Can a Kia Rio Tow a Travel Trailer or Popup Camper?

The Kia Rio has a unbraked towing capacity of 900 pounds but note that it is not designed to tow.  It would not be able to comfortably tow an average teardrop trailer as it usually weighs less than 2000 lbs.

Kia Rio Engine

The Kia Rio initially had a 1.6 L Gamma GDi engine, an in-line four-cylinder gasoline direct injection engine with Dual-Continuous Variable Valve Timing. This initial engine was able to give a power output of 130 hp at 6300 rpm and a torque of 123 lb-ft at 4850 rpm.

However, the 1.6 L Gamma GDi was replaced by the 1.6 L Gamma MPi I4 which is a multiport injection engine. This new engine improved the EPA fuel economy at the expense of the power output of the vehicle as it dropped from 130 hp to 122 hp. The Gamma MPi generates 122 hp at 6000 rpm and 115 lb-ft of torque at 4200 rpm. This would be considered a downgrade in terms of towing as power output is a factor in how well a vehicle can tow loads.

Should you tow with the RIO?

Although the Kia Rio is capable of towing up to 1000 pounds, it is not recommended. Since Rio’s stock model lacks towing aids, towing can be accomplished by installing a third-party towing kit; however, this is not recommended because the Rio was not designed with towing in mind.

With the Rio, you might get away with occasional towing, but towing with the Rio can cause constant wear and tear on the transmission, ultimately resulting in transmission failure because towing heavy loads is extremely taxing on the transmission. Another reason to stop towing on the Rio is that the frame, like the engine, is fragile and is not designed to endure the stresses of continuous towing, which would cause permanent damage to the vehicle’s frame.

The Kia Rio is a subcompact car build by the South Korean Manufacturer, Kia. The Kia Rio is available as a four-door sedan as well as a five-door hatchback. Introduced in 1999, The Kia Rio entered its fourth generation in the 2017 model year when it was first unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

While the Rio can tow unbraked loads, it is not recommended because it places additional stress on the brake pads, causing them to wear out faster than usual.

The Kia Rio will tow up to 2200 pounds of cargo but is not made to tow. However, just because a vehicle can tow up to doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do so.

Since the Rio was not built with towing in mind, it should be approached with caution. Frequent towing can be damaging to the transmission and the frame of the vehicle over time.