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Future models - Kia - Rio - sedan

New York show: Kia Rio sedan not for Aus

Booted out: The sedan version of the Kia Rio light car will not be making its way into showrooms Down Under.

Kia unveils sedan version of Rio but it’s not on cards for Australia

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Kia logo13 Apr 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

KIA has ripped the covers from the sedan version of its fourth-generation Rio light car at this week’s New York show ahead of its launch alongside the hatch in the North American market later this year, but it will not be coming to Australian showrooms.

According to Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) general manager of media and corporate communications Kevin Hepworth, there are no plans at this stage to bring the booted version Down Under, with the Korean manufacturer sticking to the five-door hatch that landed locally in January.

At 4384mm, the sedan is longer than the hatch (4064mm) but features approximately the same interior room, with 2545 litres of cabin space in the sedan compared to 2562L in the hatch, while the booted version has less cargo space than the sedan.

American Rios – which are available in three levels of trim – are offered solely with the 1.6-litre GDI aspirated petrol engine that develops 97kW/161Nm mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

Australian customers are offered a 1.4-litre unit that makes 74kW/133Nm, and is mated to a six-speed manual in base-level S guise or an ageing four-speed automatic transmission.

Tech features include Bluetooth, six-speaker stereo and rearview camera, while the top-spec EX variant adds an infotainment system with 7.0-inch touchscreen display, voice recognition and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Safety equipment includes six airbags, electronic stability control, ABS, hill-start assist, and vehicle stability management.

Without the addition of the Rio, Australian light sedan offerings currently consist of the Honda City, segment-leading Hyundai Accent and the Mazda2.

Last year Kia sold 6054 examples of the hatch-only Rio, outselling rivals such as the Holden Barina (4166) and Ford Fiesta (2722) but well off the pace of segment leaders Hyundai Accent (18,703), Mazda2 (13,639) and Toyota Yaris (12,158).

Despite a refresh in January, sales of the Rio have slipped 34 per cent year-on-year with 1307 units sold in the first quarter of 2017.

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