Kia Rio

The all new Rio is a five door hatchback that has a similar face with piercing headlights flanks the ‘tiger nose’ grille – now finished in glossy black plastic. The new Rio’s body now takes a more conventional hatchback shape compared to the last car’s quirkier outline, and to our eyes it’s pleasing but doesn’t stand out much. It’s a delightful little car that is more spacious than its rivals the Ford Fiesta, the Vauxhall Corsa and the Volkswagen Polo. The Rio is well built, extremely comfortable and is generally hard to fault.  It’s easy to drive thanks to light controls and it’s easy to put the car where you want it. The Rio’s boot is 13 per cent larger than the one in the outgoing model – for a total of 325 litres. This compares favourably to the Polo and Fiesta’s 280 and 276-litre boots respectively.


Equipment is fairly generous and simply divided across four trim ranges – dubbed 1, 2, 3 and GT Line. All models get air conditioning, front electric windows, Bluetooth connectivity and LED daytime running lights. ‘2’-grade cars get alloy wheels, DAB digital radio, a seven inch infotainment screen, reversing camera and rear parking sensors. ‘3’ adds luxuries such as faux-leather upholstery, a sat nav with a touchscreen  infotainment system with Apple Carplay/Android Auto, heated seats, heated steering wheel and cruise control. GT-Line is the Sporty model with sports seats, LED Front & Rear Fog Lights, 17 inch alloy wheels, aluminium pedals, reversing camera and privacy glass. GT-Line S trim adds automatic air conditioning, rain sensing front wipers, heated front seats/steering wheel and blind spot detection.


The Rio comes with a choice of basic engines – 1.25 and 1.4-litre non-turbo petrols in entry-level models and a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol in 99 and 118hp guises. All are equipped with five or six-speed manual gearboxes while the 1.4-litre petrol can also be fitted with a four-speed automatic. The 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine is commendable, with better responses and a more satisfying noise than the equivalent fitted to Ford models. Equally, while the build quality is as high as ever, the material quality has been lifted to the top end of the class – an improvement desperately needed over the grey predecessor. Automatic Cars start  £449 for the 1.0 litre with 118bhp in GT Line.

Autumn Best Buy – Kia Rio ‘2’ 1.0 T-GDi 99 bhp 5-speed manual – Nil Advance Payment  (£63.28 wpms)

Tags: ,