Dave Conole road tests and reviews the 2015 Kia Rio S-Premium.
Kia Australia handed me the keys to a 2015 Kia Rio S-Premium, an offering that is only available in five-door hatch configuration and powered exclusively by the smaller of the two engines on offer in the Kia Rio – a 1.4 litre petrol.
The Kia Rio S-Premium is, of course, a base-model Kia Rio with some extra features tipped in to sweeten the deal. Prices here start from $17,690 for a Rio S-Premium with a six-speed manual, an auto version will cost an additional $2,100.
I had the auto version and noticed fairly quickly that the four-speed unit was a bit of a weak link.
Sure the engine produces only 79kW and 135Nm, yet the transmission seems to dull any real life that the engine has and thus acceleration, especially from a standing start, is anything but exciting.
Still, it’s hard to say that the Rio S-Premium doesn’t provide some fun, simply because it’s a car that needs to be driven.
Fuel consumption is pretty reasonable too, Kia claims the Rio S-Premium will use 5.7L/100km combined, I managed to use 6.9L/100km in my mix of city and highway driving.
Riding on 15” alloy wheels and with 65 Series tyres, the Kia Rio provides only adequate handling, but the ride is pleasant enough. The brakes however feel surprisingly competent.
Inside the Kia Rio S-Premium you will find an interior that is spacious enough, but anything but exciting or particularly interesting.
The seats are a bit flat and firm and the radio screen is old school, with red dot matrix lighting, sitting above simple air-con dials and controls. There are a few nice touches though, such as some alloy-look and piano black highlights and surrounds.
Unfortunately auto headlights and auto wipers don’t feature, though you do get tilt and reach steering adjustment, Bluetooth, six-speaker stereo with inbuilt flash drive and power mirrors and windows.
Boot space in the Kia Rio five-door hatch is always good, there’s 288 litres of space with the seats up and up to 923 litres when the back seat is laid flat.
Metallic paint, which is anything other than white, will cost you an additional $520.
Safety is well catered for with all grades of the Kia Rio in 2015 boasting a full five-star ANCAP safety rating, the Rio S-Premium also comes with Kia’s seven-year warranty and a five-star Green Star rating.
Summing it up; there’s no mistaking that the Kia Rio S-Premium is a budget-orientated offering and while it’s quite an attractive looking vehicle the cabin look and feel is a bit of a letdown.
The warranty, safety rating and fuel consumption all make it a worthwhile test drive, just don’t expect the combination of 1.4 litre engine and four-speed auto transmission to get your pulse racing!
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Kia Rio S-Premium
Engine: 1.4 litre petrol producing 79kW and 135Nm
Transmission: Four-speed automatic or six-speed manual
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Seven years
Origin: South Korea
Price: from $17,690