The all-new Kia Rio

  • Fourth generation of Kia's global best-seller
  • More size and space; greater style and equipment
  • 1.0 T-GDi turbo engine heads more efficient powertrain line-up
  • Fuel economy of up to 80.7mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 92g/km
  • New suspension and steering for a more grown-up driving experience
  • Advanced connectivity features appear in Rio for the first time
  • Stiffer body shell and electronic driver aids add to safety

Kia's Rio supermini is more than ever a 'big little car' with the introduction of the new fourth-generation model.

The all-new Rio is the largest and most spacious to date, is the first with a full connectivity package and advanced driver assistance systems, features new turbocharged petrol engines at the head of a more efficient powertrain line-up, and has new suspension and steering for a more grown-up feel on the road, while the acclaimed styling has a more mature and polished appearance. No wonder the Rio is known within Kia as 'a little Titan'. The all-new Rio will be sold as a five-door model only, in line with customer demand.

Globally, the Rio is Kia's best-seller, with sales close to 475,000 a year, and while it is overshadowed in the UK by the European-built Sportage crossover and cee'd range, it is still a highly significant model, accounting for almost one-sixth of the company's sales.

The all-new Rio is offered in the UK in a 10-model line-up based on four engines, three gearboxes and four trim levels, including a limited-run, luxuriously equipped ‘First Edition’ variant. Available with Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition, and also features both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.

A new look, a more imposing presence and greater space

The all-new Rio adds a new twist to the award-winning styling which permeates every model from Kia. The brand's instantly recognisable 'tiger-nose' front grille is more slender and wider, and it integrates neatly with the new highly sculpted halogen bi-function projection headlights with U-shaped LED running lights. The bi-function headlights operate the main and dipped beam and incorporate a separate reflector for the standard cornering lights.

The styling is characterised by straight lines and smooth surfaces which emphasise the car's greater maturity. It was a joint effort by Kia's design teams in Germany and the United States, with the involvement of the main design office at Namyang in South Korea.

The all-new Rio has revised proportions and balance, with a longer wheelbase, bonnet and front overhang, a lower roofline and a more upright and compact back end. Detailing inside and out has been designed to emphasise the car's interior space and its stability on the road. The increased leg and shoulder room are among the best in class, as is headroom – despite the lower roofline. A further benefit from the new proportions is increased boot capacity – up by almost 13 per cent to 325 litres – while the fuel tank is two litres larger at 45 litres.

The interior has been designed around the touchscreen for the new technologies now available, which include Kia Connected Services and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. Together, these not also give access to the car's navigation and infotainment systems, but also provide live traffic updates, weather reports and information about fixed speed camera locations and local points of interest.

The horizontal theme evident in the exterior styling is repeated in the cabin, emphasising width and space while separating the upper information and lower control areas. The touchscreen has allowed the number of buttons and switches to be reduced, giving a neater look and greater functionality. The Rio is the first car in class with USB ports front and rear, so that mobile devices can be charged from any seat.

T-GDi engines head more efficient powertrain line-up

Kia's 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct-injection) engine is offered in Rio for the first time and heads a seven-strong powertrain line-up which shows improvements in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions over the outgoing Rio.

The new engines showcase Kia's advanced engine technology capabilities through downsizing, turbocharging, direct fuel injection and weight reduction, and feature a number of detailed engineering solutions to minimise throttle lag – the delay between the driver pressing the accelerator and the turbocharger delivering boost – and reduce internal friction.

They join revised versions of Kia's 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines, and two versions of the European-designed and European-built 1.4-litre CRDi turbodiesel.

The 1.0-litre T-GDi engine is available with either 99 or 118bhp, in both cases with 171Nm of torque across a wide rev band, starting at only 1,500rpm, for effortless driveability. The 99bhp powered version has fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 62.8mpg and 102g/km, while the sparkling 118bhp version is not far behind, with 60.1mpg and 107g/km. Both are capable of more than 50mpg in city driving. The respective 0-60mph acceleration times are 10.3 and 9.8 seconds, and both versions have a top speed of at least 115mph.

