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  • Ride & handling, 1.6-litre engine, six-speed auto, looks, interior, standard features, safety, price, warranty
  • Acceleration, no diesel option

7 / 10

Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review

The 2012 Kia Rio is the clearest indication to date that good looking, well built, well engineered and well equipped cars can also be very affordable.

Kia has worked out the perfect formula for car manufacturing. Hire German and Italian designers, poach some of the brightest engineers out of Europe, perform localisation tests for each market but keep production in South Korea.

The new Kia Rio is European designed, custom tuned for Australian roads and comes with a Korean price tag. What’s not to like?

That’s not to say that the South Koreans had little to do with the new Kia Rio, but more so that the European influence is clearly evident in both the design and engineering of the new Kia.

The new Kia Rio is yet another chapter in Kia’s new design language, spearheaded by former Audi design chief Peter Schreyer. Despite Schreyer setting the scene, the new Rio is actually the work of Massimo Frascella, an Italian car designer who’s had a hand in designing cars for Ford, Land Rover, Jaguar and even Aston Martin. He was also in charge of designing the highly praised Kia Sportage.

In the flesh, the fourth-generation Kia Rio is definitely a looker. From the front it’s one of the cleanest executions of a light car to date. The side profile flows nicely into the prominent rear-end that may look a little overcooked in photos but is actually very pleasant in person. Given its small size, it’s not exactly what you’d call a masculine design, but it’s also not entirely feminine.

Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review

The new Kia Rio is a huge step forward from the previous model with the only thing shared with the outgoing Rio being the badge. One has to wonder if Kia would’ve gained more kudos if it came out with a new name to break the association with the ‘cheap and cheerful’ Rio of old. But that didn’t seem to hurt sales of the new Kia Optima and Kia Sportage so it’s unlikely to have any real impact on the new Rio.

You can currently pick up an outgoing Rio for $13,490 driveaway, which is noticeably less than the $16,290 retail asking price for the new base model Rio S manual. In saying that, the new Kia Rio is more of a revolution than an evolution of the old model, so any comparisons on price are unjustified.

Apart from looking like Mila Kunis compared with Donatella Versace, the new Kia Rio measures 20mm longer, 25mm wider and 15mm lower than the previous model. Two different four-cylinder engines will be offered at launch: the base model Rio S is equipped with a 1.4-litre MPI petrol (79kW/135Nm), while a 1.6-litre GDI petrol with an impressive 103kW and 167Nm of torque is on offer for the mid-rage Si and range-topping SLi variants.

If those figures don’t excite you, it’s important to consider that the 1.6-litre Rio manual has a kerb weight of 1,179kg (with a 75kg driver on board), making for an excellent power to weight ratio. More importantly, apart from the performance-orientated Volkswagen Polo GTi, the standard Rio remains the only car in its class to offer more than 100kW of power. It’s more than likely that Kia will eventually offer a performance focused turbocharged version of the Rio as well.

Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review

The smaller engine in the Kia Rio S comes standard with a six-speed manual but can be optioned with a four-speed automatic gearbox ($18,290). No 1.4-litre variants were available for testing at the Rio’s Australian media launch.

If you can stretch yourself another $2700, the 1.6-litre GDi petrol is the ideal choice for the Rio. Despite its impressive power output, it doesn’t feel as quick or agile as a car with that much power and torque should. That’s because the gear ratios are engineered with efficiency in mind as the primary focus, instead of performance.

The 1.4-litre sips 5.7 litres of fuel per 100km when equipped with the six-speed manual (6.3L/100km with four-speed auto), while the more advanced 1.6-litre GDI actually uses less fuel in both manual (5.6L/100km) and six-speed automatic application (6.1L/100km).

To launch the new Kia Rio, the motoring media were invited to the hilly countryside surrounding the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Unlike sister company Hyundai, which insisted we tested its recently launched Hyundai Accent around the Sydney CBD only, the folks at Kia had no hesitation in letting us punt the Rio at top-speed around the outskirts of Adelaide’s countryside.

Much like the Optima and Sportage, Kia Australia has spent a great deal of time and resources fine-tuning the new Rio for Australian conditions. The modifications included custom Australian-only shock absorber settings, a unique power-steering tune, a 22mm rear stabiliser bar and more.

Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review

To showcase its efforts, Kia picked a selection of both city and mountain roads for the drive program out of Adelaide. With heavy rain causing slippery roads and poor driving conditions, the Rio needed to be on its best behaviour to meet expectations.

Here is the ironic thing about Kia Australia these days; it’s done such a good job with the Sorento, Sportage and Optima, that expectations are a lot higher than ever before. Perhaps the company is a victim of its own success.

Thankfully though, the new Kia Rio isn’t a disappointment. Pelted at high-speed into tight corners in heavy rain, the positive results of the localisation program are clearly evident. The Rio behaves similarly to a Volkswagen Polo, as in, it sits flat with next to no body roll even when pushed hard into bends, while still providing a comfortable ride. At high speed there is noticeable tyre noise coming from the 205/45 R17 Continental tyres found on the range topping SLi, but given the high level of grip, it can be overlooked. The SLi’s upgraded front brakes (11-inch instead of 10.1-inch) also help provide better braking feel.

Around town the Rio absorbs our low-quality pothole-infested roads without too many complaints and provides a relatively quiet cabin in the process.

As previously mentioned, despite the great power-to-weight ratio, acceleration is not as quick as we’d hoped. Officially, the 1.6-litre manual does the 0-100km/h dash in 10.2 seconds (10.3 for the six-speed auto) while the 1.4-litre manual manages to hit the same speed in 11.5 seconds (13.2 for the four-speed auto). Not exactly what you’d call quick.

Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review

Even so, once it gets going we found the 1.6-litre Rio more than good enough to pull us around the twisty bits or keep up with highway traffic. In-gear power delivery is smooth but you really need to climb the rev-range before things start to happen. The six-speed manual gearbox is simple and easy to drive, but we did find the gearshift indicator far too optimistic with its suggestions for which gear we should engage for maximum fuel efficiency. Given the option, a six-speed automatic would be our preferred choice. The automatic is super smooth and seamless, exactly what you want in a light car.

The Kia Rio’s interior is one of the best we’ve seen in the light car class. Although a little too black (again, very Polo-like) for its youth-orientated market, the new Rio provides a very pleasant cabin full of features. Luggage space in the boot is 288L but if you fold the rear seats down, that can get up to 923L.

Even the absolute base model comes with Bluetooth telephone and audio connectivity with full iPod/USB support and steering wheel controls.

There is a great deal of hard plastics used throughout the cabin, but given the type of car the Rio is destined to be, it’s not necessarily a turn-off. You can indeed fit four average-sized adults in the little Kia without anyone complaining, There is good headroom both front and rear but taller than averages passengers may find the legroom in the back a little cramped.

Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review

The sporty-looking three-dial instrument cluster is a nice touch and shows that extra bit of attention to detail. Cruise control with steering wheel controls is standard on Si and SLi models.

If it makes you feel any better, Kia says the new Rio is 85 per cent recyclable and includes the use of recycled bumpers for the rear wheel liners. Even the seats are made from five per cent soy bean extracts.

As expected, safety is top notch with all variants getting the full compliment of safety features. Six airbags, ESC, ABS, EBD, BAS and TCS are all standard (if none of those acronyms make any sense, just rest assured knowing the Kia Rio is destined to achieve the maximum five-star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program).

The new Kia Rio will initially launch in Australia in ten colours as a five-door hatch only, with the four-door sedan and three-door hatch models expected to arrive early next year. There are currently no plans in motion for a diesel variant or the 1.2-litre turbo available in some European markets.

Ten years ago no one would dare compare a Volkswagen with a Kia. These days it’s becoming standard practice. Even if the fourth-generation Kia Rio didn’t look as good as it does, given the level of standard features, high build-quality, a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty and excellent ride and handling, you’d be mad not to put it on your shopping list.

Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review

Kia Rio S

  • 1.4L MPi Petrol engine with DOHC, four-cylinder, CVVT
  • Hood insulator
  • 6 speed M/T or 4 speed A/T
  • 15-inch steel wheel with full wheel cover (185/65 R15 tyre)
  • Full size spare
  • MDPS (Electric Power Steering)
  • Tilt & telescopic steering wheel adjustment
  • 6 airbags (dual front, front side & curtain)
  • ESC with Rear disc brake
  • Vehicle Stability Management with Hill-start Assist Control
  • Seatbelt reminders (all positions)
  • Body colour outside mirrors and door handles
  • Rear spoiler
  • Chrome signature grille
  • Electric heated outside mirrors
  • Folding key fob (x2) with central door lock & immobiliser
  • Illuminated glove box
  • Driver and passenger vanity mirrors
  • Driver and passenger seatback pockets
  • 60:40 split rear folding seat
  • Centre room lamp & luggage lamp
  • Ambient temperature display
  • Trip computer (6 function)
  • Front wiper – variable intermittent, with aero blade wiper
  • Rear wiper (2 speed)
  • Driver’s seat height adjustment (pump)
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Front power & rear windows
  • Audio unit (CD, radio & USB/AUX/iPod connectivity) with 4 speakers
  • Audio remote controls (steering wheel)
  • Bluetooth (remote steering wheel controls)
  • Rear cargo covering shelf trim
  • Front fender side repeater
  • Rheostat (dim function)

Kia Rio Si – S model trim plus:

  • 1.6L GDi D-CVVT (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine with full engine cover
  • 6 speed M/T or 6 speed A/T
  • Tweeter speakers (6 speakers)
  • Electric folding mirror with side repeater
  • Leather wrapped steering wheel and TGS knob
  • 16-inch alloy wheel with 195/55 R16 Tyre
  • Sunvisor illumination & map lamp
  • Front fog lamps
  • Supervision cluster with dot-matrix display
  • Vehicle information options & maintenance
  • Active Eco (shift indicator MT / ECO lamp AT)
  • Centre console armrest (sliding) / storage
  • Soft-touch dash centre fascia finish
  • Leather-like door trim insert
  • Auto cruise control with steering wheel remote controls
  • Metal-look interior accent (steering wheel, centre console & door handles)

Kia Rio SLi – Si model trim plus:

Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
Kia Rio Review
  • 17-inch alloy wheel with 205/45 R17 Tyre (Continental)
  • Projection front head lamps
  • LED Day-time Running Lights*
  • Static cornering lamps*
  • LED rear combination lamps
  • Auto light control
  • Enhanced brake package

*Available from August 2011 production


Kia Rio Pricing

  • Kia Rio 5DR S 1.4L MPi Petrol – (79kW) 6M/T $16,290
  • Kia Rio 5DR S 1.4L MPi Petrol – (79kW) 4A/T $18,290
  • Kia Rio 5DR Si 1.6L GDi Petrol – (103kW) 6M/T $18,990
  • Kia Rio 5DR Si 1.6L GDi Petrol – (103kW) 6A/T $20,990
  • Kia Rio 5DR SLi 1.6L GDi Petrol – (103kW) 6M/T $19,990
  • Kia Rio 5DR SLi 1.6L GDi Petrol – (103kW) 6A/T $21,990

Kia Rio Review
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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1715760895 Charles Dean

    I think it’s a tad expensive.. There is also no multimedia interface.. I think it’ll have hardtime competing with the new Yaris..

