Recommended. Kia’s supermini is great value and well-equipped.
Kia’s got quite good at giving you more than you bargained for.
And, while their cars certainly aren’t cheap and cheerful anymore, they are certainly value-packed.
That’s what makes the Rio supermini an attractive option in one of the most competitive segments going.
How do you go about taking on the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Skoda Fabia and Volkswagen Polo?
You have to offer people more for their money to the point that they’re willing to give up the badges attached to the kings of the sector.
To that end, this fourth generation Rio is packed with standard kit.
Kia says that it’s more spacious and the driving experience has become more ‘grown-up’ thanks to new suspension and steering.
Base cars get air con, electric windows in the front, 3.8in display screen, Bluetooth, body-coloured bumpers and hill start assist among their kit.
Grade ‘2’ is probably the best compromise between spec and price, with 15in alloys, leather trim, electric windows all round, digital radio, reversing camera and rear parking sensors, front and rear USB ports, auto emergency braking and lane departure warning.
Keep going up the range and there are 16in alloys, auto air, heated front seats and the like.
Top end First Edition, which we drove, adds 17in alloys, stop-start button, faux leather upholstery and stainless steel pedals.
We drove the 1.0-litre petrol with 118bhp, which was lively enough, if a little sluggish at times, needing to be worked a bit more than we’d like.
That hits fuel consumption – we managed 35-45mpg in all conditions, including country roads, urban driving and the motorway cruise, compared to the official figures of 60. It’s clean, though, with CO2 at 107g/km.
We’d therefore advise steering clear of the 99bhp version.
There’s plenty of choice, with a 1.25MPi engine that has 83bhp and has similar economy figures, as well as a 1.4MPi which pretty much matches the lower-powered 1.0-litre.
For ultimate economy there’s the 1.4 diesel, which gets to 80mpg and emits just 92g/km of CO2.
It’s generally a good drive, with decent handling and ride quality, although it is a bit noisy on the motorway.
On the inside it’s pretty stylish and smart and there’s plenty of kit on board. As ever, the quality exceeds expectations.
The touch screen system is simple to use and has all of the functionality you’d expect these days.
The rear leg room is pretty reasonable and you get a decent boot.
There’s no denying the Rio is a very good car – it gives you more than you bargained for, as is Kia's way.
1. Good value.
3. Lots of engine choice.
We don't like:
1. Petrol engines lack power.
2. Nothing else
3. Nothing else.
Most fun: The 118bhp petrol is the perkiest.
Most sensible: The diesel gets to 80mpg.
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