The fuel economy champion of the all-new Rio range is the lesser-powered, 76bhp 1.4-litre diesel, a new option in Rio, which replaces the former three-cylinder 1.1-litre CRDi. Both 1.4-litre diesels have a healthy 240Nm of torque and have CO2 emissions below 100g/km – 92g/km and 98g/km respectively – while fuel consumption figures are 80.7 and 74.3mpg. In the case of the lesser-powered unit, this is an improvement of 2.2mpg and 2g/km over the previous 1.1-litre CRDi. The 240Nm of torque is available from just 1,500rpm, giving sprightly acceleration from 0-60mph in either 13.5 or 11.6 seconds, with top speeds of more than 100mph.

The 1.25-litre petrol engine develops an unchanged 83bhp and 121Nm of torque, and has fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 58.8mpg and 109g/km. This easy-going entry-level power unit is ideally suited to urban driving, but is far from out of its depth at highway speeds. It can accelerate from 0-60mph in 12.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 107mph.

The final option is a new-to-Rio multi-point injection petrol unit with a capacity of 1.4 litres and power and torque outputs of 98bhp and 133Nm. Economy is 56.5mpg, as with the 1.4 in the previous Rio, with unchanged CO2 emissions of 114g/km. The 0-60mph and top speed figures are 11.8 seconds and 108mph.

This engine is also available with a four-speed automatic gearbox for the convenience of drivers who spend most of their time in heavy traffic or who prefer an auto box. In this configuration, economy and CO2 emissions are improved to 46.3mpg and 140g/km (previously 44.8mpg and 147g/km), while the performance figures are 0-60mph in 13.4 seconds and a top speed of 103mph.

All manual versions of the new Rio have Kia's Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop-start system to eliminate tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption while stationary in traffic. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard with the lesser-powered T-GDi engine and the 1.25 unit, while all other manual models have six speeds.

Smoother, sharper, stronger and safer

The all-new Rio relies on a similar suspension system to its predecessor, with independent MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam axle at the rear, but there has been extensive work to enhance comfort and driver enjoyment.

Much of this is due to the stiffer body shell of the latest Rio, which is made of 51 per cent advanced high-strength steel compared with 33 per cent in the outgoing car. The stiffer the body shell, the less the suspension has to compensate for flexing under load. Advanced high-strength steels also contribute towards weight reduction, as vital sections of the body construction do not need to be as thick. Kia has a goal of reducing the average weight of car bodies by five per cent by 2020, based on 2014 figures.

The all-new Rio has more rigid front struts than its predecessor and a raised torsion beam to improve stability; revised springs and shock absorbers to improve compliance and comfort; vertical rear shock absorbers and front shock absorbers with advanced new valve technology for more consistent responses; and a repositioned power steering gearbox which results in improved feel when the steering wheel is in the straight-ahead position. The overall effect is more immediate handling responses and greater confidence for the driver.

A stiffer body shell also enhances crash safety by keeping the passenger cell intact in an accident while the front, rear and side crumple zones absorb impact energy. This is supported in the Rio by a raft of active safety and advanced driver assistance systems. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) mitigate against skids when cornering or accelerating on surfaces with uneven levels of grip, and all models apart from the entry-level grade have Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and a Lane Departure Warning system fitted as standard – this is an option on the all-new Rio ‘1’. Kia's Autonomous Emergency Braking system employs a long-range radar which detects other vehicles whilst a camera detects pedestrians ahead to help bring the Rio to a halt. The Lane Departure Warning system alerts the driver if the Rio is about to stray from its lane without the indicators having been activated.

A new feature – Straight Line Stability – senses any difference in applied brake pressure between the right and left of the car and intervenes to keep it straight. Another new feature is Cornering Brake Control, which delivers asymmetrical brake pressure when braking in tight curves to counter loss of traction. All versions of the all-new Rio also have Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) to prevent the car from rolling backwards when setting off on steep inclines.

The all-new Rio in the UK

The all-new Rio is available in four trim grades – badged ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’ for simplicity, in familiar Kia style – with a limited-run ‘First Edition’ model at the pinnacle of the range. All are extensively equipped, rising to truly luxurious for the upper two levels.

Even grade ‘1’ is fitted as standard with air conditioning, front electric windows with an automatic function on the driver's side, remote locking, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, a 3.8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, automatic light control, bi-function projection headlamps and cornering lights and LED daytime running lights. There are body-coloured bumpers, door mirror casings and door handles, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 60:40 split rear seats. A four-speaker audio system is standard and safety provisions include ESC, VSM and Hill-start Assist Control to prevent the car from rolling backwards when setting off on steep inclines.