    • andronicus

      I dont think it really has to worry about the new Yaris all too much.

      I mean, the Yaris is going to sell no matter what because of the Toyota badge, the Kia Rio will help continue to change perceptions about the brand.

      • BBM-RSA

        I’ll have this over the Yaris and the new Yaris anytime, badge or no badge. Same people make cars others like Kia also design them.

        • http://caradvice OSU811

          Charles, if you want technology like 6 speed transmissions and direct injection engines plus 5 star saftey you need to pay for it!!

      • bd

        The UK auto publications like the new Rio better than the new Yaris.

        • Gianni

          This is better looking than the Yaris, not as dull and many more things. If it doesn’t have iPod connectivity, just get it installed somewhere else!

    • Ben

      iPod, bluetooth, USB, MP3 CD and some halfway decent speakers. Seems pretty media centric to me!

  • TJ

    What a fantastic looking car, especially in the SLi form. Finally, class competitive dynamics, Korean running costs and Euro-chic styling – best of all worlds.

  • Tim

    They start positioning themselves at par with Japanese rivals in terms of price. Well, I think they have just lost their distinctive advantage – price competitiveness. At these prices unfortunately I will have to go with Japanese makes.

    • AndrewF

      I agree. It might be a good car, but there are quite a few good cars in the around-20k price bracket. What we need is cheap new cars, and by ‘cheap’ I mean around the price of the now departed Getz and the old Rio…I think Koreans are getting too big for their shoes. We are happy enough to buy Korean when it offers cost advantage AND decent quality – but when given a choice of similar cars at similar price, I suspect most of us would gravitate towards Japanese or Euro. I know I would, and I am on my second Hyundai at the moment.

      • http://www.facebook.com/priusfreezone Matthew Werner

        Can always look to the Chinese manufacturers to bring their crap at bargain basement prices for those that put “cheap” as priority #1

        • AndrewF

          And that’s just my point: I don’t want this spot to be occupied by Chinese or Indian crap! I want decent quality cars and Getz showed it is possible, that’s why I am very sorry to see it go and very disappointed that Koreans are so keen to abandon the niche where they actually had something to offer.

        • jm williams


          Mate it’s made in Korea not China, Heres an idea “Try putting your bigotry to one side for a change & look at the facts. You have spent to much time listening to Alan Jones”

          • Gianni

            As if you think Kia is chinese. Kia makes some good car now!!!

      • Rainer Lucks

        Your opinion but certainly not mine hence you have the Car of the year award speaking against you. Great Car!! Great value and better yet with so many additional luxury appointments!! Why would anyone want to whinge about it??
        I bought the SLS 1.6 Litre. No complaints other than that it could have a little more pick u and go at lower revs. But then again t higher revs it goes well. I undertsnad it is designed this way with economy in mind. Suits me. I am not a rev Head. Best Car in it;s class on the market and it shows why it received the Best Car of the Year 2011 – 12.

  • Golfschwein

    Gee, it looks good. Kia’s new cars have a maturity and solidity in their looks that betters the mad swoops and gashes favoured by Hyundai, however slightly more tempered they’ve become.

    I’d have any Kia or Hyundai over their Toyota equivalent. I mean, if you’re beyond caring or knowing, go cheaper, get today’s tech AND a better looking car, right? Heck, maybe that means you do care, after all. You know what I mean? :)

  • http://NSSAN James Cortez

    They start becoming greedy!! Roughly $ 2500 too pricey!! Better buy a CVT 2.0 Lancer, more torque, power and only slightly pricier.

    • Homer

      You are kidding aren’t you James?

    • FrugalOne


      If you DON;T buy a Lancer [seeing it so close on the price] you would have to be, frankly, mental!

      The Lancer is VASTLY superior to this, quality, features, back up, warranty, capped service, dealerships etc etc

      • Phil

        Kia scores a lot better than Mitsubishi (who come at or near the bottom)in reliability/satisfaction surveys.
        Kia offers the same warranty as Mitsubishi and the same service intervals.

        • Yonny

          Not buying into the Kia versus Mitsubishi argument – but can you please name me one Australian reliability/satisfaction survey in which Mitsubishi is near the bottom?

          Those surveys you refer to are American and relate to the American market, not the Australian one.

          • Phil

            Can you name me a single Australian survey where Mitsubishi IS NOT at the bottom?

            Australia doesn’t do car surveys but they sell the same Mitsubishis as featured at/near the bottom of European, Asian and American surveys.

          • http://NSSAN James Cortez

            Yonny, Frugal One, Phil, Homer.

            Look: The lancer is 2.0 litre! therefore 1.6 KIA should be cheaper, PERIOD!

          • Emma

            I just went car shopping, the Lancer was 5 grand more and that was straight from the horses mouth. So the 1.6 is cheaper.

        • Homer

          James your logic on engine size and price is breathtaking! You obviously own a Lancer and now have to justify your decision. If basic, reliable transport pulls your chain fine but the Lancer is OLD and outclassed in the segment.

          • http://NSSAN James Cortez


            I don’t own a lancer your guess is totally baseless and your assumption: like they say when you assume you make and a** out of yourself and you just did!!

            I live in the middle east and I own a…. Nissan Titan. You folks can’t have it downunder. Wife drives an XC 90 Volvo. So eat your heart!

      • Cars ain’t Tribal

        Lancer has far worse fuel economy, 6.1 vs 8.3, and it’s ‘mental’ to even compare them, Cerato and Lancer maybe…

    • aball

      According Mitsubishi’s website the manual Lancer ES Sportsback retails for $21490 + ORC, almost 10% dearer. This is pretty significant in such a price sensitive market. I think the Rio SLi is a great looking, well equipped small car offering pretty good value. I would like to see GPS offered as an option on SLi ,though

      • Craig

        OS get GPS, leather and sunroof options, all for cheaper than what we pay.

        Despite this, I’m looking at selling my Honda Jazz to get a RIO SLI. Looks fantastic. 0-100 times don’t worry me, just the driving experience. Can’t wait to see one and go for a test drive.

    • PPlater92

      I think some people are missing the point here, which is disappointing because this new Rio looks very promising!

      A base model, Lancer ES has limited features, the individuality of a white refrigerator and a resale value just about on par with the Koreans.

      I can understand where you are coming from with the CVT (I’ve driven a CVT Lancer and quite enjoyed the drive)… but… two different cars in different segments, and are both manufactured for different markets.

  • Nick

    I like the look of the dash layout. It actually reminds me of the functional looking dash of the old ek civic. Good job kia

    • smokin’R32

      I dont know why more manufacturers dont just stick with a black interior like this. I dont agree with the reviewers comments, black looks classy and dare i say, expensive – that appeals to buyers young and old. Too many interior designers try too hard with state-of-the-moment materials and colours

      • Phil

        What are you smoking smokin? What are these “too many” cars that are offering special interior materials and colours?

        Basically every car on the market come with a grey/black plastic and cloth interior and has done for the last 20 years.

    • Henry

      In america they sell the Rio with a body coloured Dashboard and a touch screen audio system!

  • Μr Gaspo

    Good product Kia… Too bad about the price. Still, in around 2 years I’m sure it will be better buying.

  • Sumpguard

    The only thing KIA need to change now is buyer attitude. This car is a relative bargain considering the specs. Great looking and just like this review a rival site rated it as good as the Japanese product and a serious challenger.

    Well done KIA. You don’t have to convert me. I drive a Sportage platinum and love it!

  • Goodfa

    Are those prices drive away,if not it is too expensive.

    • Eric

      I doubt it.

      D/A $ will depend on who and where the car is registered.


    • Goodfa

      Just found out prices are not drive away.

      So for the Mid spec Manual Si it will be over $22k drive away.

      I tkink KIA are starting to get a bit big for their boots.

      The Rio may be a a good looker and a big improvement,but at that price you can get plenty of cars a size up(i30,Cruze,Lancer,Corolla,Mazda 3)for less money.

      • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

        Kia Rio will have drive away prices. I am not sure if i am allowed to put them to print yet.

      • Sam 300TD

        Yes 22k is kind of steep when you consider that you can get a Cruze for 21k Drive away!

        • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

          What if you dont want a car as big as the Cruise?

          • John Kazi

            You buy a Polo or Fiesta.

        • scottjames_12

          If I was in the market, I’d actually pay more for the Kia over the Cruze…

          • greengsg9

            why not buy the Cerato SI , its only 21990 same price as the Rio SLI but huge boot and comfortable seating and just about all the features found in the new Rio SLI

        • Roger Ramjet

          The Skoda Fabia will be $19990 on road!

  • Rick

    If they’re not driveaway prices then Kia have got a product positioning problem ! You can currently driveaway in a manual Cerato S hatch with a 2 litre motor for $18,990. Add on-roads to the above prices and the base model 1.4 litre Rio S manual will be around the same price ……….

    • Rio Hatch

      Yes, I was thinking the same thing……

  • Goog

    The price is too high..

    • http://NSSAN James Cortez

      That’s what I have said repeatedly, overpriced by about $2500.

  • MattP

    Like any brand new model released by any manufacturer on any market in the world, the initial pricing is the most optimistic they can hope for. As the model matures, like most manufacturers, drive away pricing will be introduced as well as special additions and additional features at little or no extra cost.

    In other words, the initial buyers of ANY new model usually pay the higher price. If you like this car but don’t want to pay this much, just be patient.

  • MattP

    oops, I meant “special editions” not special additions

  • o

    Definently looks better than the accent and good price for the sli, BUT no climate control?

  • RodE

    Should have a sports model to take advantage of those engine specs and light weight. Closer ratio gearbox should see something like this be a real competitor to the swift sport as a warm hatch and halo model for the brand among youth. Until then, I’ll be waiting for the swift.

  • John

    I notice 3 things that are massive omissions from what’s available OS:
    1. Climate Control on the SLi
    2. Stop/Start on the SLi
    3. Reversing camera on the SLi

    Kia Australia, what the hell? I mean I know you have a thing against the 7″ GPS that people can get OS, but the above 3 are kind of massive omissions…

    • TJ

      Other omissions I’ve noted now that I’ve read the specs are also parking sensors (not offered in any trim, although these can be dealer fitted I suppose) and smart key access/push-button start.
      Not necessary features but nice to have given these are available on the Accent.

      • John

        I wonder if these are review omissions, or if they are actually car omissions… now that you reminded me the proximity entry and push/button start seem like obvious omissions.

        The $1000 price difference between the Si and SLi feels odd… you get more ‘stuff’ but it doesn’t seem worth it (I guess other then the bigger breaks)

        • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

          What other car could you buy that offers what the Rio does for the same price?
          Size alone makes the Rio the best option in its market.

          • Goodfa

            The larger Cruze offers what the Rio does for about the same price and it is Australian made.It may not have everything the Rio has but the Rio does not have everything that the Cruze has.

            You could even get the Larger Hyundai i30 for less than $19,000 drive away.

        • Datsun1600

          How much do you think the high-spec headlights, 17″ alloys, bigger brakes and much better Continental tyres are worth John?

          $1000 sounds like a bargain to me.

          • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

            Goodfa. Cruise is not Australian made (it is assembled in Australia. Only 25% of the parts come from Australian suppliers)
            The Rio competitors are Fiesta, Polo and Micra.
            Cruise is a medium size family car. Rio is a light car. Different market. Cerato is the Cruise competitor. Car Advice has done a comparison on these two. You should read it.

    • PPlater92

      I agree with you John – however, the price of the car would be more expensive, rendering the necessity for offering value for money.

      • Bazza

        For $1000 hyundai put in: keyless entry, climate control, reversing camera, push button start, reverse parking sensors, auto dimming mirror, and probably more. That’s worth the money.

        • PPlater92

          That’s a pretty good deal!

    • Tank

      Yeahhh boiii I have been keeping my eye on this car overseas coz I really wanna buy one. But once again simply because we live in Australia, our version gets COMPLETELY STRIPPED of all the cool stuff that is STANDARD anywhere else in the world.

      We need a car import convoy of no confidence.

  • FrugalOne

    Good look, HOW do Italians do it, world leaders in design time after time.

    In any case its wayyyy to expensive, standyby for deep price cuts to follow, you can quote me on it, WILL HAPPEN.

    Hyundai is “just” becoming accept in the market, Kia are going to need a few more years if they think they can charge like this they are dreaming.

    Nothing really new to the segment, no diesel, no 6 speed auto, no new technology etc, just the old pretty frock, i think buyers are over buying a vehicle just because of good looks

    • Sumpguard

      No 6 speed auto? You need to have another read of the article.

      • FrugalOne

        I am correct, i am refering to the what will be the MOST POPULAR seller the 1.4, as per the article, its just a 4 speed auto

      • Don Quay

        Jabba, the six speed auto is only available with the larger 1.6L engine. The 1.4L comes with the 4 speed auto and it would be an absolute slug. I can’t help noticing that there were none available for the test.

        Apart from his error on the auto box, I would have to agree with FO. The price will tumble very soon, just like Hyundai did with the i20. The old model Rio was probably the worst light car on the market, so it wouldn’t be hard for this one to be better. However, I really can’t see why you would buy a new Rio over a Fiesta or Polo. They both have more features, better looking, cheaper, better dynamics and the availability of diesel engines. (If you’re into that sort if motor)

        • Sumpguard

          Oracle aka Donkey (and far more appropriate) you need to read his first comment rather than rehash your trolling efforts from 12 months ago.

          The fact you think this car is unattractive speaks volumes about your intentions!

          • Don Quay

            Wrong bloke Jabba. Read what I said first. I never said it was unattractive, I said the others were better looking. That is two different things.

            I see you are still the cranky fan boy. And spell my name properly will you.

          • Sumpguard

            You’re clearly confused. This from further down the page;

            – minorityracer says:
            September 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm
            Am I the only one here who finds the front of the car unattractive?

            -2 – Don Quay says:
            September 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm

          • Don Quay

            You are wrong. I have never said the car was not attractive. Read it again and try to comprehend it. He asked if he was the only one here who finds the front of the car unattractive. And I said he wasn’t, meaning that others have said the same. Show me where I have said the car front, side, rear or anywhere, was not attractive. You are clearly confused. You need to calm down and stop taking the cranky pills. It’s not always about you.

          • Sumpguard

            Answering on behalf of others then? Nice.

          • Don Quay


        • Gianni

          Thing is the the Polo looks a bit dull compared to this. YES the Fiesta looks good but everyones got one. I’ve counted 10 along my street.

  • Howdog

    Great look car. Well done guys. Pity I spent the whole time distracted by the sh*thouse ad of some guy kicking himself in the head.
    Cars are going well. Now fix your advertising.

    • Howdog


      • Gianni

        How did this get -3 votes? It was a correction XD

  • bbb

    any chance of having this in diesel auto? will sell even more if it does!

    • PPlater92

      I believe I have read here and elsewhere that Kia Australia is not going to be bringing the diesel to Australia, sadly. =(

  • marcelito

    Exterior design is very nice, interior looks nice but I wonder how it feels up close..anyone saw this at a motor show?
    How does it compare to the new Suzuki swift for example?..swift interior seems to use good quality materials..how about this?

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      About the same as swift. This is darker, but finish is roughly the same. The Polo has a more upmarket interior than the Jap/Korean cars – but it’s a little bland

  • Where-is-yr-Emergency-Brake-Assist-Hyundai

    Interesting Kia has once again showed up it sister Hyundai up, by not sheepishly omitting Emergency Brake Assist from even its most basic model … this key basic safety item is not available on most of Hyundai’s range, unless it’s the i45 or Santa Fe.

    This has the chance of becoming a truly awesome car, that 90% of people will be happy with – good quality, good efficiency, adequate power, and most of all reasonable servicing costs and a good chance at fuss free ownership, something that a buyer will not enjoy if this car had a European badge.

  • john

    can’t wait for the yaris to be released and then you can do a mega-comparison with its peers

  • HJP

    I am hoping to see more Kia cars on the road. Kia once again the winner for showing how much they have improved over the years. What Kia lacks is the soul compared to giants like Toyota, Mazda, etc. Hopefully Kia cars will change the way people think about Korean cars. Kudos to both Kia and Hyundai.

    • Phil

      Toyota cars have a soul?

      • TJ

        My thoughts exactly. Thought today was the first day of spring, not the first day of april!

        • Gianni

          Toyota has no soul but HJP has a point. I’d love to have a new Kia. Ok maybe not some models but still. An Rio over a Tiida. Or a proton.

  • introvert extrovert doesnt matter

    how does the new rio stack up against the nissan micra Alborz? at the moment nissan is offering 1.9% interest rate.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      Good question. I do like the Micra, obviously in styling terms I think the Kia is a better looker. However the Micra has its place too, it’s also a fair bit cheaper (to start with) with prices starting at $13,000.

      The micra is certainly more female focused whilst the Kia is gender neutral. Remember the Micra is a smaller car as well. Both are good for different buyers, but the Kia wins on features and looks

      Have a read of my review: http://www.caradvice.com.au/91729/2011-nissan-micra-review-k13/

      • o

        Micra is a city car is it not and is supposed to compete with the picanto if that comes here while the Rio is a very large light car.

  • Bazza

    When is this going to hit the showrooms/able to buy?

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah


      • Bazza

        Kia needs to update their website then 😀

        • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

          I know, I’ve already let them know.

  • Henry

    I have come to love Korean Cars Very Much. Toyota are getting forgotten but i Really don’t care anymore when Hyundai & Kia are coming out with great cars!

  • Mike

    It’s certainly not today…Beginning of next month should be when stock starts to arrive and D/A pricing will be known. Good car though, no comparison between this and the old model…like all new Kias.

    • Mike

      …was in reply to Alborz Fallah regarding the Rio being able to be bought today.

      • http://www.caradvice.com Alborz Fallah

        Oh? We were told stock arrives 1st of Sep.

        • Mike

          Official release is October 1st I’m told…stock should start arriving towards the end of this month, Still no word on Drive Away pricing.

  • minorityracer

    Am I the only one here who finds the front of the car unattractive?

    • Don Quay


    • Mani


      • Sumpguard

        minotiryracer it’s just you and donkey! The car looks great.

    • Craig

      Almost yes.

  • Carloz

    Disappointed with only 4 speed auto. It should at least come with 5-speed if not 6speed. Also, Great Car but wrong pricing!!

    • scottjames_12

      4 speed is only with the 1.4 I think.. 6 speed with the 1.6, which is a much better engine anyway so would be the one to get

  • sammy

    the car looks kinda like a golf GTi to me…

    • Rick

      And the rear looks like a Seat Leon..

  • Ted

    Carloz, you will need to read the story again as 6 speed auto is available on the 1.6 (GDI) Si and SLI trims.

    For Alborz Fallah, I spoke to a couple of Sydney KIA dealer’s to day and the KIO RIO will not be available in show rooms for at least 3 weeks – I am not sure where you got your info from.

    • http://www.caradvice.com Alborz Fallah

      Thanks for letting me know Ted,
      We were told stock would arrive 1st of Sep. Obviously there has been some delays.

  • Scotty C

    Kia’s on a role making awesome looking cars. Now they need a couple of hero models to really give them some cred

  • Chee

    Yeah it’s too expensive..

    The problem I see with Hyundai/Kia is that they seem to have a segmentation problem.. For example this car has seems to be in the same class as Cerato.. Which is upper class band which is lower?

    • TJ

      When you mention ‘same class as Cerato’, do you mean same price bracket? Because they’re certainly not in the same segment ie. Cerato would be a Corolla competitor and the Rio a Yaris competitor.
      There is bound to be pricing overlaps between cars from ALL brands in their range but this doesn’t necessarily equate to product overlaps.

  • Martin V.

    Going by the pricing, it would seem the Picanto would fill the 13k-16k slot that Kia are now missing. We’re yet to see if they will bring it here though… But if this pricing is anything to go by, it’s quite possible.

    • TJ

      Martin, I think you’re right. I did read an article somewhere that Kia Australia have confirmed bringing the Picanto here – not a matter of if, but when. Which would make sense to push the Rio upmarket and place the Picanto in the 13k-16k bracket to compete with the cheapies.

      • Sumpguard

        You’re both right. They have confirmed it is heading our way and will no doubt fill the void left by the RIO.

        • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

          Picanto is not confirmed for Australia yet. Rio 3 door will be the new price point entry.

          • Sumpguard

            You are right Salesman. Here’s a quote from one of Kia Australia’s head honchos;

            “We’re having an on-going dialogue with Korea about Picanto,” Mr Barlow said. “I haven’t got a firm answer on delivery times as yet, but there’s on-going discussions.

            “We’re negotiating with KMC (Kia Motor Company) at the moment, we always have to negotiate for the product and we’re locked in that dialogue now.”

  • Salt and Vinegar Chips

    Umm, more importantly, how hot does the chick look holding the hatch up on the blue Rio next to the ocean..

    Oh yeah looks like a great car!

    • Rio Hatch


  • http://CARADVICE IAN

    GETTING 8.6L/100 HONDA CIVIC 7.5L/100.

  • d

    I wonder how much Peter Schreyer gets paid.

  • Ted

    The issue with the Cerato using more fuel as indicated by Ian, is that the engine in the Cerato is a little old fashion and will require to be upgraded to at least a GDI. I am told that there will be a new Cerato next year (2012) and it will have the GDI engine that will not only make the care more fuel efficent, but drivable without the feeling that you continue to have to put your foot down to keep up with the traffic. As good as the 6 speed aut may be, it need a more modern engine.

  • brumby

    I’m a bit disappointed by the 1.6 with 103kw/167Nm 0-100km/h of 10.2sec for the manual.
    The Polo with 77kw/175Nm manages 9.7sec.

    I know power/torque figures don’t spell the whole story and delivery of that power is important too.

    But still, it does seem too much of a gap.
    Maybe the times aren’t accurate.
    Anyone have an explanation?!

    • Old dog

      It wouldn’t be the first time a manufacturer has overstated the power figures, but its probably more likely that the torque curve isn’t very flat but a bit peaky. Probably makes next to no power below 5k.

