One of Australia’s most popular city cars is about to get a major overhaul with new technology and a higher price.
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The 2021 Kia Rio hatchback will rise in price by up to $1800 to take into account advanced safety, improved fuel economy, class-leading technology – and currency pressure – when it arrives in showrooms in late July or early August.

The first major facelift for one of Australia’s best selling hatchbacks was unveiled earlier this year – with subtle changes to the headlights and front bumper – but new information has emerged about the detailed differences.

As reported earlier, all models in the 2021 Kia Rio range will come with a new 8-inch infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Until now, wireless smartphone mirroring was exclusive to luxury cars.

Three model grades will carry over from today’s Kia Rio – S, Sport and GT-Line.

The Kia Rio S and Sport will retain 1.4-litre petrol engines (74kW/133Nm), but open road fuel economy is expected to improve with the upgrade from a four-speed to a six-speed auto.

The flagship Kia Rio GT-Line will retain its turbo 1.0-litre three-cylinder matched to a seven-speed twin clutch auto, but the power output has been trimmed from 88kW/172Nm to 74kW/172Nm to favour better real-world economy and prepare the engine for use in a hybrid model in Europe.

Advanced safety such as autonomous emergency braking (with cyclist and pedestrian protection), lane-keeping assistance, and lane-follow assistance (when cruise control is activated) will be standard on Sport and GT-Line – but not available on the S models.

According to a confidential dealer bulletin, the estimated drive-away prices are as follows: Kia Rio S manual ($18,990 drive-away, up $1000), Kia Rio S auto ($19,990 drive-away, up $1000), Kia Rio Sport manual ($20,990 drive-away, up $1800), Kia Rio Sport auto ($21,990 drive-away, up $1800), Kia Rio GT-Line ($24,490 drive-away, up $500).

The above figures are subject to change. Final pricing will be announced closer to the Kia Rio’s on sale date in late July or early August.

There will also be two new colours available (pictured below), and metallic paint remains an optional extra (currently an additional $520).

This generation of the Kia Rio went on sale in 2017 and this is the first major update, about half way through the model's lifecycle.

According to data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, the Kia Rio is the third biggest-selling car in its class so far this year, closely behind the Toyota Yaris and MG3 and ahead of the Suzuki Swift, Suzuki Baleno, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Jazz.

All Kia models have a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

2021 Kia Rio pricing for Australia

  • Rio S – $18,090
  • Rio Sport – $19,590
  • Rio GT-Line – $23,990

All prices exclude on-road costs.