2019 Kia Rio GT-Line Review | Asian Car Guide
July 8, 2020

2019 Kia Rio GT-Line Review

2019 kia rio gt-line

Kia has been providing the world’s market with affordable and relatively well-built cars for as long as we can remember. Now the Korean manufacturer is back again with a facelift for one of their most popular models, Kia Rio.

Let’s face it, even the light car segment of today is way better than what we had a decade ago.

When someone is looking at the light car segment, it is quite obvious that they are on a budget. Which means an immaculately designed interior is not a priority.

Sure, if the car is able to offer continental interior excellence for around $20,000, it will be a car of the year in no time.

Unfortunately though, most light cars do not possess the build quality of higher end ones nor do they offer the same driving excellence and comfort. Those that do are few and far between.

At $21,990 drive away, the Kia GT-Line variant is exclusively available with 88kW of power and 172Nm of torque, 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission – a first for a Kia model sold in Australia.

The Rio GT-Line still maintains its compact dimensions – 1,450mm of height, 4,070mm of length, 1,725mm of width, and 2,580mm of wheelbase – but has been given a bold new face.

It joins other models from the Kia line-up that have been draped with a fresh new design language.

The most notable design change is the addition of the Schreyer grille (named after designer Peter Schreyer). The new front fascia gives the Rio a rather distinct look that is seriously sporty.

Settling into the driver’s seat, you immediately notice the cabin ambience spot on. It feels as sporty as it looks.

After making the proper adjustments, you’ll find that the instrument cluster and colour LCD screen for the driver both do exactly what the driver needs.

The dashboard design though is rather interesting with several curves integrated into it, forming graceful lines that are visually pleasing. Both smartphone connections were tested and found to work wonders – even better than some high-end cars.

Rear seats in the GT-Line provide adequate seating for three full-sized adults over short distances. For long journeys I would recommend two adults only.

Aside from those storage bins and a single 12-volt outlet, rear passengers do not have any air vents. I found the leg and head room excellent for a car this size.

Boot space in the GT-Line is adequate, additional space can be easily had by knocking the rear seats down.

Given the Rio GT-Line has been modified for Australian roads, upon acceleration, the 1.0-litre turbo car moves well. Thanks to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT), the Rio is able to get more of that power to the road.

The 0-100km/h sprint is achieved in 9 seconds.

Once up to speed, the ride in the Rio is not bad. As always, the locally tuned suspension system is excellent and works well on the open road. The ride can be a little stiff over uneven roads, but it soaks up everything else without too much trouble.

Safety is where the Kia scores large, thanks to the five Star ANCAP rating. The GT-Line has lane keep assist, which helps to correct the car when it moves out of its lane and also autonomous emergency braking (AEB).

The GT-Line does everything you expect of a modern car. It gets you to your destination in relative safety and comfort. On top of that, it gets you there cheaply as well.

It may be underpowered but it all makes sense when you take a look at the official consumption figures. At 5.4-litres/100km, the 1-litre engine does a good job of going the distance without hurting your hip pocket too much.

As with all Kia products, the MY19 Rio GT-Line is covered by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with seven years of capped-price servicing also included and roadside assistance.

Services are required once every 12 months/10,000km and average out to just over $484 per year over the seven years.

If you are looking for a car that does it all, the Kia Rio deserves some consideration.

2019 Kia Rio GT-Line Price and Specifications:

  • Price: $21,990 drive away
  • Engine: 998cc 1-litre three-cylinder petrol front wheel drive dual overhead cam
  • Power: 84kW at 6,300rpm
  • Torque: 172Nm at 1,500rpm
  • Transmission: seven-speed dual-clutch auto
  • Fuel: 5.4L/100km (ADR Combined)
  • Fuel tank: 45 litres
  • CO2: 125g/km (ADR Combined)
  • Safety Rating: Five-star ANCAP