By: IOL Motoring Staff

Johannesburg - It’s so cliched that it’s kinda cute, as Kia SA introduces the first three-door Rio derivative on the South African market as a sporty, range-topping model with the slogan “Less is more”.

The Rio TEC three-door hatch loses two doors, but gains a sportier profile with long doors that open wide and front seatbacks that fold far forward for easy access to the back seats.

Trim spec is as per the four- and five-door TEC variants with leather seats, aircon, satellite controls on the steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port and accessories jack, and the same 17 inch alloys as its more family-orientated TEC siblings.

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Motorvation is courtesy of Kia’s familiar 1.4-litre Gamma petrol four, boasting continuously variable valve timing on both cams for rated outputs of 79kW at 6300 revs and 135Nm at 4200rpm. The standard six-speed manual ‘box is good for a 0-100 getaway in 11.5 seconds; a four-speed automatic transmission is an option.

Kia is known for keeping its pricing structure simple and straightforward. In this case four prices on five lines cover the entire 12-model Rio range (which is evidently being battered by the rand) - and there is just one entry on the options list. A sunroof is standard on the new 3-door, but is a R7000 option on the four- and five-door TEC models.

PRICES

1.2 (4dr, 5dr) - R203 995

1.4 (4dr, 5dr) - R228 995

1.4 AT (4dr, 5dr) - R241 995

1.4 TEC (3dr, 4dr, 5dr) - R241 995

1.4 TEC AT (3dr, 4dr, 5dr) - R254 995

All Rios are warranted for five years or 150 000km, and come with a four-year or 60 000km service plan.

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