    • Mike

      The car is geared for economy, it certainly doesn’t feel that slow or underpowered. I was actually surprised when I read that it was 10.3 seconds, for the 1.6 Auto. Drives nicely though.

      • Sumpguard

        My sportage feels quicker than KIA’s claimed time too.

  • Ted

    The Kia RIO appears to be geared for economy rather than acceleration, and I would need to look at the final gearing to determine this.

  • al

    Ugly headlights. No bumper bars. At 1.2 tonnes at least 200 kg too heavy = bad fuel economy. Lacks manual windows = expensive power window repairs in the future.

  • Samr

    Too expensive I would rather have a Japanese made Suzuki Swift for the same money.

    Honestly it has got to be TWO thousand cheaper to sell and that is ON ROAD as well.

    • Sumpguard

      Everyone said the Sportage and ix35 were 5 grand too dear and yet they can’t build enough of them.

  • John

    I am waiting for the 1.2L turbo version.

  • John

    In the USA it costs 3.5k less, why we have to pay more?

    • Golfschwein

      Because that’s America and this is Australia. Expand your question to ask why we pay half for petrol than the Brits do, why do Italians pay four times our cost for phone calls but can equip their wardrobes with 4 seasons of top fashion wear for a quarter of what we pay. I could spend all morning thinking of other examples before even contemplating differences in economy of scale, value of the dollar, etc etc. Just give up and accept it for what it is.

      • John Kazi

        Lot of barking, but no answer.

  • bruzzer

    Kia has come up with some great designs lately and this one is another example.
    but the price is too high…at the end of the day KIA brand still doesnt have the same reputation as other brands still a while to go… no matter how many people try to justify it in this blog.
    look at KIA optima when they came out its was actually more expensive then its brother hyundai I45.
    there are currently massive discounts on them from $41990 down to $35K.

    Polo and Fiesta are much safer buys in my opinion.
    but everyone is different and people will still buy them.

  • Skye

    I have a 2002 model kia rio that I bought new. I love it. I bought it because of its price to begin with but it has been a very reliable car. Surprised that Kia is bringing out a more expensive kia rio. Looks good but probably would not pay the price.

  • Tank

    Well done to yet another car company which will rip off Australians by completely stripping all of the standard specs which all other countries get. I was excited to see the release of this car until I realized the aus SLI version missed out on standard: leather seats (heated), 7″ touch screen, sunroof, sat nav etc.

    Google the cost of this car in others countries & what features they get included.

    Then send it to wikileaks.

  • David

    This ova a Polo anyday..Polo is way too narrow and boring as bat poop

    • Bangel

      HAHA thats why the polo was wheels car of the year , much more refined car , like all hundi’s look good for the first year then just another korean try hard .

      • Sumpguard

        Yeah Bangel it must mean something coming from wheels. Afterall they gave the Camira car of the year too .

        • Don Quay

          What’s your point Jabba? The Camira was thirty years ago. You could have mentioned the P76 too. How many have they gotten wrong since then? None. Wheels have also have given it to Lexus, Mercedes and many other worthy contenders. Are you saying that Hyundai or Kia should have won?

      • Hung Low

        Must be all those German designers fault hey Bunghole?

  • John Edmondson

    It’s interesting watching the progression of Korean cars, as it has been to watch the Japanese before them. Years ago, Japanese cars were considered to be cheap imitations of euro cars. Today, they rival them and now we are seeing in the latest generation of Korean cars that history is once again repeating itself.

    This is a great looking car, and appears well designed. It still represents great value in terms of standard inclusions that would be optional on many competitors from Japan. My only concern has been that past generations of Kia and Hyundai products have often had inflated parts prices when compared to Japanese brands like Toyota. I guess only time will tell on this latest generation, but kudos to Kia for yet another seriously competitive car!

    • Rio Hatch

      “My only concern has been that past generations of Kia and Hyundai products have often had inflated parts prices when compared to Japanese brands like Toyota.”

      This may be the case with Hyundai, but I consider it is not the case with Kia.

  • Don Quay

    I saw a new Rio on the road today and while it is quite a nice looking car, I can certainly see that the head of the design team has worked at Audi. Like Audi, all the new Kia models look the same. The Rio looks like a Sportage that shrunk in the wash. They are all just minor variations on a theme without much to distinguish them. Try harder next time guys.

    • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

      Like Mazda?

    • TJ

      It’s called ‘design language’.

      • Don Quay

        It’s called a lack of imagination.

        • Sumpguard

          Rio looks like a shrunken sportage? That’s priceless, even from a donkey. The only thing they share externally is the grill design and badge.

          Mazda 2,3 and 6 look more similar than RIO and sportage do. Similarly I can spot any benz or beemer and tell it is their design as they are similar. Heaven forbid a car company should make two great looking cars!

          Perhaps CA could put a picture of the RIO and Sportage side by side for the donkey that has a “lack of imagination”.

          • Don Quay

            Jabba, You need to have another look at the Rio and Sportage, particularly the profile and rear end, they are so much alike.

            If you can’t tell the difference between a BMW and a Merc, you really don’t know what you are talking about, try looking at the grilles for a start, it’s usually a pretty good clue!

            PS What’s with the name calling? Stop acting like a five year old and grow up.

          • Sumpguard

            If you want me to address you by your proper name you should extend the same courtesy. Quite clearly I posted above under the name Sumpguard.

            Let your petty little quibbles go and move on for the sake of all here. It’s boring regurgitated tripe! This is a car site and I am damned sure the people that run it are sick to death of people trying to trash it.

            The Sportage and Rio look nothing alike (others clearly agree) and those with out a bent for trolling the forum can tell that I was refering to BMWs having a family similarity and Mercedes having a family similarity. Yet they don’t get attacked for “lacking imagination” as a design theme is something most brands aspire to. It identifies the vehicles as part of a brand. Duh!

            On September 1st minorityracer asked if he was the only one that found the front of the car unattractive and you replied “no” then tried to deny you were against the styling despite the fact that prior to you response he was indeed the only person negative about the car’s styling .

            I’ve had a very good look at the Sportage. “I own one” and soon my partner will most likely be in the seat of a new RIO (tossing up between it and the new elantra) as we are well past the badge snob attitude of people like you and able to see that they look nothing alike.

            I posted above that the grill and badge are the only similarities but on closer inspection even they are a different shape.

            You are looking for something that doesn’t exist and on a mission to convince us all that KIA are still some secind rate manufacturer just as you did under your previous alias . I doubt you have anyone fooled besides yourself. Most can see they are now producing cars that stand alongside Japanese competition on the world stage.

            The overwhelming consensus is that this like the sportage is a great looking car. Not just here but in every single review and subsuquent comment thread that I have read and we will be proud to own one should we chose it over the Elantra.

            From here on out I will ignore your trolling efforts and hopefully the people that moderate this site will deal with you appropriately if your attempts to drag down the standard of this site continue.


          • Sumpguard

            For those here actually interested in the cars and why we are trying to decide between this and the Elantra we are fond of the styling of both.

            The RIO in top spec is roughly the same price as the lowest spec Elantra so obviously for our budget it is a well appointed car.

            The car would largely serve as a A to B ransport for my partner for work. So far we have yet to test drive the Elantra but she sat in it and loved it . We ran out of time to test it.

            Next step is to arrange a test drive of both the RIO and the Elantra. Both cars have had very favourable reviews in pretty much every forum so it will come down to how they drive on the day. Either way the money will end up in the same place I guess.

            The fact that there is so much choice in the segments nowadays is a win for anyone interested in cars and despite some differences of opinion we all need to remember that love of cars is what brought us all together.

          • Sumpguard

            P.S KIA you shoulsd seriously consider bringing out the Sportage in that color. I love it!

          • Sumpguard

            P.S KIA you shoulsd seriously consider bringing out the Sportage in that “blue” color. I love it!

          • Rainer Lucks

            do you Guys have a social session going on here or are you interested in making constructive comments and stck to the Kia Reborn issue? If not. perhaps you Guys need to get your Andriods out and tap your fingers on that like so many Drones do out there and leave this what would other wise be a good informative Page. Guees. I’ll move one else where from here. Got a life to life…

          • Don Quay

            I’m not trashing anything and I certainly don’t have a vendetta against Kia or Hyundai. You read too much into things because me and others do not give them the fawning adulation that you obviously think they deserve. The current models are much better then previously and everyone agrees that the current Barina and previous Rio where cheap and nasty cars that were behind the standards of others in that class and probably the two worst new cars on the market, so improvement was a given, after the great strides made in their recent releases. I happen to think the styling of Kias is generally quite good, not so with Hyundai who’s exteriors are quite horrid. but in general, I think that they (H & K)are not as good as you and others may think.

            That is my opinion and if you don’t agree, wonderful, but you seem to take it a personal insult and so are abusive to others who may not agree with you. You have had a great deal of form in that regard with your various aliases of Callous Aussie, Jabba the Hutt and now as Sumpguard. I find it the height of irony that you complain about the behaviour of others

            Regarding styling, I don’t know haw you can talk about Kia’s design theme and then state that the Rio and Sportage look nothing alike. Surely that is a contradiction.

            I’m pretty sure that everyone knows what you drive now and in the past, I think it’s time you let it go and stop repeating yourself.

            Now if you choose to ignore any of my comments now or in the future, I don’t care, but I shall continue to post whenever I feel like it. Your opinions are irrelevant to me.

          • Don Quay

            Tell me how can the Sportage and the Rio simultaneously look nothing like each other and yet conform to the same design theme? Surely that is a contradiction.

            I still maintain there is a signifcant resemblance, particularly in profile and at the rear. If you can’t see it, then fine, you have your opinion and I have mine.

  • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

    I went ot the sales training today. Still no drive away price. Dealers should start seeing cars next friday. Some metro dealers already have cars.

    • Bazza

      Are there options we can buy for our cars?
      Climate control?
      Reversing cameras?
      Push-button start?

      • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

        We will see an SLS model. Every thing you list plus leather. They say early next year and it will be dealer order only.

        • Bazza

          That is amazing.
          Granted saying “dealer order only” screams 30k+ to me. I guess no talk of pricing?

          • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

            Sli manual $19,990.00 plus on roads. S model is the only one on drive away.

        • genki

          Any word if the two tone interior (beige/black) that is shown on some overseas models will be an option in Australia? Looks really upscale for a small car I think. We never seem to get interior colour options in Australia unlike elsewhere.

          • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

            One tone interior. No options. Price…$16,990.00 drive away manual 1.4 add $2,000 for auto

    • Ted

      I am not sure what ‘metro’ dealers already have the cars, as I live in Syd and have called every KIA dealera, and none of them have cars as yet. Whether this is the response that KIA has directed their dealers, however the credibility of sales people is questionable.

  • Ted

    For Salesman;
    ‘I am not sure what ‘metro’ dealers already have the cars, as I live in Syd and have called every KIA dealera, and none of them have cars as yet. Whether this is the response that KIA has directed their dealers, however the credibility of sales people is questionable’.

    • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

      At the road show in Brisbane we were told some dealers have the cars already.
      We (my dealership) have today found out what our allocation is. They are going into build today (compliance)

      • Bazza

        Oh, I was talking of pricing for the SLS, and hopefully an arrival time. My local Kia dealers in Sydney still don’t have any. But I did see one on the road.

