New 2017 Kia Rio: full prices and specs revealed
Kia has lofty ambitions for its new supermini, on sale now in the UK. We've got all the prices and engine details right here.
On sale from today, the new Rio starts at £11,995 – a minor price rise over the starting price of the old model – and the new model introduces fresh engines, design and technology in an attempt to muscle in on the lucrative supermini market sector.
Entry-level Grade 1 cars get air conditioning and front electric windows as standard, plus a 3.8-inch display screen, Bluetooth and daytime LED running lights. Hill-start assist is bundled in as well.
Grade 2 cars are priced from £13,745, including 15-inch alloy wheels, electric windows all round plus a 5-inch colour infotainment display. It complements the reversing camera, which itself is bundled with rear parking sensors. A leather trimmed steering wheel and gearstick spice up the cabin, while more assists such as Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning are included.
Starting from £16,295, range topping Grade 3 Rios 16-inch wheels, a 7-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, sat-nav, Bluetooth and voice recognition, plus rain sensing wipers. In the cabin, automatic air conditioning makes the cut, alongside black faux leather upholstery and heated front seats. At launch a First Edition model is on sale too, with 17-inch wheels, smart key entry with a start/stop button, more interior styling features and LED taillights, from £17,455.
Those angling for a diesel can pick up the 76bhp 1.4-litre CRDi in Grade 1 trim, priced from £13,495.
New Kia Rio Design
The overall design isn’t a radical departure from the look of the outgoing Rio, but the new model has visibly smoother surfaces and sharper details. Kia’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille is thinner and shorter, and flanked by a set of reshaped headlights, which also feature a new U-shaped LED lighting signature.
Changes are less evident around the back, but new rear lights feature an arrow-shaped LED light signature. The rear overhang is also shorter, while the more upright rear windscreen gives an increased sense of size. The new Rio won't be available as a three-door model either - a more practical five-door is the only option.
Kia Europe design chief Gregory Guillaume said: “It has reached a point where it can be a bit more mature in the impression it gives. The previous Rio was trying to grab your attention. Now the car is more self-confident in its proportions.”
New Kia Rio engine range
In terms of engines, the highlight of the new Rio range is Kia’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol turbo, which made its debut in the Cee’d.
The T-GDI unit is available in two states of tune - 99bhp and 118bhp – with both delivering 172Nm of torque. Kia quotes 68.2mpg for the 99bhp unit, with 102g/km CO2. The more powerful 118bhp powerplant is only available on the First Edition version of the car for now, and gets 60.1mpg with 107g/km CO2.
Two other petrols will be offered - 1.25 and 1.4-litre naturally aspirated MPI units. The former produces 83bhp and 122Nm of torque; the latter 99bhp and 132Nm. 58.8mpg and 109g/km CO2 is quoted for the 1.25, while the 1.4-litre is the lease efficient choice in the range, delivering 56.5mpg and 114g/km with a manual gearbox - the 4-speed automatic it's offered with gets official scores of 46.3mph and 140g/km CO2.
Those in the market for a diesel can opt for a 1.4-litre unit, which comes with either 76bhp or 89bhp. Unsurprisingly these are the cleanest, with 80.7mpg and 92g/km CO2 claimed for the 76bhp version, alongside 74.3mpg and 98g/km CO2 for the more powerful 89bhp unit.
The drive is said to be much improved too, with a stiffer body shell and more compliant suspension likely to deliver more engaging handling. Insiders say the Ford Fiesta has been benchmarked for handling in the development process, while the Volkswagen Polo was benchmarked for comfort.
Michael Cole, chief operating officer of Kia Europe, acknowledged improving the drive was a key priority. He told Auto Express: “We are a good benchmark on design and a pretty good benchmark on quality. Where we are probably not seen in the industry as a benchmark is in the driving experience. So yes it is an area where we want to be number one.”
Kia Rio dimensions and practicality
Kia is also making some bold claims regarding the new car’s practicality. The rear seats are said to be the most spacious in the class – and when we tried them out, there was certainly adequate room for a six-footer. With a wheelbase that is 10mm longer than its predecessor’s and a body that is 15mm longer, there is more space all round, with legroom increased in the front and rear. Boot space is 325 litres – greater than the Ford Fiesta (290 litres) and VW Polo (280), but behind the Skoda Fabia (330).
Kia Rio technology and safety kit
Kia has made safety a focus of the new Rio, with a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating in the company’s sights. It will be aided in its quest by the fitting of an Autonomous Emergency Braking system with pedestrian recognition – a first for a supermini, though it doesn't come as standard on entry level cars. The system uses radar to detect potential collisions with pedestrians and bring the car to a halt. A Lane Departure Warning System is also fitted.
The Rio’s tech package includes both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with a ‘floating’ five-inch touchscreen at the centre of its infotainment system. And buyers will have the option of specifying Kia’s latest nav system, Connected Services, which is powered by TomTom and includes live traffic updates and speed camera alerts. A six-speaker audio system and USB ports front and rear are also fitted.
There’s a noticeable step up in quality inside, too with a cleaner design and better build quality than in the current car. Interior upholstery offerings will comprise black or grey cloth, black or grey artificial leather and a ‘Red Pack’ which features black and red artificial leather seats.
The model is hugely important for Kia as the company’s global best seller - more than 473,000 found homes across the world in 2015.
However, those hoping for a hot GT model may well have their hopes dashed. Michael Cole told us: ““It’s not in the plans right now. What we are likely to see would be something like a GT-Line, with the styling of a GT. That’s not confirmed but it is a likely step. After that we might consider it, but at this stage we have no plans.”
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