Signal Red, Mighty Yellow and Smoke Blue. Premium paint (all colours except Clear White) will be $520.
Interior design: Modern cabin with new floating HMI
The all new Kia Rio features a modern new cabin, with more sculptural forms and a more ergonomic layout than its predecessor. The interior has also been designed to accommodate the Rio’s new range of technologies.
Like the exterior, straight lines running the width of the dashboard characterise the shape of the interior, giving the cabin a wider appearance and increasing the sense of space for occupants. As well as long, lateral lines that govern the shape of the dashboard, horizontal vents further add to the visual width of the cabin, replacing the vertical vents of the third-generation model. Gloss black trim lines the central section of the dashboard on the Si and SLi.
The dashboard itself is now angled towards the driver, a layout which provides the car with a sportier, more driver-focused design and a more premium character. At the centre of the dashboard is a ‘floating’ 7-inch touchscreen, standard on all trims with a high-resolution display. Below, the driver-oriented centre console features fewer buttons, with more ergonomic, concave switches and rotator dials below to control the heating and ventilation.
The Rio offers three grades of interior trim in a black one-tone treatment. For S buyers the seats are trimmed in woven Tricot cloth while Si buyers will get a standout embossed Tricot cloth treatment. At the top of the range the SLi offers a premium treatment with artificial leather trim.
New technologies further boost the appeal of the Rio’s cabin. Designed to improve comfort and convenience for owners, the new model is available with keyless entry (all trims), rain-sensing windscreen wipers (SLi), and automatic headlamps. The new model is also available with Cruise Control (Si and SLi), rear parking sensors and rear view camera (all grades).
Practicality: Greater cabin and cargo space, with improved visibility
The Rio has one of the most spacious cabins and one of the highest cargo capacities (325 litres VDA) of any car in its class when it goes on sale, with practicality a key focus for the Rio’s development and engineering teams.
The Rio’s 10mm-longer wheelbase and 15mm-longer body contribute to larger cabin and cargo dimensions. Leg room grows to 1120 mm in the front and 770mm in the rear, while the new model offers more shoulder room than most other cars in its class – 1375mm in the front and 1355mm in the rear. Despite the new Rio being 5mm lower in height than the outgoing model, front and rear headroom (1021mm and 966mm respectively) are among the best in the B-segment.
These improvements to space in the cabin have been achieved with a series of changes to the Rio’s packaging. These include re-profiled door trims, the adoption of new headlining materials, and changes to the shape of the dashboard, as well as more significant changes to the bodyshell of the Rio – such as the longer wheelbase.
Furthermore, thinner C-pillars – reduced in width by 87mm – and relocated door mirrors (moved up to the base of the A-pillar) help minimise the size of the driver’s blind spots and improve all-round visibility. A lower window line around the cabin and new quarterlights at the tail end of the rear doors also give the driver and passengers a better view out.
The Rio’s cabin offers more storage space than before. At the base of the centre console is an open double tray to store mobile devices and other small items, and the overhead console includes an area to store sunglasses.
The glove compartment is also a single-box shape. The new Rio has bottle holders in every door (to accommodate 1.5-litre bottles in the front and 0.5-litre bottles in the rear of the car) and two larger cupholders in the front. The doors also feature closed-bottom storage holes in the door handles, useful for small items such as a phone or coins.
Luggage capacity has increased by 37 litres to 325 litres (VDA; +13%), among the best in class. This extra space has been achieved despite the Rio’s rear overhang being shortened by 15mm to 655mm, a key element of the car’s new design. The Rio is fitted as standard with 60:40 split-folding rear seats and a space-saver tyre under the boot floor as a weight-saving option.
The fuel tank, which is located under the rear bench, is now 45 litres in size, two litres larger than the earlier model.
Powertrains: Proven efficient 4-cylinder 1.4-litre MPI
The new Kia Rio will be powered by a single 1.4-litre MPI engine with 74kW and 133Nm coupled with a proven 4-speed automatic in the Si and SLi grades and either the automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission in the S model.
