2016 Kia Rio SLi review filed by Simon Lai.
Time for me to take my first look at Kia’s smallest offering, the Kia Rio. We start with the 2015 Kia Rio SLi which is the top of the 5-door Rio models and one of the latest additions to the lineup.
At $22,990 the SLi comes with reverse parking sensors, auto wipers, auto headlamps, DRLs, static cornering lamps, LED rear lamps, rear privacy glass, two tone leather trim seats, and 17” alloy wheels.
The range starts at $16,990 for the Rio S manual which also comes in a 3-door model with the S premium and Si making up the middle positions.
In tandem with the Si, the SLi also possesses a nicer interior trim with soft touch door panels, a light for the sun visor vanity mirror, a centre console storage bin and a sliding armrest.
The SLi is the only one that comes with reversing sensors and to my dismay none of the models in the range are fitted with a reversing camera.
Common to all variants are two front seat pockets, ISOFIX anchor points, and the My Music system allowing owners to upload their music library to a built-in harddrive.
Powering the Rio SLi is a 1.6L petrol engine and a six-speed automatic gearbox. Only capable of a top output of 103kW and 167Nm, don’t expect to do any rapid overtaking but it’s adequate for a car this size.
The ride is below par when compared to say, the Cerato, with suspension that is unforgiving requiring the driver to take it very easy over speed humps.
Steering too is tighter though smooth and the handling is still a plus point. These together with a great turning circle aid manoeuvrability.
To the interior and it’s a standard affair with Kia styling on the wheel, instrumentation and the centre dash.
The black plastic panelling is given a boost by the two tone seats, as mentioned, a surprise inclusion in this grade of vehicle which is an exclusive feature to the SLi.
This extends to the soft feel panels on the doors and was a real highlight for me giving it an air of class.
As there is no reversing camera, the tuner is straightforward with a small red LCD screen and large easy-to-use buttons.
I found the air conditioning controls also user friendly, great especially for older or less dextrous drivers with its oversized buttons that stick out away from the console.
Access to the boot is satisfactory, as in all hatches, which is of moderate capacity and has a deep recess.
And as always there’s a five-star ANCAP safety rating and Kia’s 7 year unlimited km warranty.
Overall, the 2016 Kia Rio SLi is an average car to get you from point to point. It’s not kitted out, or has the best ride or pickup but delivers most of what you’d expect from this size and price point.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Kia Rio SLi
Engine: 1.6L petrol producing 103kW and 167Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Warranty: 7 year unlimited
Safety: Five stars
Origin: South Korea
Price: From $22,990