We recently spent some time with the latest addition to the Kia Rio Range, the 1,4 TEC six-speed automatic and were pleasantly surprised by the experience. This new transmission replaced the older four-speed self-shifter. This model is also the range-topper of the local Rio line-up.

Click here to read our recent Kia Sportage driving review.

Here are a few surprising facts about the Kia Rio 1,4 TEC automatic.

  1. As part of a recent upgrade, the top-of-the-range Kia Rio now features a six-speed automatic transmission. Adding two ratios to the auto option helps to reduce fuel consumption, increases open-road cruising refinement and makes the car more pleasant to drive in traffic.
  2. This budget hatch has a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment interface that incorporates a rear-view camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The latter two are still optional or paid-for, subscriber services on some premium brands. Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony is part of the package, too.
  3. The infotainment system can be controlled by steering wheel-mounted switches or voice recognition – cool.
  4. Another surprise item on the 1,4 Tec’s standard fitment list is a climate control system. Automated air-conditioning isn’t something you expect at this end of the market, let alone as a standard feature.
  5. Electric windows, electrically adjusted door mirrors, automatically activated headlamps, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and cruise control are all included in the list price.
  6. Interior trim, including the steering and gear-lever boot, is leather-covered for a premium feel.
  7. The test unit on loan to us had a sunroof, though that is the only item that isn’t standard on this trim level. It costs an additional R8 000, which we would probably avoid.
  8. Sporty looking 17-inch alloys are standard fitment.
  9. It comes standard with a five-year manufacturer warranty, five-years of roadside assistance coverage and a four-year/60 000 km service plan.

Price: R305 995

Engine: 1,4-litre, inline four

Transmission: six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive

Max power: 74 kW

Max torque: 135 N.m

Top speed: 175 km/h

0-100 km/h: 12,9 seconds

Fuel consumption: n/a