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Kia Rio

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Kia Rio Australia

Kia's second smallest car is also one of its best looking. Only relatively young, the Rio launched in 2000 and the third generation has just been released.

The five-seat, five-door light hatchback was renewed in 2017, and is offered in three grades – starting from the Rio S at $19,090 and reaching up to the Rio GT-Line at $24,990. The only engine option is a carryover 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol model, while the base S can be had with a manual gearbox. The other two are lumbered with an outdated four-speed automatic until the end of 2017 at best, when a new, smaller turbocharged engine and six-speed transmission comes on stream.

Kia Rio Models Price and Specs

The price range for the Kia Rio varies based on the trim level you choose. Starting at $12,200 and going to $24,990 for the latest year the model was manufactured. The model range is available in the following body types starting from the engine/transmission specs shown below.

Year Body Type Specs Price from Price to
2021 Hatchback 1.4L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $12,200 $24,860
2021 Hatchback 1.4L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $19,090 $24,990
2020 Hatchback 1.4L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $12,200 $24,860
2019 Hatchback 1.4L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $10,100 $22,220
2018 Hatchback 1.4L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $8,800 $19,140
2017 Hatchback 1.4L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $7,000 $17,820
See All Kia Rio Pricing and Specs

Kia Rio Colours

  • Clear White
  • Silky Silver
  • Mighty Yellow
  • Aurora Black
  • Signal Red
  • Smoke Blue
  • Platinum Graphite
To confirm current colour availability, please check the manufacturer's website. Shown above are the colours for the Kia Rio 2019.

Kia Rio Q&As

Check out real-world situations relating to the Kia Rio here, particularly what our experts have to say about them.

  • What car should I buy to replace my 2006 Toyota Corolla?

    There are still plenty of great small cars around within your budget, Agnes, and they all have good safety packages (or we wouldn’t recommend them). Look at offerings such as the Suzuki Swift Navigator (with the optional autonomous emergency braking) for around $17,000 (plus on-road costs) or the Kia Rio S at around $19,000 or Kia Picanto S (one size smaller than the Rio) at closer to $16,000. Both the Kias also feature the brand’s excellent seven-year warranty, capped-price servicing and free roadside assistance which is great peace of mind.

    The Volkswagen Polo is a classy drive but a little more expensive at closer to $21,000 for the 85TSi Comfortline. Actually, to be honest, you’ve missed the boat on bargain small cars by a couple of years. Firm favourites such as the Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2 have both been updated relatively recently and have recorded big price jumps in the process. The cheapest Yaris with an automatic transmission is now around $23,000 (it was less than $17,000 back in 2018) while the Mazda 2 Maxx went from being a sub-$17,000 proposition in 2018 to a $23,000 car by the time you add an automatic transmission in 2020.

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  • What should I do if the transmission warning sign comes on in my 2020 Kia Rio?

    I wouldn’t be taking the car to a transmission specialist…yet. Since the car is still under warranty, you need to give Kia every chance to sort it out for you. The good news is that this won’t cost you a cent, whereas taking it to an independent repairer will start emptying your wallet.

    You’re doing the right thing by keeping a close watch on the transmission temperature readings (provided that’s not at the expense of watching the road) and if overheating was what caused the warning light to illuminate, then I’d be of the view that the transmission fluid should be changed (at the very least) and an investigation carried out into why the transmission overheated in the first place.

    I haven’t heard of a rash of problems with the Rio GT-Line’s seven-speed DCT transmission in Australia, but Kia’s DCT gearboxes in other models have been known to give problems in other countries. Given our typical summer ambient temperatures, we probably won’t be immune from the same problems. This is not a Kia thing, by the way, but seems to be one of many problems that have plagued DCT (double-clutch) gearboxes over the years from a variety of car-makers.

    The clutch packs in these gearboxes have to slip to work and that’s a well-known cause of heat in any transmission. If they slip enough, they could conceivably cause the transmission to overheat at which point it will trigger the warning light you’re seeing as well as not operating properly and potentially doing internal damage. Both Ford and Volkswagen have discovered this the hard way, replacing many double-clutch transmissions under warranty over the years.

    It’s a bit hard to see why so many manufacturers are persisting with this technology, especially when the modern, multi-ratio conventional automatic is so compact, light and efficient these days.

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  • Skoda Fabia 2017: Would it make a good first car?

    I think that a Kia Rio would be an excellent choice as a first car. Especially since a Rio built in the time frame you’re looking at will still have a big chunk of its factory warranty left to run. The Kia seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty is the best around, really, and provided the car you buy has a complete service record, that warranty will be real peace of mind.

