2016 Kia Rio Sport review filed by Simon Lai.
It’s back into the Rio with the 2016 Kia Rio Sport, the second new offering in the range this year.
Aside from missing a couple of rear doors, the Sport is essentially the same as its counterpart both internally and externally.
Both possess the same 1.6L engine delivering 103kW and 167Nm so although the name may possess the Sport tag, it’s anything but sporty. You’re forced to really step on it to get any real purchase.
Oddly though, while on paper the Rio Sport and SLi have the same suspension system and 17” Continental tyres, I found the ride was an improvement in the Sport and not as harsh as the SLi.
Steering was on the wobbly side and less than direct which I wrestled with to keep tracking straight particularly at speed on the freeway. Having said that the leather wheel was nice to hold and was smooth and even to turn.
Disappointingly, the Rio seemed to a be a heavy drinker with the instruments showing 9.0L/100km in my normal week of driving.
So what are the differences?
Well, the sportiness is demonstrated in its appearance and this occurs mainly in the interior.
Borrowed from the SLi are auto headlamps, DRLs, static cornering lamps, LED rear lamps as well as soft touch door panels, illuminated sun visor mirror, centre console storage bin and a sliding armrest.
While all models in the lineup come with two front seat pockets, ISOFIX anchor points, and the My Music system which lets you upload tracks.
I don’t normally comment on colours, but this Digital Yellow, unique to the Sport, is rather fetching. Other options include Signal Red and Urban Blue premium paint.
Surprisingly the Sport doesn’t have climate control as in the SLi, relying on manual controls like in the other lesser variants. Nor does it possess reversing sensors or rain sensing wipers which makes its only appearance in the SLi.
Front legroom is actually quite generous considering but rather inadequate in the back although the seats are soft and comfortable.
The Rio Sport is one of those cars that makes me ask ‘why is this necessary?’.
But if you like the appeal of the Rio with a mildly sporty look and without the need for rear passenger access then there’s an option that has an attractive look and price.
The 2016 Kia Rio Sport is priced from $21,490.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Kia Rio Sport
Engine: 1.6L petrol producing 103kW and 167Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Warranty: 7 year unlimited
Safety: Five stars
Origin: South Korea
Price: From $21,490