New auto perks up Kia Rio's performance

Six-speeder is smoother, and also results in faster acceleration and top speed

13 December 2018 - 15:25 By Motoring Reporter
Geared up for better performance, the new six-speed Kia Rio 1.4.
Geared up for better performance, the new six-speed Kia Rio 1.4.

Kia Motors South Africa has introduced a new six-speed automatic transmission to its Rio compact hatchback range, replacing the four-speed auto that has served in the fourth-generation Kia Rio range since its local introduction in June 2017.

According to Kia the new transmission results in a smoother driving experience with increased performance. Mated to a 1,4-litre petrol engine with 74 kW at 6,300 r/min and 135 Nm at 4,200 r/min, the new transmission is good for acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h in 12.9 seconds, a claimed 0.3 second improvement from the four-speeder.

Maximum speed increases from 166 km/h to 175 km/h.

Three specification options in the 1.4 line-up, namely the mid-spec LX, a mid-high spec EX and the high-spec TEC, remain unchanged. The 1.4 range offers standard features such as LED daytime running lights, air-conditioning, electric windows, central locking, and an audio system with steering wheel-mounted remote audio controls and a rear USB charging port.

The infotainment in the higher two models includes a 7-inch touchscreen system with radio and MP3, auxiliary and USB connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The range-topping Rio TEC in addition has 17-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, as well as cruise control, an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, alloy pedals and leather upholstery.


The Rio range is priced as follows:

Rio 1.2 LS 5-speed manual                     R 230,995

Rio 1.4 LX 6-speed manual                     R 247,995

Rio 1.4 LX 6-speed automatic              R 264,995

Rio 1.4 EX 6-speed manual                     R 261,995

Rio 1.4 EX 6-speed automatic              R 278,995

Rio 1.4 TEC 6-speed manual                   R 288,995

Rio 1.4 TEC 6-speed automatic             R 305,995

An optional sunroof is available for Rio TEC models for an additional R8,000.

All Rios come standard with Kia’s 5-year/unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assistance. The Rio 1.2 has a 2-year/30,000km service plan and the 1.4 models have a 4-year/60,000km Service Plan.