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Kia Rio

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Kia Rio Australia

Sold in Australia as the Mazda 121-based Ford Festiva in the '90s, the Rio became Kia's answer to the Toyota Echo/Yaris from 2000.

The earliest ones were cheap and cheerless, relying mainly on low prices. The second-gen JB Rio was developed from the Hyundai Accent and was far more modern, but it wasn't until the 2011 UB Rio that the Kia supermini came into its own for design and quality engineering.

In the past, a strong 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine was offered , but since 2017's YB Rio the sole powertrain choice has been a 1.4-litre unit, in manual or automatic guises. A 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo sporty flagship joined the range more recently.

The UB Rio is also offered in a slightly higher-riding crossover version, known as the Stonic. That launched in 2021, to take on the closely-related Hyundai Venue as well as the ever-popular Mazda CX-3.

The base model starts from $19,690, rising to $25,590 for the most expensive version.

Kia Rio Models Price and Specs

The price range for the Kia Rio varies based on the trim level you choose. Starting at $19,690 and going to $25,590 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
2024 Hatchback 1.4L, —, 6 SP MAN $19,690 $25,590
2023 Hatchback 1.4L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $16,500 $27,830
2022 Hatchback 1.4L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $16,500 $27,500
2021 Hatchback 1.4L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $13,640 $26,950
2020 Hatchback 1.4L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $12,430 $23,760
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.

  • Does the Kia Rio have a timing belt or chain?

    It sounds like a pretty nitty-gritty tech question, but is the camshaft in the engine of the Kia Rio timing belt or chain driven? There’s a good reason for knowing the answer, though, as it determines whether you need to add a crucial routine maintenance step to your ownership.

    In cars with a toothed rubber timing belt, the belt and its tensioners need to be changed at an interval recommended by the car’s manufacturer to avoid expensive belt failures which can ruin the whole engine. Ignore this maintenance at your peril.

    The good news is the GL4C engine as used in the Kia Rio since 2016 uses a timing chain which should be good for the life of the engine and not need any extra maintenance.

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  • Can I get a spare key copy for a recently purchased 2010 Kia Rio?

    Yes, there are plenty of companies selling replacement keys for this car. The cost will depend on whether it’s a conventional key or an electronically coded key with a remote locking function built in to it. Just be careful if ordering online, though, as some replacement keys include only the hardware and not the internal electronics.

    In many cases, you need to source the replacement key and then have a locksmith physically cut the key so that it works in your car. In some cases, you may have to prove ownership of the car before the locksmith will do this. Some keys then need to be electronically coded to `talk’ to the vehicle.

    If you want a no hassle experience, there are even locksmiths who will come to you and cut the key on site, but you’ll pay a call-out fee as well as the cost of the key itself.

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  • What would be your recommendation when buying a small new car for teenage children learning to drive?

    The popular MG3 is the model you’re referring to and you’re right; it hasn’t been locally crash-tested. But it does lack some important safety gear. Enough, we reckon, to knock it off your short-list. The MG lacks, for instance, important driver aids such as autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assistance, nor can these features be had by spending more on a fancier version.

    Which leaves us with your other two choices, the Hyundai i30 and Kia Rio. Even then, you’ll need to option up beyond the base-model to get (some of) those safety features, but these are not expensive cars to begin with, so the jump might not be as bad as you think.

    The other car to consider would be the SP Pure version of the Mazda 2. At $23,690, it’s not over-priced but it does have low-speed (up to 30km/h) autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning as well as rear cross-traffic alert.

    And a manual transmission? The MG 3 no longer offers one, both the Hyundai i30 and the Kia Rio are available with a six-speed manual option. The Mazda 2 Pure SP is automatic only, but you can get a six-speed manual on the base-model Mazda 2.

    I agree that youngsters taught to drive a manual car tend to be better drivers, but that’s not a universally held view these days. And the fact is that most young drivers will never be presented with a clutch pedal in the future, raising the question of why learn in the first place? The reality is that learning to drive a manual car gives you extra mechanical awareness and extra ability to multi-task behind the wheel.

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  • 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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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.

Shown above are interior details for the Kia Rio 2021.

Kia Rio Fuel Consumption

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

Year Body Type Fuel Consumption* Engine Fuel Type Transmission
2024 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L 6 SP MAN
2023 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L 6 SP MAN
2023 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L ULP 6 SP MAN
2022 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L ULP 6 SP MAN
2021 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L ULP 6 SP MAN
2020 Hatchback 5.6L/100km 1.4L ULP 6 SP MAN
* Combined fuel consumption See All Kia Rio Pricing and Specs for 2024

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.

Shown above are the accessory details for the Kia Rio 2021.

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
2024 Hatchback 1450x1725x4065 mm 140 mm
2023 Hatchback 1450x1725x4065 mm 140 mm
2022 Hatchback 1450x1725x4065 mm 140 mm
2021 Hatchback 1450x1725x4065 mm 140 mm
2020 Hatchback 1450x1725x4065 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 2024.

Year Body Type Front Tyre Size Front Rim Rear Tyre Size Rear Rim
2024 Hatchback 185x65 R15 185x65 R15
2023 Hatchback 185x65 R15 185x65 R15
2022 Hatchback 185x65 R15 185x65 R15
2021 Hatchback 185x65 R15 185x65 R15
2020 Hatchback 185x65 R15 15x6 inches 185x65 R15 15x6 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 900kg for the latest model available.

Year Body Type Braked Capacity from Braked Capacity to
2024 Hatchback 800kg 900kg
2023 Hatchback 800kg 900kg
2022 Hatchback 800kg 900kg
2021 Hatchback 800kg 1100kg
2020 Hatchback 800kg 1100kg
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
Shown above are seat details for the Kia Rio 2021.

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.

Shown above are speed details for the Kia Rio 2021.