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2021 Kia Rio
EXPERT RATING
7.7
/ 10
See our complete guide for the Kia Rio

2021 Kia Rio Pricing and Specs

Price Guide
$22,990*

The Kia Rio 2021 prices range from $21,990 for the basic trim level Hatchback Rio S to $28,990 for the top of the range Hatchback Rio GT-Line.

The Kia Rio 2021 is available in Regular Unleaded Petrol. Engine sizes and transmissions vary from the Hatchback 1.4L 6 SP Automatic to the Hatchback 1.0L 7 SP Auto Dual Clutch.

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Hatchback

Kia Rio Models SPECS PRICE
GT-Line 1.0LRegular Unleaded Petrol7 speed automatic $19,300 – 26,840
S 1.4LRegular Unleaded Petrol6 speed automatic $16,500 – 22,990
S 1.4LRegular Unleaded Petrol6 speed manual $14,600 – 20,570
Sport 1.4LRegular Unleaded Petrol6 speed automatic $17,700 – 24,640
Sport 1.4LRegular Unleaded Petrol6 speed manual $15,900 – 22,110
SX 1.4LRegular Unleaded Petrol6 speed automatic $17,300 – 24,090
SX 1.4LRegular Unleaded Petrol6 speed manual $15,300 – 21,560

Kia Rio 2021 FAQs

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

  • 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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  • 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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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.

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