The Kia Rio is a light car segment stalwart in Australia, but it will soon be retiring locally.

    “The next (7th) generation Rio will not be produced in [right-hand drive],” Kia Australia today said in a statement, after reports confirmed the current car would not be replaced in the UK and mainland Europe.

    “The award-winning Rio has been a tremendous car for Kia in the Australian market with 162,494 sold since its debut in mid-2000.”

    “While the Rio nameplate will not continue locally, Kia does continue to offer its popular Picanto and Cerato ranges, with new models across various segments currently under study for our market.”

    There’s no firm end date for the Korean-produced Rio, though it’s likely the all-new model will be revealed at some point later this year, given the current iteration first went into production late in 2016.

    Despite still being a solid seller, the Rio has fallen behind various light-segment competitors of late.

    In 2022 the Rio returned 4576 registrations in Australia, down 18.9 per cent on 2021’s 5644 units. Further, it was outpaced by the MG 3 (16,168), the now-defunct Suzuki Baleno (6124), and Mazda 2 (5146).

    We’ve started to see other manufacturers pull out of this segment both locally and abroad, with the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz and Hyundai i20 no longer offered.

    Only the i20 N is currently on sale now the Fiesta ST has been axed, although strong demand has forced Hyundai to pause ordering.

    The Rio isn’t even sold in Korea anymore, though in fairness neither is the related Stonic crossover which also bridges the gap between the Picanto (Morning) and Cerato (K3) in size.

    According to British reports, the Stonic will continue on as a stand-in for the Rio as well as competing in the sub-compact crossover class. We expect the same for Australia for the foreseeable future.

    As for the “new models across various segments currently under study for our market”, it’s unclear whether Kia plans to replace the Rio directly as part of these future product evaluations.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

    MORE: Everything Kia Rio

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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