Grade ‘2’ supplements all this with 15-inch alloy wheels in place of similar-sized steel wheels, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, electric windows at the rear as well as the front, electric folding mirrors with LED indicator lights, a DAB radio, a 5-inch colour display screen, a six-speaker audio system, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors, a 3.5-inch premium supervision cluster, rear as well as front USB charging ports, cruise control with a speed limiter and the Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning systems. There is chrome trim around the black radiator grille, premium black cloth upholstery and a centre storage box.

Additional features on grade ‘3’ include 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning with a defogging system, black faux leather upholstery, 7-inch touchscreen satellite navigation, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing front wipers, privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity and Bluetooth with voice recognition.

Finally, the ‘First Edition’ adds 17-inch alloys, a smart key entry system and engine start/stop button, stainless steel pedals, black and red faux leather upholstery and LED rear lights.

Warranty and Servicing

In common with all Kias, the Rio comes with the best warranty in the business ­­– a seven-year/100,000-mile declaration of faith in the reliability and quality of the car, covering all labour and parts except those subject to normal wear and tear. The warranty is transferable if the car is sold before the time/mileage limit expires.

The all-new Rio is also available with Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages for retail customers. These cover the cost of all routine servicing work for three or five years respectively and, like the warranty, can be passed on if the car is sold before they expire.

UK Rio line-up

Model
Power bhp
Torque Nm
0-60 sec
Max speed mph
Comb. mpg
CO2 g/km
‘1’ 1.25 5-speed manual ISG
83
121
12.5
107
58.8
109
‘1’ 1.4 CRDi 76bhp 6-speed manual ISG
76
240
13.5
102
80.7
92
‘2’ 1.25 5-speed manual ISG
83
121
12.5
107
58.8
109
‘2’ 1.4 6-speed manual ISG
98
133
11.8
108
56.5
114
‘2’ 1.4 4-speed automatic
98
133
13.4
103
46.3
140
‘2’ 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 5-speed manual ISG
99
171
10.3
115
62.8
102
‘2’ 1.4 CRDi 76bhp 6-speed manual ISG
76
240
13.5
102
80.7
92
‘3’ 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 6-speed manual ISG
99
171
10.3
115
62.8
102
‘3’ 1.4 CRDi 89bhp 6-speed manual ISG
89
240
11.6
108
74.3
98
‘First Edition’ 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 6-speed manual ISG
118
171
9.8
118
60.1
107

UK Rio prices

Grade
CO2
Basic
VAT (20%)
Retail
1st Year VED
FRF
Delivery
OTR £
'1' 1.25 83bhp 5-speed manual ISG
109
£9,454.17
£1,890.83
£11,345.00
£0
£55
£595
£11,995
'1' 1.4 CRDi 76bhp 6-speed manual ISG
92
£10,704.17
£2,140.83
£12,845.00
£0
£55
£595
£13,495
'2' 1.25 83bhp 5-speed manual ISG
109
£10,912.50
£2,182.50
£13,095.00
£0
£55
£595
£13,745
'2' 1.4 98bhp 6-speed manual ISG
114
£11,329.17
£2,265.83
£13,595.00
£0
£55
£595
£14,245
'2' 1.4 98bhp 4-speed automatic
140
£11,845.83
£2,369.17
£14,215.00
£130
£55
£595
£14,995
'2' 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 5-speed manual ISG
102
£11,579.17
£2,315.83
£13,895.00
£0
£55
£595
£14,545
'2' 1.4 CRDi 76bhp 6-speed manual ISG
92
£12,162.50
£2,432.50
£14,595.00
£0
£55
£595
£15,245
'3' 1.0 T-GDi 99bhp 5-speed manual ISG
102
£13,037.50
£2,607.50
£15,645.00
£0
£55
£595
£16,295
'3' 1.4 CRDi 89bhp 6-speed manual ISG
98
£13,829.17
£2,765.83
£16,595.00
£0
£55
£595
£17,245
'First Edition' 1.0 T-GDi 118bhp 6-speed manual ISG
107
£13,995.83
£2,799.17
£16,795.00
£0
£55
£595
£17,445
NOTES
Optional paint is chargeable at £250 including VAT
Premium paint is chargeable at £495 including VAT
Advanced Driving Assistance pack (ADAP) is a chargeable option at £350 (including VAT) for '1' grade. ADAP is standard on '2', '3' and 'First Edition'.