2021 Kia Rio price and specs: new SX trim joins range

The Rio is Kia's entry into the shrinking light car segment, with prices starting from $19,090 before on-road costs.

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William Stopford
William Stopford
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The 2021 Kia Rio range has grown to include a new SX variant, which adds some luxury niceties to the base S trim.

Rio prices range from $19,090 before on-road costs for the S manual to $24,990 before on-roads for the GT-Line auto.

Kia offers nationwide drive-away offers, however.

UPDATE, 3/6/2021 A new SX variant has joined the range, while the rest of the range received a $500 price increase earlier this year. We’ve updated this article and brought it forward.

The company added a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for 2021.

The Sport has also picked up autonomous emergency braking and lane-keeping assist, previously exclusive to the flagship GT-Line.

The new SX grade doesn’t include these additional safety features.

Based on the entry-level S, it adds features like leatherette trim for the steering wheel, shifter and seats, as well as a sunroof, privacy glass and cruise control.

A full list of features for each grade is located further down in this article.

Though a Rio sedan was available in the past and is sold in other markets, the current, fourth generation is sold only as a hatchback in Australia and battles rivals such as the Mazda 2, MG 3, Suzuki Swift and Toyota Yaris.

Pricing

  • 2021 Kia Rio S manual: $19,090
  • 2021 Kia Rio SX manual: $20,090
  • 2021 Kia Rio Sport manual: $20,590
  • 2021 Kia Rio S auto: $21,390
  • 2021 Kia Rio SX auto: $22,390
  • 2021 Kia Rio Sport auto: $22,890
  • 2021 Kia Rio GT-Line auto: $24,990

All prices exclude on-road costs.

Kia is currently offering the following nationwide drive-away pricing:

  • 2021 Kia Rio S manual: $20,490
  • 2021 Kia Rio S auto: $21,490
  • 2021 Kia Rio SX manual: $21,990
  • 2021 Kia Rio Sport manual: $22,490
  • 2021 Kia Rio SX auto: $22,990
  • 2021 Kia Rio Sport auto: $23,490
  • 2021 Kia Rio GT-Line auto: $25,990

Engines

The 2021 Kia Rio range comes with a choice of two engines.

The S, SX and Sport use a naturally-aspirated 1.4-litre four-cylinder with 74kW of power and 133Nm of torque, mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

The range-topping Rio GT-Line has a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with 74kW and 172Nm. It’s mated exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Fuel Economy

The 2021 Kia Rio consumes 5.6L/100km on the combined cycle when equipped with the six manual transmission and 6.0L/100km with the automatic.

The punchiest powertrain is also the thriftiest. The range-topping Rio GT-Line has a combined fuel economy rating of 5.3L/100km.

All models have a 45L fuel tank and run on 91RON regular unleaded fuel.

Dimensions

The 2021 Kia Rio measures 4065mm long (4070mm in the GT-Line), 1450mm tall and 1725mm wide on a 2580mm long wheelbase.

The Kia Rio’s total luggage space is 325L or 980L with the rear seats folded.

Servicing

All 2021 Kia Rio models with the 1.4-litre require servicing every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first. The Rio GT-Line requires servicing every 10,000km.

Kia offers seven years of capped-price servicing. The GT-Line has an average service cost of $471 over seven years, while all other Rios have an average cost of $421.

Safety

When the Kia Rio was tested by ANCAP in 2017, it received a rating of five stars. That was based on a frontal offset crash rating of 14.52 out of 16 and a side impact score of 16 out of 16, while whiplash and pedestrian protection were rated Good and Acceptable, respectively.

All 2021 Kia Rio models come standard with anti-lock brakes and front, front side, and curtain airbags.

Sport and GT-Line models add autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, as well as lane-keeping assist and driver attention monitoring.

Features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert can be found on Rios in other markets but aren’t available here.

Standard Equipment

The base Rio S comes with the following standard features:

  • 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Reversing camera with rear parking sensors
  • Automatic headlights
  • Power windows
  • Tilt and telescopic adjustable steering column
  • 15-inch steel wheels

The Rio SX adds the following over the S:

  • Cruise control
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Heated, power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Premium shift knob and steering wheel
  • Leatherette upholstery
  • Sunroof
  • Privacy glass
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors

The Rio Sport adds the following over the S:

  • Cruise control
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Heated, power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Premium shift knob and steering wheel
  • 4.2-inch instrument cluster display
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Lane-keeping assist

The range-topping GT-Line replaces the 1.4-litre four with a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine and adds:

  • Single-zone climate control
  • Automatic stop/start
  • LED daytime running lights and front fog lights
  • GT-Line exterior package with body kit, rear diffuser and dual exhaust outlets
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Flat-bottomed sports steering wheel
  • Rain-sensing wipers

MORE: Kia Rio news and reviews

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William Stopford
William Stopford
William Stopford is a Journalist at CarExpert.
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