Kia Rio Tuning

Tuning the Kia Rio and best Rio performance parts.

We look at Rio tuning and report on the best modifications. Kia Rios have loads of potential and with carefully picked upgrades you can really increase your driving experience.

We have seen some awesome Rio tuning projects and there seems to be quite a loyal fan base of Rio owners. If you do your research then you can create an awesome Rio but don't be fooled there are lots of motorsport mods out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums


Improving the handling for people first priority in your Rio tuning project. Drop the car by as much as 35mm and fit modified stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the Rio with a nice fat peak torque band.

With our guides your Rio can make some decent track times and prove to be reliable daily run around.

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Power mods.

Typically these modified kits are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you start.

Getting the best uprated parts for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motor sport mods just won't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Stage 1 mods: Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm),Remap,Panel air filter,Lighter flywheel,Sports exhaust,Alloy wheels.

Stage 2 mods: Power clutch,Fast road cam,Ported and polished head,Fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,.

Stage 3 mods: Competition cam,Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger),Sports gearbox,Engine balancing,Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves).

Peak power is nice in motorsport but for a driveable and fun car you need a long torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

The point of our advice is to give a limited introduction of car tuning performance parts and point you in the right direction, our forum is the place to go for detailed advice and tips on your tuning project, the best modified modifications and all aspects of modding cars.

A fast road cam is generally one of the best NASP power modifications you can do from a single upgrade to your engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust durations and pushes up the power if done right.

Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a competition cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to look at the fuelling.

Most power losses, and erratic idling after tuning kits are done can usually be traced to timing or fuel delivery issues.

Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Induction kits only help to boost power if your air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO POWER GAIN AT ALL.

If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

For most Rio engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of supplying cold air.

Sports exhausts can help increase the flow of air through the engine. But if your exhaust is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of the flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

Getting a professionally flowed (ported and polished) head with larger valves can fully release the engines power.

In nearly all cases of Rio tuning your clutch will start to complain and this needs an upgrade - read our article on clutches for more information. NASP engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story.

Adding forced induction will see large power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are often easier to add than turbos. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with rpm.

The nice steady boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Alternatively you could fit water injection to reduce the risk of knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually less heavy than the steel ones. Large Rio alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Because of this aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the recommended OEM sizes. In all cases not going bigger than 16 inches.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Rio options in more detail with our Rio owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Kia tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below. We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.

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Your Constructive comments on this article

One Response to “Rio Tuning”

  1. Pamela Canel says:

    I would like to add horsepower to my 2008 Kia Rio Lx. I just moved to the country and these roads are a bit steep. What can I do to help this problem? I will also be adding a performance suspension, so part suggestions would be helpful as well. Thanks!

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