      • Brian

        @ Salesman:

        Any news on when dealers will start receiving SLIs?

  • hados

    um.. to those people saying buy a lancer you do realise that mitsubishi use the kia/hyundai 2l engine? I’d choose the kia over the lancer. in fact i did got a cerato si hatch. Mitsubishi is no match for kia/hyundai thse days now the tables have turned since the days the koreans were using dated mitsubishi motors!

    • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

      Close…the only Misubishi based power plant was the 3.8 and 3.5 V6 in the Carnival and Sorento

  • david

    Every ones an expert do you want value for money or not nothing wrong with this car You will get over your badge obsession one day

  • http://www.roberts.com.ph Roberts

    Looks very impressive for a Rio, this car is light years ahead of the competition its currently in, Hyundai and Kia seem to be raising the bar in every class.

  • Peter

    Drive Away Prices received today from a dealer in Melbourne.

    “S” Manual – $16,990 Auto – $18,990
    “SI” Manual – $20,990 Auto – $22,990
    “SLI” Manual – $21,990 Auto – $23,990

    • Bazza

      So a standard two-grand car wash on top of the RRP.

  • MissJ

    Im very Impressed, Sadly the price is the only reason i am not buying one.
    I was going to go buy the current model Sports Special in auto and would have been paying $16k drive away. I held off knowing that this was due to be released the next month. As someone said; 22k drive away for the mid range.. Massive jump in the price, even though you can see why. Its simply out of my price range =[

    • Rio Hatch

      MissJ, I agree with you.

      In my opinion Kia will be losing market share for this style of vehicle. The Rio has been the company’s largest selling model, in Australia.

      I bought a Rio (1.6 litre engine, 5 speed manual) in February 2008. The car has served me well during the last three and a half years.

      At the time I bought the Rio because of the very reasonable price, good features, excellent warranty and furthermore, a five door hatch. In addition, my son is employed as a mechanic at a Kia dealership and spoke and still speaks very favourably of the Rio. Some of Kia’s competitors, at the time of my purchase were only offering a three door hatch and for more money.

      As my Rio approaches its five year mark, when the warranty is nearing its end I was intending on considering trading for a new Rio. However, for a daily driver I can not justify the current price increase of the new Rio. Okay, I would assume the prices will be discounted slightly at some time in the future, as dealers do to sell their “last year’s” stock, etc. But by how much?

      So now there is no equivalent in the Kia range for what was the outgoing Rio pricing. I have read that perhaps Kia Australia may bring in the Picanto to fill the pricing gap left by the new Rio.

      I would not like to be a Kia salesperson trying to sell the new Rio in the price category where there are so many other makes/models on offer. To compound this Kia only has a small number of dealerships around the country, compared to some of the other well known brands.

      On another note. Two week’s ago I sat in the driver’s seat of a new Rio at our state’s Royal Show. I am nearly 1.8m in height and I could not see the bonnet, at all, even after raising the seat height to a point where my head still cleared the roof lining! All I could see was the bottom of the windscreen, where it met the dashboard. I found this disturbing. Perhaps the Kia salesman would then try to sell me front parking sensors to overcome this problem, but putting the Rio price up even higher.

      In addition, I found the “rear sight” poor. My vision was “blocked” in many directions owing to the shape of the body at the rear of the car. “Okay, sir, we can fix that problem. Buy the rear parking sensors!” Oh no….more cost to the Rio’s purchase price.

      • Sumpguard

        RIO Hatch you obviously haven’t sat in too many modern vehicles of this size. The yaris and mazda 2 have the same issue with the bonnet but it is a non issue when driving them.

        • Rio Hatch

          I have sat in the Ford Fiesta though and could see the bonnet.

  • george

    nice car,and,above all it doesn’t break down all the time

  • MB

    Maybe Kia should have given the Rio a new name. I think a lot of people are basing the new Rio’s price against the outgoing model’s. When in fact this new model has very little in common with the old one, in looks, features, and performance alone. If this new car had a new name, i’m sure the price wouldn’t be so much an issue. Anyway, i’ll take an SLI in Clear White thanks.

    • Sumpguard

      It would have helped get people past the fact that only the name is the same that is for sure. When measured against its competition this is a well priced car.

  • MB

    Re SLi arrival time, I was told by my dealer in Sydney that SLi’s are dealer order only at this stage, and should be here late October/early November. He said from next year SLi’s will be in showrooms.

  • Ted

    My local Sydney dealear advised me that the SLI will be in the show room on 20 Oct 11.

  • Sumpguard

    Our dealer has landed a couple of the base model and despite being a Kia fan I struggle to see the value in it with the 1.4 engine and 4 speed auto at $18,990 drive away. They should at least have fitted alloy wheels for the money they are asking.

    Yep there is plenty of standard kit (especially safety wise) but the plastic caps on steel wheels cheapens the car. We won’t even bother test driving until we can get behind the wheel of the 1.6 variant. So if it doesn’t land until next year they may miss out on our money.

    I think Ted may ne on the money though with one dealer on the web saying the SLi will be “coming soon”.

    • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

      1.6 is due end of October. You should see them in the dealerships November.

    • Rio Hatch

      I wonder what the delivery times are like for the Rio’s sister car, the Hyundai Accent?

  • MB

    I hope Ted is right too, the sooner the better.

  • Brian

    Apparently 1.6 Si’s will be arriving at dealers next week. Have not been able to pin down an ETA for SLis other than late Oct/early Nov, so the 20 Oct date is interesting (thanks Ted). Looks like there won’t be many of these on the road for a while. Agree about the S model. Amazing what a difference the wheel/tyre package makes to the appearance of the car.

  • Brian

    Based on media reporting of Kia’s statements, the projected sales breakdown by models is 60:35:5 (S:Si:SLi). If Kia are expecting to sell 2400 Rios for the remainder of 2011 and 6400 for 2012, then for the rest of 2011, there will only be about 300 1.6s available per month, of which only 40 per month will be SLi’s. Pity about the small numbers. I guess Kia is banking on selling a heap of 1.4s, hence the $16,990 drive-away being offered on the 1.4 manual.

    • Bazza

      I wonder for the SLs fits into that breakdown… probably like 10 a months :S… I want my SLs!

  • Kiarios

    This new Rio model is marketed as Kia Pride in Korea, it’s superior car than Nissan Micra, Suzuki’s Swift and Toyota Yaris in terms of safety and interior for these who doesn’t know. I think Kia will going to have some deal going by end of this year, they usually cut their price down after market release depending on competition. I’m on the market for cheap mid range car that offers similar package like Rio, and at the moment Kia Rio is definitely on my top list. I would not look for Suzuki Swift, Yaris and Micra due to their exterior materials are cheap. Japanese are undercutting their material costs to compete with Koreans at the moment. Kia said, they’re running short of stock due to high demand.

  • Sumpguard

    I was advised today that the SLi will be dealer order only. This would be a massive mistake on Kia’s behalf if true as I can see it being the sort after model just like their other top of range model in the Sportage!

    I think they may be underestimating the Sli in thinking it will account for only 5% of sales but if it is dealer order only then it makes sense becuase people will buy the Si rather than wait!

    Meanwhile I have also spotted a base model S on one dealer’s web page with alloy wheels and labelled as S Sport. I suspect he didn’t like the plastic caps on steel wheels either.

  • Brian

    Have spotted a few S specs with 16 inch alloys instead of the steel wheels, at more than one dealer I visited. Factory stuff-up perhaps? By the looks of it, some lucky buyers will be scoring free upgrades.

    I understand the Si was intended to appeal to rental car companies (hence inclusion of features like cruise control). The $1000 extra for the SLi is a bit of a no-brainer.

  • Sumpguard

    Kia are really pumping the ads in for this one on TV. It looks like they are learning that advertising sells.

    Agree with Brian re the SLi but they are cutting their own throats if it is true that it will be a dealer order only!

    Kia take note. Bin the plastic hubcaps. I took my partner for a look at the cars in the flesh at our dealer this evening and the first thing she mentioned was the lack of alloys.

    Whilst on the issue of alloys, the rims fitted to my Sportage(18’s) don’t look as good as the ones on my old ix35 highlander but when it comes time to clean them they make absolute sense and I’ve noticed that the Rio has similar flat surfaced alloys with black inlays where the brake dust sits. Clearly some thought went into this.

    Whilst my ix35’s wheels looked better, that only applied when cleaned which was a major pain and after a few hundred kays of stop start driving the front ones were filthy again.

  • Brian

    For those of us waiting on the 1.6 Rios, the Singa Ace docked in Brisbane this morning from Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Its the only car carrier from that region due in and is scheduled to berth at Melbourne etc. The timing is in line with the 20 October/late October/early November estimates that dealers have been quoting.

    • Bazza

      Good find!

  • Craig

    I don’t know about you, but all this PRE arrival hype has left me a little cold already. 4 weeks ago I was ready to plonk my $$$ down straight away on a SLI, but now ? I was hoping it would be a sort of a hot hatch, but OS reports say it doesn’t fit into this category.

    • Rio Hatch

      In my opinion, if a company is going to advertise a product, they need to have the stock. Otherwise prospective buyers will walk out of the showrooms and in to the competitor’s showroom.

  • MB

    I ordered my SLi 3 weeks ago, my dealer Muirs Kia Ashfield phoned during the week informing me November 15 as arrival date. He also said 3 – 6 month wait on SLi’s as the majority are going to the USA. But I agree, I think Kia may have shot themselves in the foot with such limited stock available/not available.

    • KR

      Put my order in for an SLi 4 weeks ago. Unfortunately, it won’t be in the first shipment of SLis on the Singa Ace. There is a possibility that it won’t be on the next one either.

      MB, what colour is yours?? Did you manage to test a 1.6 before putting in your order?

      For what its worth, the comments from UK owners are encouraging.

      • MB

        KR, Unfortunately i didn’t get to test drive a 1.6 before ordering mine either, but i tested the 1.4 and it drove really nice. So i imagine the 1.6 will drive even better. I’m not too fussed with 0-100km speeds, just the overall driving experience. I’ve been reading all the reviews coming out so i based my purchase on those basically. Also the long warranty was a big draw card for me. I had to list 3 colour choices, which were Clear White, Latte (much nicer in person than the website), and Graphite. I was lucky enough to land a White one in auto. I got to choose from a selection of free extras so i opted for (darkest legal) window tinting, I also got an extra 3 years warranty for free so 8 years all up.

        To echo earlier comments, the wheel trims on the S model do let the car down in my opinion, so the 17″ alloys were a no brainer for me. The car is bigger than i was expecting too, almost Corolla size.

        KR, i hope yours arrives sooner than you’ve been quoted, i guess its a bit of a lucky draw at the moment. My dealer still hasn’t an arrival date for the Si model either. What colour did you order??

        • Sumpguard

          The fact that you ywo have both opted for an SLi indicates KIA have way underestimated its sales potetntial for our market (again)!

          If we go for the RIO and that is becoming a BIG IF we too will go for the SLi. But I am running out of egerness also and given my past support for KIA that should be ringing alarm bells!

