Kia Rio: Which spec is best?

AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020

Kia introduced an all-new model of its Rio light hatch earlier this year bringing improved handling, an upgraded infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone paring, and more interior room including a 325-litre boot.

The Kia Rio range comes with one engine choice, the 74kW/133Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine – carried over from the previous model – that’s coupled to a four-speed automatic transmission with a six-speed manual version available with the entry-level Rio S (below).

Kia Rio




The Kia Rio comes with three model grades, the S, Si, and SLi.

The Rio S starts at a reasonable $16,990 (AUD) for the manual version with the automatic transmission attracting a $2100 premium. Standard equipment is pretty good for a sub-$20,000 light car and includes a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen with the aforementioned phone connectivity, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, front and rear USB ports, auto headlights, cloth seats, and hill start assist.

Upgrade to the Rio Si and get cruise control, in-built satellite navigation, 15-inch alloy wheels, and LED daytime running lights.

The range-topping Rio SLi (below) brings rain-sensing windscreen wipers, climate control air-conditioning, powered sunroof, faux leather seats, softer door armrests, 16-inch alloy wheels with wider, grippier tyres, and a bit more exterior bling.


Kia Rio interior


All Rio variants come with Kia’s seven-year warranty.

  • Rio S manual – $16,990 (AUD)
  • Rio S auto – $19,090 (AUD)
  • Rio Si auto – $21,490 (AUD)
  • Rio SLi auto – $22,990 (AUD)



Ria Rio Si


The Rio Si’s extra features justifies its premium over the Rio S auto, though it’s a shame there’s no manual version as the four-speed auto really doesn’t do much for the smallish engine. That said it’s a good little city runabout.