The DOHC 16-valve D-CVVT engine produces peak power at 6000rpm and maximum torque at 4000rpm. All models drive through the front wheels.
Safety: Wide range of active and passive safety features
The new Rio will be among the safest cars in its class when it goes on sale, available with a comprehensive package of active and passive safety features.
Across the model range, the Rio will come with Anti-lock Braking, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Management System, Hill Start Assist, rear view camera with dynamic parking guidelines, reverse parking sensors, three child restraint anchor points (two ISOFIX) and five three-point seatbelts.
For Si and SLi there are the additional features of LED daytime running lights and projector front fog lights. At the top of the specification list the SLi gains parking sensor dash display, and electrochromatic rear view mirror (auto dimming).
The new Rio is built on high-strength steel body and features a wide array of passive safety equipment including six airbags, front seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters, side door impact beams front and rear, child locks and impact sensing door unlocking.
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 enabling greater safety and security. Fifty one percent of the new Rio’s body is made out of strong, light AHSS, compared to 33% in the third-generation model.
The higher 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.
Driving: More engaging and stable handling with a comfortable ride
As well as being incredibly safe to drive, the new Rio seeks to build on the level of driver engagement offered by the third-generation model.
Kia’s chassis development teams have sought to introduce greater driving appeal, with more agile and immediate handling, while improving ride comfort. The Rio sits on fully-independent MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear axle.
The development of a stiffer bodyshell gave R&D teams the freedom to develop a more compliant suspension system. The new Rio benefits from a more advanced spring and damper set-up than the outgoing model, improving the car’s compliance and comfort at all speeds, while maintaining the car’s more enjoyable, engaging handling characteristics.
For Australia, the Rio benefits from the more advanced RS damper valves which has allowed the Australian ride and handling team to tune the balance of driver enjoyment and ride comfort to an even higher degree.
Compared to the third-generation model, the modifications to the Rio’s chassis include: more rigid front suspension struts and cross member and a raised rear torsion beam for high-speed stability; the adoption of new vertical rear shock absorbers and front shock absorbers with pre-loaded linear valve technology, both resulting in more linear handling and suspension response over broken road surfaces; and a repositioned power steering gearbox, to enable greater ‘on-centre’ feel through the steering wheel. The changes to the chassis are designed to endow the Rio with more immediate handling responsiveness and improve the level of confidence that the driver has when behind the wheel.
Connectivity: full Android™ and Apple smartphone integration
At the centre of the dashboard is the new infotainment system, housing Kia’s latest HMI (human-machine interface). The new Rio is available with a ‘floating’ 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment linked to a six-speaker sound system for all models while the Si and SLi grades add a satellite navigation system. The newly developed satellite navigation unit includes SUNA™ live traffic updates and DAB.
The Rio’s Android Auto™ connectivity system is designed to work with Android™ phones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher. Available from launch, Android Auto™ connects to the user’s phone and lets them access smartphone apps and functions through the in-car infotainment system, such as voice-guided Google Maps™ mapping service, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition. Android Auto™ also allows users to stream music from Google Play™ and other services.
Apple CarPlay™, for iPhone® 5 or newer, will enable Siri to control the phone’s various functions and apps, including navigation via Apple Maps, calls and text dictation. Apple CarPlay™ also supports other audio apps that the user may have downloaded to their iPhone® – such as music streaming or audiobook services.
The Kia Rio will be the first car in the B-segment to be equipped with USB ports in both the front and rear of the cabin, this enables other passengers to charge their mobile devices while still enjoying the functionality of the car connectivity systems.
Rio Pricing (RRP):
S manual: $16,990
S auto: $19,090
Si auto: $21,490
SLi auto: $22,990
Apple CarPlay™ Connectivity requires compatible iOS device. Apple, Apple CarPlay™, iPhone®, Siri, and Apple Maps are trademarks of Apple Inc.
Android Auto™ connectivity requires compatible Android™ device. Android Auto and Android are registered trademarks of Google Inc.