          I’m starting to form the opinion that Australia is a dumping ground for auto manufacturers.

        • KR

          Congrats on your purchase MB. Good to hear that you’ve at least got a firm ETA for your car.

          I ordered a bright silver SLi, thinking that it was a common colour and likely to be available in the first shipment. Got that one wrong, didn’t I. Oh well, patience is a virtue as they say. Hopefully worse case scenario is delivery mid December sometime :(

          I saw a Latte at a local dealership and it is so different to what it looks like on the web its not funny. To me, its somewhere between white and silver. Quite nice and probably would have ordered it had I seen it in person first before signing on the dotted line.

          The SLi (and the Si for that matter) should be a good drive. 2 extra gears on the auto, extra power compared to the 1.4s and bigger front brakes as well.

          Geez, a 3 to 6 month wait. Kia Australia have got to be kidding. We’re not buying Polo GTIs here, its a RIO!

          • Rio Hatch

            As I have posted in an earlier post, I wonder what the Hyundai Accent (sister to the Rio) delivery times are like? Also they list a sedan and a hatch in their model range.

        • Rio Hatch

          Is the 8 year warranty still unlimited kms, like the 5 year warranty on offer?

  • MB

    I’d imagine Hyundai’s delivery times would be better. I must a dozen or more i30’s on the road every day.

    There are conditions with the extra 3 years warranty, but i’m not sure what they are. Perhaps you have to have the car serviced at their service centre. Still a pretty good deal.

    KR the silver is really nice, i see that’s the colour Kia chose for the TV ad campaign. Its gonna look really sweet!

    Now all we need to do is invent a time machine…

  • KR

    @ Rio Hatch – There was a Hyundai dealer next door to the Kia one so I had a chance to look at both the Rio and the Accent more or less side by side. They had only 2 Accents in stock at the time so I suspect availability is not much better than the Rio. With the Accent, you can see the similarities in terms of the waistline, relatively overhangs, small rear window, large c-pillar etc yet the Rio looks so much better. They have done a great, great job with the external styling of the Rio. By contrast, the Accent looks heavy and bloated, especially around the c-pillar/rear guard area. It looks even worse with the base model steel wheels. Not sure if it was specific to the car in stock, but there was a massive gap between the bonnet and front bumper, to the point where I thought someone had popped the hood.

    @MB – Hoping the silver is worth the wait. Was offered a different colour in exchange for earlier delivery but knocked it back. Hope I made the right decision (have been reassured by the silver S models that I was able to see for myself). My choice of colours would be silver, red, white and latte in that order (although practically, I would hate to try and keep a red car from oxidising and turning orange in the Aussie sun). The darkers colours look good from the side profile but you lose sight of all the detail at the front. Looks like you will be getting yours first so please post back here and let us know what you think of it :)

    • Rio Hatch

      Thanks KR for the info.

  • Cars ain’t Tribal

    Overpriced, sadly.

  • MB

    @ KR – we’ll do. Re dark colours, love the Graphite but my car will be parked out in the sun at home and while at work so the White will be cooler to get into during summer. I used to own a dark green car (no air con) and i’d cook each time I climed into it! I’d be interested in the chrome twin exhaust tip as an aftermarket add on, pity we weren’t offered that in Oz.

  • Sumpguard

    I finally had the pleasure of taking an Si in Silver with just 21 km’s on the clock for a drive today with my partner and she was very impressed.

    I agree with the reviews that the motor doesn’t feel as powerful as the figures would suggest but then it was as tight as a drum so will no doubt loosen up. The first thing I did notice is how quite it is inside the cabin. Infact it feels like you’re going slower than the indicated speed which is usually the opposite in vehicles this size but the rest of the traffic was sitting with me .

    We were able to take it up onto the the bridge that crosses the Barron River here in Cairns and that is one of the worst bits of road around . The ride was very compliant and actually better than my sportage by a small but noticable margin.

    In the 80 zone I did notice the lightness in the steering a bit as touched on in reviews but it’s not excessive or unpleasant and it was quite windy in an open area. At lesser speeds it was spot on and you really notice how flat it stays through roundabouts etc.

    For the purpose this vehicle is likely to be used by us it fits the bill perfectly which is largely as a “to work and back” transport for my partner. At 80 km/h it was sitting on around 1750 rpm so with the six speed auto it should be happy on the highway where our current RIO is doing 3000 rpm at 100 km/h.

    The alloys and fog lights definately make a difference on the outside also.

    We would most likely be doing a dealer order on an SLi so will be waiting a little longer but it now high on our list (at the top at this stage) .

    Finally I’d like to thank the manager at Trinity for allowing us to test it . He’s certainly easier to deal with than the last guy.

    • KR

      Thanks for the info Sumpguard. Have previously driven a 1.6 but only in city confines so its good to get some feedback on that front. Given its only got 21 km on the clock, I assume its a 1.6 straight off the boat rather than a Kia Australia press hack.

      Re engine performance, was reading on the Hyundai forum that there is a TSB out for the Accent which runs the same 1.6 GDI engine. The TSB involves an ECI update which has apparently improved responsiveness and fuel economy. Will be interesting to find out whether it affects the Rios as well.

  • jesse

    Just like the new Kia Sportage the Rio is a fake.It is hard to understand why people are commending Kia for their great efforts of redesigning their cars when all Kia have done is clone Audi/ VW. I am surprised that its not against copy right legislation as any person with half a brain can see the Rio is just a “reborn” Golf MK6. The only difference being is the Rio is half the price and no doubt half as nice to drive, don’t worry if you buy this car it not only says I am cheap but it also says I lack originality.

    • brian

      Considering how ‘original’ a Golf looks (spot the difference between a Mk 5 and a Mk6) the criticism is rather ironic. If Kia was going to copy a good looking car, they would have cloned an Alfa or something more exotic looking that a Golf.

      Strange also that whilst the Polo is considered a mini-me Golf, and belongs to the same segment as the Rio, you chose to compare the Rio against the Golf. That’s probably because the Rio looks nothing like a Polo, let alone a Golf.

      • Sumpguard

        Jesse you sound angry and a tad envious!

        The chief designer from Audi works at Kia now so I’d expect that given the man put Audi on the map with some stunning designs that he now has similar plans for Kia. Like any great artist he will stick with what he does well!

        The reviews I have read rate the Kia Rio “as good as the polo” to drive or “not far from it” by others so “half as good” sounds like an uneducated rant to me.

        I’ve actually driven the Rio (only a couple of days ago) and can assure you it drives very well. Infact a little more weight in the steering at high speeds and I’d have trouble faulting the ride at all. It really is that good.

        I am being told that the latest VW’s are more reliable than the ones built a year or two back and I really want to believe it as I loved driving a Jetta diesel a couple of years back. However I just cannot get past that trust issue.

        Our current RIO has spent 3.5 years parked in the tropical sun whilst my partner is at work and has clocked up almost 45,000 km’s without a single mechanical or electrical issue. If the new one can match the reliability of the outgoing model that alone would be reason to consider this vehicle.

        However the badge snobs (like yourself) will dismiss it immediately and entirely based on ignorance and will never be aware of exactly what you’re missing out on which is perfectly fine by me.

        Oh and the Audi A1 which is the true competitor to the RIO (by size) with all the options boxes ticked will set you back close to $80,000(not a typo)!! Is it really worth 3 top spec Rio’s? To all but the ignorant that answer is obvious!

        We are not 100% certain yet that will actually buy one but we are 100% certain we won’t be buying a polo or A1!!!! When VW can demonstrate that they have fixed their much publicised reliability issues I will consider their vehicles but until then ,no chance!

        The RIO isn’t perfect but for its intended function it does the job very well.

        Bryan you’re absolutely right and with the golf ad on the page to the right (wuick before they change it 😉 ) you can actually slide the thread to line the RIO up alongside the Golf imagine and see they are nothing alike!

        • brian

          @Sumpguard. Yeah, the Golf Driveaway Sale ad came in pretty handy to illustrate an obvious point, helpful to those of us unfortunate enough to be graced with only half a brain. Then again, having a Mk6 Golf GTI parked in our driveway helps as well :)

          • Sumpguard

            Indeed it does 😉

        • Rio Hatch

          I agree Sumpguard. Add to the fact that the servicing costs for the VW brand (owing to the price of parts) would be more expensive than the Kia product. Another reason to Rio at the top of the shopping list.

          • kr

            An interesting fact – at 2570mm, the Rio is only 10mm shy of a Mk6 Golf.

            According to the latest issue of a well known motoring magazine beginning with the letter ‘W’ (all figures relating to Si 1.6 manual):
            – 6.8L/100km fuel consumption
            – 8.8 seconds 0-100km/h
            – 16.4 seconds 0-400m @ 139km/h

            Apparently it kept up with the Fiesta on test in the twisty bits, felt the most solid of the cars tested in the segment and had strong engine performance.

            Main issues were ride quality and steering feel.

            I can live with that. As some reviewers have said, a great car for its intended purpose. Reminds me of those great small cars Honda used to make in the early to mid 90s.

        • jesse

          @Sumpguard, You made the correct assumption when you said I was angry but I am far from envious!

          I was delighted when I first heard that Peter Schreyer had joined Kia back in 06, I remember thinking; finally a Korean car which will be market leading and innovative. Now it is quite clear that Kia could have saved themselves a huge executive salary by not employing Schreyer as all he has done is sit around and trace a VW and simply replace the badge with a Kia one. Furthermore he claims that the new “tiger nose” makes Kia’s stand out, this would have to be the most ironic statement of the century considering VW/ Audi have adopted the same nose 7 years ago.

          Wether I am a badge snob or not is irrelevant in this discussion because if you look at my response to brian (awaiting moderator approval, because it has pics) you would see the illustration and how obvious the Rio is a copy cat of a Golf.

          Your comments about VW’s being unreliable are just as uneducated as my rants and raves. I know firsthand the reliability of VW/ Audi is just as good as other makes.

          @brain again, why would Kia copy an Alfa? You or I might think they’re the sexiest car on the road but based on sales it is clear the rest of the world does not share the same view, the world simply cannot get enough of VW particularly in Australia where the company is experiencing record growth. Their models appeal to all segments including the young or the conservative. I suspect this how the design meeting went at Kia 5 years ago “How can we leverage off some of VW success? How about we just make imitation models and sell them half the price! But Mr Schreyer wouldn’t that be plagiarism? Oh don’t worry team we will change the lights slightly and take off the VW badges”.

          • brian

            Alright then, lets put the hypothesis that the Kia Rio is a Mk 6 Golf copy to the test.

            Side profile
            – Rio’s front door glasshouse has an extra window at the front A-pillar ala Honda Jazz. Golf does not.
            – Rio’s rear door glasshouse has only one window. The Golf has two.
            – Rio’s rear glasshouse has an entirely different shape to the Golf’s.
            – Rio’s glasshouse slopes significant upwards from front to rear. Mk6 Golf does not.
            – Rio has rear view mirror mounted on sponsons. Golf does not.
            – Golf has signature massive C pillar. Rio does not.
            – Rio has sloping rear hatch. Golf rear hatch is much more upright.
            – Rio has a ‘character’ line that runs from the rear tail light to the rear door handle, dipping down and finishing about in line with the rear view mirror. The Golf’s character line runs pretty much horizontally, running entirely above the door handles.
            – Rio has hardly any front overhang. The Golf’s snout is significantly longer.

