2017 Kia Rio S Road Test and Review…
The Kia Rio has made a real impact on the Australian light car market since it debuted back around the turn of the century.
Since then, each generation of the Kia Rio has been better than the last.
That trend carries over into this all-new fourth-generation Kia Rio launched recently into Australia.
This is no quick make-over, Kia has gone completely back to the drawing board with the Rio and it now rides on an entirely new platform.
That brings a now slightly larger Kia Rio all-round, including a slightly longer wheelbase.
The result is a larger cabin with more room for people and cargo alike.
While the styling, undoubtedly the best-looking Rio yet, was taken care of at the Kia global design centres in Germany and California.
Those internal measurements show leg and shoulder room has increased both front and rear, and head room will suit even the tallest of drivers/passengers.
While the extra space has also allowed Kia to up the size of the cabin storage bins.
The range of standard equipment is also pleasing, even in the base-model Rio S.
The Kia Australia team throwing in:
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Six-speaker stereo system
- Tilt & Reach Steering Adjustment
- Auto headlights
- Height adjustable driver’s seat
- Reverse Camera
- Rear Parking Sensors
Though you have to be happy with only steel wheels/plastic wheel covers in this grade, the alloys don’t get bolted on until you step up to the Si.
It’s also good to see the new Rio boast disc brakes at all four corners.
The Kia Rio S that I had access to was equipped with Kia’s four-speed auto transmission, a six-speed manual being the standard gearbox in only the base-model.
On the road, the 1.4 litre engine/auto transmission delivers what could be described as enough power for easy driving both in city traffic, and on the highway.
However, the performance is short of what the older-generation’s 1.6 litre engine used to bring to the table.
Still, this most likely won’t bother 90% of Rio buyers.
The suspension, tuned to Australian roads, is well balanced and provides good handling.
As with every small car with relatively small wheels, the ride can be a little harsh when traversing cracks, potholes, speed bumps and the like.
At this stage, there isn’t yet an ANCAP safety score for the new-gen Kia Rio.
Summing it up; in a fiercely competitive section of the market the Kia Rio provides a genuinely good alternative, and there’s no discounting the value of the brand’s now famous seven-year warranty.
Kia, and the Rio, have established a solid reputation in Australia over the last few years and this new model should only help further grow acceptance among the local motoring public.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Kia Rio S
Engine: 1.4 litre petrol producing 74kW and 133Nm
Transmission: Four-speed automatic or six-speed manual (S-grade only)
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Seven years
Origin: South Korea
Price: from $16,990 (manual) and $19,090 (Auto)