Make / Model Search

Future models - Kia - Rio

K3 replaces Rio, but not for Oz

Kia’s new light sedan arrives, but this LHD-only model is not on the slate for Australia

11 Aug 2023

KIA has showed off its new K3 model at a world premiere in Mexico City this week, but the Rio replacement will not be making its way Down Under after it was confirmed only left-hand drive vehicles will be produced.


The K3 ushers in a sporty new design, modernised interior, fast-back body type and improved performance, confirmed for selected markets by the fourth quarter of this year. Pricing though, is yet to be provided.


Visually, the K3 looks every bit a Kia but does combine more aggressive styling with loads more tech which, for an entry-level vehicle, is sure to please customers on a budget.


The trademark ‘Tiger Nose’ grille is retained, but tweaked for a more dominant look, while an improved DRL pattern and larger air intakes round out the front end. The rear features a sloping roof and LED strip connecting the taillights.


Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy is aimed at combining technology and nature - a common theme amongst manufacturers – through the use of textures, colours and technology.


Inside, the K3 offers a lot more refinement than its predecessor, with EV6-inspired steering wheel, panoramic 10.25-inch infotainment screen and digital cluster, Type-C USB charging, and LED ambient lighting with up to 64 colour options.


While sporty in appearance the K3 is only offered with modest 1.6- or 2.0-litre petrol engines, both sub 150hp (112kW) units, but its saving grace is the option of a six-speed manual gearbox for those wanting more driver engagement.


The GT-Line range-topper, offered with the larger 2.0-litre engine, produces just 149hp (111kW) but in a small car with a manual ‘box, it’s likely still a fun run-around option.


The K3 includes six airbags and stability, although Kia’s advanced driver assistance system is an optional extra on lower trim grades, making it a fairly bare bones setup in standard guise.


“With the all-new K3, we are delivering design features and sophistication unprecedented in this class,” said Kia North America president and chief executive, Sean Yoon.


“The K3 is also proof of our commitment to offering mobility solutions perfectly designed to meet the needs of each market and is recognition of the enormous growth potential of the Mexican market.”


What does this mean for Rio-loving Aussies? Unfortunately, the model will be retired after 20 years leaving just the Cerato and Picanto within Kia’s local small car range.


Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Kia models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here