            – Rio has small hatch window that contributes to limited rear visibility. Golf has a much bigger rear hatch window.
            – Rio has a separate hatch release. The Golf’s is integrated into the badge
            – Rio’s rear foglights are integrated into the rear valence. The Golf’s are not.
            – Rio’s numberplate is mounted on the rear valence, partly incorporating the rear bumper. The Golf’s numberplate is entirely located on the rear bumper.
            – The Golf is slab sided. The Rio has a very obvious shoulder with the glass house pinched in (most obvious when looking behind from the side rear view mirrors)

            – Rio has ‘Tiger’ nose which looks nothing like the Golf front end treatment.
            – Rio has separate openings to house front fog lights and a large opening below the grille. The Golf has a continuous opening incorporating all three elements.
            – Rio has round fog lights. The Golf’s are oval.
            – Rio has two creases in the bonnet that converge toward the Kia badge. The Golf’s are much wider apart to coincide with the front headlamps.

            I pity the person who has to write up the copyright infringement paperwork at VW. Now that I’ve been forced to look at more detailed pictures, its even more obvious to me that the cars look nothing alike. If you removed the badges from the Rio and put it in a VW showroom, no one shopping for a Golf will even think its a VW.

            None of the established motoring writers have even mentioned the fact that the Rio looks like a Golf. I’m sure if its as obvious as Jesse makes it out to be, then the headlines would have been “Kia clones a Golf”. Perhaps our journos are also functioning at less than half brain capacity.

            The characteristics of a Golf shape are so recognisable that no car maker in their right mind would try and copy it. Its what makes a Golf a Golf after all.

            Given the fact that hardly anyone other than dealer staff and motoring press have driven a 1.6 Rio, its unlikely that an informed comparison can be made as to whether a Rio is half as nice as a Golf to drive. By all accounts from those who have driven the Rio, I suspect the Rio is actually a pretty good drive in its own right.

            If Jesse is right and the car is crap to drive, then prospective buyers will turn away once they take it for a test drive. Sales will tank and the Rio will fail as a credible product. Perhaps the degree of criticism is evidence that the Rio is a very real threat to its competitors, to the point that even VW fans are getting peeved. Calling it a Golf clone will not make it any less of a threat.

            Oh. And by the way, Massimo Frascella, not Peter Schreyer, designed the Rio and the Sportage. His cv includes Bertone and Ford Premier Automotive Group (including Aston Martin). Little wonder the Sportage and Rio look as good as they do.

          • Sumpguard

            Quite correct “Brain”. At least Jesse acknowledged your “Brain” when he/she mispelt your name 😉 Massimo Frascella penned the vehicle under Peter Schreyer’s guidance.

            You can take me on my word that the RIO 1.6 drives well. I haven’t driven a polo so can’t make a comparison but as I said above the only thing I found with the RIO was that the steering was a tad light around 80 km/h.

            The ride was great and very quiet compared to our current RIO. Remembering of course that the model I test drove was an Si so the Sli with larger rims may be different again!

            I think you hit the nail on the head regarding the threat to other brands also.

  • kr

    Oops. The 2570mm reference in my previous post is the Rio’s wheelbase.

  • Danielle

    I have just bought the base model of the new Rio and I love it!!! My partner and I spent weekend comparing all the brand new cars and decided the Rio was the best value for money. Only disappointment was that stock is limited in the manuals and the Si and Sli models won’t be out till the first quarter 2012.

    • kr

      Congratulations Danielle :) Which model did you buy, what colour and when will your car be delivered to you?

    • Craig

      Yet the SLi is the one they advertise on TV.


  • Danielle

    I wasn’t waiting till next year for a new car so I bought the one and only manual the car yard had. It’s a silver S model. Got it for the same price as a white even though it’s metallic paint. The car had 35klms on it from my test drive so they sold it to me as a demo!!

    • kr

      That’s fantastic Danielle. Waiting for an SLi myself and the wait is killing me. All the best with the S. Let us know how things are going as you put some Ks on the car :)

  • Bazza

    @The Salesman

    Is there any news on the Rio SLS?

  • Marg

    Am looking at trading in my 2004 Rio (1.5 ltr auto) for
    the Rio S (1.4 ltr auto)since there is a wait for the Si –
    Can anyone advise if there is much power lost in the trade? (have booked a test drive for this weekend)

    • Sumpguard

      Marg you won’t notice much difference in power. What you will notice is higher fuel consumption and a much more manic drive on the highway due to much higher RPM.

  • http://Caradvice Jordan

    Where is the Platinum model??, that would of came with panaromic sunroof and push button start etc?

    • brian

      I believe you are referring to the rumoured SLS model which Kia has not yet acknowledged. Given that very few (if any) Si’s and SLi’s have made it into the country to date, I suspect we won’t be seeing the SLS for a while.

      • Bazza

        Yeah, I’m waiting to see if the rumoured SLs will show up…

        I think this post has become the de-facto discussion thread for all Australia regarding the Kia Rio…

  • Craig

    Was quite impressed with the base models I looked at on the weekend.

    Eagerly awaiting a look and drive of a manual SLI !!!!!!

  • Craig

    PS. Sadly, it looks as though it wont match my Honda Jazz for internal space and cleverness, but it is a hell of a lot more stylish.

  • brian

    Drove past Stillwell Kia here in Adelaide and noticed that they have a black Rio SLi for sale. Not sure if its a manual or auto though. First one I’ve seen in the metal and must say it looks great.

    On the delivery front, there are a couple of MOL roll-on roll-off ships either docked or on their way from Korea. Pegasus Ace is from Inchon and has docked at Brisbane and Port Kembla already. Its currently unloading in Melbourne.

    The next cab off the rank is Favorite Ace which is listed as coming from Pyongtaek (Kia’s main shipping port). Its due to arrive at Townsville first on 6/11 and will be unloading subsequently at Brisbane, Port Kembla and Melbourne. This ship has a capacity of around 6,000 so I suspect its carrying the bulk of this year’s Rio allocation for Australia.

  • Gianni

    When you said acceleration, you meant the 1.4 S right? Because the SLI has quite a lot of power for such little kerb weight and someone tested it and got 8.8 seconds to 100. Maybe more but yeah.

    • Sumpguard

      It’s not that quick. I’ve driven it and would guess at closer to 10.0 seconds which is acceptable for the class.

      • brian

        8.8 seconds is what Wheels quoted in its latest test of a manual Si. There is some chatter in the Hyundai Accent forum of an ECU software update that supposedly improves response and fuel economy for the 1.6 GDI engines (the Accents in the US run the GDI engine whilst the ones in Oz have to make do with multi point fuel injection.

        It will be interesting to find out if the ECU upgrade affects the Rio as well considering its running the same engine. Perhaps the later builds will already have incorporated the update.

        • Craig

          I reckon this car is ripe for some sensible engine “tweaks”.

  • Andy

    Just test drove a Si…loved it. Apart from the somewhat light steering it drove beautifully. Surely there is a fix for over-light electric power steering? Engine is great fun but could do with more midrange grunt…bring on the ECU update!
    BTW…paid deposit and should get delivery of white Si later in the week…Kia have out-polo’d the Polo!

  • MB

    I picked up my SLi Saturday just gone, and am really impressed with it. The 17″ alloys make a big difference to the look of the car, its stance seems wider and more aggressive. Saying that, the Si’s alloys are a very nice design as well. Performance wise i’m no car expert, but it has lots of power and has a really nice tone when changing through gears. I agree with Andy regarding the power steering being light, i guess its just something to get used to. The LED running lamps are really cool, esp the rear ones and the brake lights are the brightest of any car i’ve seen on the road. I haven’t taken it for a good cruise yet so hence the basic review. But very happy at this early stage…

    • kr

      Glad you like the car MB. Hoping to take delivery of mine later this week. Good the see the positive reviews here and elsewhere on the web. Us early adopters need a bit of reassurance now and then.

    • Craig

      Please update your review when you get a chance. :)

      • Craig

        PS. I take it yours is a manual. What did you pay ( on road ) ?

  • Craig

    I just noticed, the power,torque, weight of the SLI is nearly on par identically to my 1986 Toyota celica SX, which was a cracking drive. Funny how performance hasn’t really changed all that much over the years, even allowing for the celicas 2 litre engine.

    Sorry to be slightly OT, but just thought I’d throw it in.

    • kr

      Not bad, considering the Rio is in the light car segment competing against the likes of Polo, Mazda 2, Jazz etc. To put modern cars into context I believe its mentioned somewhere that the Holden Cruze is larger than a VB Commodore in almost all dimensions other than overall length.

  • MB

    @Kr, you’re gonna love your car, I hope it arrives this week for you. Ive seen a silver Si and the colour is amazing. Pretty much most of the reviews ive read are positive, looking forward to seeing it rated in that best cars annual magazine due out in December I think? Sorry cant remember the name of it.
    @Craig my SLi is auto, and I paid $25,000 drive away. It has loads of grunt, cant wait to take it for a good spin. Apparently only about 30 SLi’s were issued to Australia for this year, and the next batch coming Jan-Feb 2012.

    • kr

      Thanks MB. On track for delivery by the end of the week so I’m looking forward to a nice long drive in my SLi over the weekend.

      Only 30 SLi’s?! According to a press report, the total allocation works out to around 440 SLi’s out of a total of just under 9,000 Rios earmarked for Australia to December 2012. That leaves only around 400 SLi’s for the 2012 calendar year. Glad I got mine nice and early :)

      Plenty of 1.4 S models showing up in dealerships now. The odd SLi is now appearing in carsales.com.au with proper VINs as well.

      • Rio Hatch

        What do you mean by “proper VINS as well”, kr says?

        • kr

          For example, here is an ad for 2011 KIA RIO UB MY12 SLI, SIGNAL RED, 6 speed Manual.

          VIN XXXXXX
          Reg Plate NEWRIO46
          Stock# NEWRIO46

          For a while there were only Victorian listings (one for each available colour) all with the same setup as above.

          • Rio Hatch

            Okay, thanks for the explanation.

  • kr

    Took delivery of my SLi yesterday. My thoughts after about 150k’s worth of driving.
    – noticed at the first traffic light I stopped at that you sit quite high up in the car (a bit SUV like). Could just be me though as my previous car was fairly low to the ground.
    – no/very little body roll.
    – engine already starting to free up nicely. Throttle is more sensitive than I am used to but may improve as it frees up as well.
    – good NVH suppression other than tire noise. Worse on some surfaces than others but not a huge issue coming from a mid 90’s car.
    – my first car with electric steering. I see what reviewers mean by lifeless and numb. The steering is relatively light but the thing I noticed most is that it does not seem to load up when cornering so you don’t get the same feedback as hydraulic setups. Nevertheless, it goes where you point it and the big tyres have heaps of grip.
    – 6AT transmission is excellent. Can’t feel the shifts and often have no idea what gear I’m in when in D. Flick across to +- shows which gear the car is in on the dashboard.
    – the dash around the radio and HVAC controls look a bit sparse in the pictures but no so behind the wheel. Interior quality very impressive (soft touch material makes a big difference).

