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Sunraysia Daily Saturday, January 5, 2019
IA Rio is a small South Korean car
that has improved significantly in the
generations being reviewed here. In fact
it's up with the best in its class from the
2011 third-generation car onwards.
This is not only due to constantly improving
build quality, but also to the fact that
significant handling and suspension changes
were made to the Rio following extensive work
by Australian and South Korean engineers in
this important field.
Australians really do enjoy driving and pre-
purchase test drives often swing them to Kias
against others in the class.
Having said that, some less sporty drivers
may find the ride of a Rio a little firm on rough
roads. Try before you buy on some bumpy
roads of the type used in your daily driving.
After these above opening remarks it
probably doesn't surprise you when we say that
unless you're really tight on cash we suggest
going for the gen-three.
Second-hand Kias is comes with an excellent
new-car warranty. Five-years and unlimited
kilometres from February 2008 and seven years
with no distance limit from October 1, 2014.
This transfers to the new owner when the car
Kia's fourth-generation Rio arrived in January
2017 but is still relatively rare on the used-car
scene. It sits on a 10 mm longer wheelbase
and is 15 mm longer overall resulting in added
interior space and a larger boot. However, it
sits five mm lower. Ride and handling were
further revised, there's connectivity for Apple
CarPlay and Android Auto and it has added
Kia Rio comes as a four-door sedan or
five-door hatch. It has good interior space and
can seat four adults in reasonable comfort.
However, try the back seat for size if tall
travellers routinely use the fronts. In Australia
this Kia is more often used used by singles and
They use a 1.4- or 1.6-litre four-cylinder
naturally-aspirated petrol engine. Manuals
are six-speed units, automatics have four or
six forwards ratios depending on engine and
The experienced home mechanic can do
a fair bit on a Kia Rio. Underbonnet access
isn't too bad. Don't do any safety-related work
yourself, leave that to the professionals. Having
a workshop manual at your side makes a lot of
Insurance for the Kia Rio is usually towards
the lower end of the scale for cars in this class.
These days there isn't as much variation as
we saw in earlier Rio models. It pays to shop
around, but make sure you understand what
you get, and don't get, for your premium.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Though Kia Rio is a low-cost car it's worth
spending money on a professional inspection,
either from your local motoring association,
or a good mechanic with experience in the
Look at the interior and boot for signs of
general wear and tear. The back seat is often
the first to suffer if kids have knocked it about.
Poorly repaired crash damage will show as
paint which doesn't match from panel to panel;
a ripply finish in a panel; or tiny specks of paint
on non-painted parts.
The engine should start within a second or
so, even when it's cold. Within another few
seconds it should settle into a steady idle.
The engine should drop back to idle during
gear changes, if it doesn't so have it checked by
A manual gearbox should be moderately
light in its action and not crunch on any of
the downchanges, no matter how fast they
are made. The third-to-second gearchange is
usually the first to give trouble.
If the automatic transmission is slow at
going into Drive or Reverse from Park or
Neutral it may be due for a a service, possibly
even an overhaul if it has done a lot of work.
Expect to pay from $3000 to $5500 for a 2011
Kia Rio S; $6000 to $10,000 for a 2012 SLi;
$7000 to $11,000 for a 2017 S; $8000 to $12,000
for a 2015 Si; $9000 to $13,000 for a 2015 Sport;
$10,000 to $15,000 for a 2016 SLi; $11,000 to
$16,000 for a 2017 Si; $13,000 to $19,000 for a
2018 Si; and $14,000 to $20,000 for a 2018 SLi.
CAR BUYING TIP
Small cars that do a lot of work in the
suburbs may have a lot more wear and tear
than ones used the country. Don't make the
mistake of thinking that a low reading on the
distance meter is necessarily a good thing.
Kia Rio 2011 – 2017
2015 Kia Rio sedan
2012 Kia Rio sedan
2012 Kia Rio hatch
Used Car Review
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