    Also, the Rio is known to be a good, solid car that has a good reputation for reliability and durability. The Skoda Fabia, meantime, suffers from the poor reputation of is dual-clutch transmission. The Fabia is also a bit of an orphan in Australia, meaning that it’s largely overlooked by buyers. That means it will potentially be more difficult to unload when you daughter looks to upgrade her car in a few years.

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  • Kia Rio 2019: Is it economical to run premium petrol?

    The Kia Rio only requires 91RON unleaded. The engine is tuned for that octane rating, so you won’t gain anything, apart from more space in your wallet, by switching to 95 or 98RON fuel. Despite every premium petrol marketing campaign suggesting otherwise, running on more expensive fuel won’t gain you any performance or greater fuel economy, so stick with 91.  

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See All Kia Rio Q&As
Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.

Kia Rio Interior

The Rio GT-Line offers a large interior space for its class, with trim unique from the rest of the Rio range. There is a smattering of dark and carbon-look trims in the cabin, with a sportier flat bottomed steering wheel.

It also offers a centre console box and armrest which is rare for vehicles in this class, but also has a selection of hard plastic trims across the dash and door trims.

Design-wise the Rio is mature for the segment, with thoughtful ergonomics, and its seats are comfortable.

There are also a healthy amount of storage options in the cabin for front passengers, with a notable lack of amenities for rear passengers.

Kia Rio Fuel Consumption

The Kia Rio is available in a number of variants and body types that are powered by ULP fuel type(s). It has an estimated fuel consumption starting from 5.6L/100km for Hatchback /ULP for the latest year the model was manufactured.

Year Body Type Fuel Consumption* Engine Fuel Type Transmission
2021 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L ULP 6 SP MAN
2020 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L ULP 6 SP MAN
2019 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L ULP 6 SP MAN
2018 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L ULP 6 SP MAN
2017 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L ULP 6 SP MAN
* Combined fuel consumption See All Kia Rio Pricing and Specs for 2021

Kia Rio Accessories

The Rio GT-Line has been updated for the 2021 model year to feature a new even larger 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

There is also a 4.2-inch colour multifunction screen embedded in the instrument cluster, but no fully digital dash elements.

The GT-Line also gains a new single-zone climate control cluster, replacing manual air conditioning controls in the previous car.

In terms of physical connectivity, the GT-Line offers a single USB 2.0 port and 12v port. There are no advanced items like USB-C or wireless charging.

Kia Rio Dimensions

The dimensions of the Kia Rio Hatchback vary according to year of manufacture and spec level.

Year Body Type Height x Width x Length Ground Clearance
2021 Hatchback 1450x1725x4065 mm 140 mm
2020 Hatchback 1450x1725x4065 mm 140 mm
2019 Hatchback 1450x1725x4065 mm 140 mm
2018 Hatchback 1450x1725x4065 mm 140 mm
2017 Hatchback 1455x1720x4045 mm 140 mm
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Kia Rio Dimensions

Kia Rio Wheel Size

The Kia Rio has a number of different wheel and tyre options. When it comes to tyres, these range from 185x65 R15 for Hatchback in 2021 with a wheel size that spans from —.

Year Body Type Front Tyre Size Front Rim Rear Tyre Size Rear Rim
2021 Hatchback 185x65 R15 185x65 R15
2020 Hatchback 185x65 R15 15x6 inches 185x65 R15 15x6 inches
2019 Hatchback 185x65 R15 15x6 inches 185x65 R15 15x6 inches
2018 Hatchback 185x65 R15 15x6 inches 185x65 R15 15x6 inches
2017 Hatchback 185x65 R15 15x5.5 inches 185x65 R15 15x5.5 inches
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Kia Rio Wheel Sizes

Kia Rio Towing Capacity

The Kia Rio has maximum towing capacity of 1100kg for the latest model available.

Year Body Type Braked Capacity from Braked Capacity to
2021 Hatchback 800kg 1100kg
2020 Hatchback 800kg 1100kg
2019 Hatchback 800kg 1100kg
2018 Hatchback 800kg 1100kg
2017 Hatchback 850kg 1050kg
See All Towing Capacity for Kia Rio

Kia Rio Seats

The Rio GT-Line has unique seat trim in the Rio range, and offers good levels of comfort and spaciousness, paticularly for the segment.

Headroom is excellent in both the front and rear seats, and legroom is also excellent in both rows. It's worth noting that while the seat trim offers good comfort levels, there is next to no side bolstering, nor is there any kind of electrical adjust.

The rear seats offer dual ISOFIX and three top-tether child-seat mounting points.

Kia Rio Seats

Kia Rio Speed

Kia does not offer an official 0-100km/h time for the Rio GT-Line despite its extra performance credentials over the rest of the range.