    Overall, very happy with my new car. I had only briefly tested a 1.6 Si before signing the contract (thinking supply would be a problem) so was a little nervous about my decision but so far so good. Well done Kia.

    • Rio Hatch

      Thanks KR for the review. Interesting reading.

  • Craig

    Tell us how it goes when the pedal hits the metal ( after you run it in of course 😉

  • MB

    Kr, glad you like your SLi and great review too. Was definately worth the wait.

  • MB

    The car that is.

  • kr

    300 kilometers into my Rio ownership experience. Car is freeing up nicely even at this early stage. Some additional thoughts now that I’ve had a bit more time in the driver’s seat:
    – very refined for a light car
    – structurally, its very solid i.e. it feels substantial on the road, no body creaks etc
    – conversely controls are light and sensitive
    – steering is very responsive so I would have preferred a touch more weight (easy to apply too much input, requiring subsequent correction)
    – very easy, relaxed car to drive
    – build quality is impressive. Can’t fault the interior or exterior finish, panel gaps etc
    – still finding it hard to induce body roll, which is surprising given how tall I sit in the car
    – heaps of grip (have not got anywhere close to its limits)
    – transmission is a gem (buttery smooth shifts)
    – Supervision cluster is very clear, no problems with the trip computer, even with the red text.
    – Red radio display can be a bit hard to read in direct sunlight but not as bad as I thought.
    – Projector headlights and DRLs are very effective, but really like the static cornering lamps, which come on a lot more frequently that I thought they would.
    – consumption according to the trip computer is 7.3 litres/100km, which will hopefully improve as the engine frees up.
    – the blind spots created by the C pillar are quite substantial, not aided by the relatively small rear window. I’m very mindful of this when changing lanes and backing out of car parks. Thankfully, with careful adjustment, the large rear view mirrors compensate somewhat for the blind spots.

    Overall, I am very pleased with my little Rio. Reading Caradvice’s review again, must commend Alborz on its quality and accuracy.

    @ Craig – Babying the car somewhat whilst in the 1000 km break-in period. First impressions though are that its faster than the claimed 10.3 seconds for 0-100km/h. From standstill it never really feels fast because the acceleration is so smooth and undramatic. However it seems to have more than enough torque and have not had any problems finding gaps in traffic when I aim for them. The Rio is not really in the hot hatch league, more a refined, relaxed and civilised car, but I note that Wheels tested a 1.6 Rio SI hatch recently and recorded 8.8 seconds 0-100km/h which seems about right to me.

    @ MB. Glad I waited for my chosen colour. In the end, it only set me back a couple of weeks and like you said, it was definitely worth the wait. Looks great with the big wheels. How are you finding your Rio?

  • MB

    @Kr. Yes really enjoying my Rio too, its loosening up nicely all the time. I have my 1000 km free service booked for 2 weeks time, and I have 600kms on the clock so far. When you say you sit up quite high in your drivers seat like an SUV, I dont have that issue with mine and im 180 cm tall. Have you tried adjusting the height of the seat

  • MB

    @Kr. Yes really enjoying my Rio too, its loosening up nicely all the time. I have my 1000 km free service booked for 2 weeks time, and I have 600kms on the clock so far. When you say you sit up quite high in your drivers seat like an SUV, I dont have that issue with mine and im 180 cm tall. Have you tried adjusting the height of the seat? that seemed to work for me.
    The only minor issue I have with Kia is their decision not to badge the Rio, I would have liked an SLi badge on her but its not the end of the world. Other than that I cant fault my Rio, im very happy I decided to purchase it and feel safe in the knowledge I have my 8 year warranty.
    Happy motoring!

    • kr

      LOL. Never noticed the lack of SLi badge until you pointed that out. Those 17 inch alloys more than make up for it :)

      Re sitting up tall like in an SUV, I guess it shows how out of touch I am with the current generation of cars. It seems cars like the Yaris and Jazz have similarly high seating positions so the Rio is not really exceptional in that regard. I guess what freaked me out a bit was sitting at the traffic light and noticing how much lower a Falcon or Commodore is on the road. Now that I’ve driven the Rio a bit more, I don’t notice it at all.

      Interestingly, my first complimentary service is at 3,000 km. Apparently the traditional 1,000 km first service is no longer necessary. If I was offered the free service at 1,000 km I would have gladly taken it up.

      All the best MB.

  • Craig

    Thanks for the review guys.

    I’m definitely going to opt for a red manual SLI early next year. In the flesh, they look great, much better than all the competition imo.

    8.8 seconds to 100kmh sounds about right judging by the specs. It’s funny how autos are very similar in acceleration times now, they have come a long way.

  • Des

    I bought a 1.4s manual as a second family car 2 weeks ago and it’s great. Love it. Just as the reviews state, the electric steering takes a little getting used to and is vague at dead ahead, although I don’t notice it now. Average fuel consumption over 1000k’s has been 6.2 l/100k’s. That’s over a mix of urban and non urban, not too bad (Specs say 5.7). Of course I would have liked an SLI but it’s only a second car, mostly drive by the wife and it’s a bit hard to justify the rather large jump in price.

    I looked at the Fiesta CL (drum rear brakes, extra $$ for extra safety kit, no spare, no USB, indicator stalk on the wrong side, wind up rear windows). Also looked at the Micra, but it looked so cheap and crappy parked next to the Rio an my Mrs did like it anyway. Looked at the Accent. It wasn’t too bad, a little longer than the Rio (length mattered to me as I have a short side in my double garage due to my workshop) it had a bigger engine but also chewed more juice, and was only a 5 speed.

    I paid $16500 for the Rio in white with headlight covers, mats and a full tank of juice. I put a set of Advanti Demon wheels on it (from Bob Jane $520 fitted) with the standard tyres. Nothing more to do.

    Back in 2003 we bought our previous family hack which was a 3dr Getz. That was $14000 at the time, manual mirrors, wind up windows, pretty basic. Nearly 10 years on and look what you get for your money now. The RIO is amazing value compared to 2003.

  • MB

    The winners of Australia’s Best Cars 2011 have been announced, and the Kia Rio Si 6 spd manual has taken out 1st place for best car under $20.000. Go team Kia!!

    • Sumpguard

      Meanwhile it is blatantly obvious that Drive were handed a big fat cheque from ford this year. The territory for example has been called “average” by most reviewers and “outdated” by others who claim the new styling might help keep it fresh for a few more years. While others have said the diesel at $55 grand is getting ridiculous.

      But then drive don’t discount cars that run the year prior like wheels for example. Otherwise the polo wouldn’t be there again either.

  • Des

    I bought a 1.4s manual as a second family car 2 weeks ago and it’s great. Love it. Just as the reviews state, the electric steering takes a little getting used to and is vague at dead ahead, although I don’t notice it now. Average fuel consumption over 1000k’s has been 6.2 l/100k’s. That’s over a mix of urban and non urban, not too bad (Specs say 5.7). Of course I would have liked an SLI but it’s only a second car, mostly driven by the wife and it’s a bit hard to justify the rather large jump in price.

    I looked at the Fiesta CL (drum rear brakes, extra $$ for extra safety kit, no spare, no USB, indicator stalk on the wrong side, wind up rear windows). Also looked at the Micra, but it looked so cheap and tinny parked next to the Rio an my Mrs didn’t like it anyway. Looked at the Accent. It wasn’t too bad, a little longer than the Rio (length mattered to me as I have a short side in my double garage due to my workshop) it had a bigger engine but also chewed more juice, and was only a 5 speed and I didn’t go much on the look of it.

    I paid $16500 for the Rio in white with headlight covers, mats and a full tank of juice. I put a set of Advanti Demon wheels on it with the standard tyres. Nothing more to do.

    Back in 2003 we bought our previous family hack which was a 3dr Getz. That was $14000 at the time, manual mirrors, wind up windows, pretty basic. Nearly 10 years on and look what you get for your money now. The RIO is amazing value compared to 2003.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoff-Cook/1293551260 Geoff Cook

    What has happened at this forum? The latest post is from 2 weeks ago.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoff-Cook/1293551260 Geoff Cook

      Seems to have corrected itself now.

      • Artega

        The forum sorts popular posts to the top but you can change that yourself. Newest first, oldest first, popular now, etc. Look to the right of the first comment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=583241723 Martin David Loney

    As a self confessed brand snob I tested all the small cars before the Rio. I came back to the KIA dealer twice to convince myself and then bought a 1.6 automatic. What a superb little vehicle it is. 

  • Lauren Wills

    Kia rio car is fantastic model of kia. Its design really pretty and interior, exterior look is also beautiful. It has some other Extra feature.

  • Beryl

    Can anyone tell me what the 2006 Kio Rio sedans are like.  Are they a lemon.

  • Andy

    I just drove the Kia Rio SLI today in automatic and can say it’s every bit as good as the reviews say it is. Yes the rear window is small however the mirrors are gigantic & set far apart from the body meaning I didn’t even check over my shoulder when changing lanes and instead soley used the mirrors.
    The whole car feels very german, the ride is firm but really solid & the car even sticks to loose gravel surfaces & shoulders like glue even when floored from 0-80km/h out of a tight turn.
    The full usb ipod connectivity & bluetooth phone connectivity was really great as were the high-class dashboard instruments that outshone the folks’ WM Holden Caprice @ $70,000.

    Now I have to decide whether I want to go all out with a Rio or just stick to my original new car plans and get a Suzuki Alto GLX…temptations! 

  • Rainer Lucks

    I did my research well before considering purchasing the Rio SLS 3 Door Hatchback reborn.
    I own a Mazda 2. Though the Mazda served me very well , for the extra 4 grand for a demo model with amazing features and technology is getting excellent value and runs rings around the Mazda Genko. With no time to waste i was sold on it. I can see why it was nominated as Car of the Year!

  • Rainer Lucks

    What the heck is you ravelling on about.? If you don’t like the Rio then bugga off!

  • Rainer Lucks

    Just ignore this twit. I own a Rio Reborn. Great Car

  • Rainer Lucks

    Here we go again. Imaturity at it’s core. Give it a rest

  • Billy T

    Guys your all missing something!!! Have you driven the car yet?? We’ll I’m a proud owner of a KIA Rio Sli and compared to holden, ford, Hyundai , etc which I’ve actually driven the Kia is amazing with price, excellent fuel economy, safety and handling like a euro car it’s worth every cent:))) so before you comment on a car, Test drive First!!!!

Kia Rio Specs

Car Details
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$7,920 - $9,000
Dealer Retail
$9,340 - $11,110
Dealer Trade
$6,300 - $7,200
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
125Nm @  4700rpm
Max. Power
70kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.7L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1100  Unbrake:450
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
175/70 R14
Rear Tyres
175/70 R14
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Anti roll bar, Gas damper, Coil Spring
Rear Suspension
Torsion bar, Coil Spring, Gas damper
Standard Features
Air Conditioning
Power Steering
Radio CD with 4 Speakers
Power Windows Front
Dual Airbag Package, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Metallic Paint
Anti-lock Braking
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Front Floor
Country of Origin