2021 Kia Rio reviewed
If you are wanting a small hatchback with lots of equipment, style and low running costs then the Kia Rio is for you. Firstly, it's nothing like the budget offering of previous models - though they were pretty good for the money - and it does impress. But secondly, it's up against the likes of the more impressive Volkswagen Polo and the Vauxhall Corsa. However, it's a lot cheaper to buy and to run and comes with more equipment and an impressive seven-year warranty.
Trouble-free ownership for the Rio
That means the prospect of trouble-free ownership for the Rio really does make it a serious contender in the segment. Perhaps the only downside to what is a well-designed and well-made small car, is that the steering feels dull. The Vauxhall Corsa offers agility, the Polo offers a solid and rewarding drive, but the Kia Rio is a great alternative for those who want a practical workhorse.
Engines for the Rio
Owners have the choice of three engines for the Rio with the three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit delivering great performance around town and is a mild hybrid offering to help boost economy. The engine delivers either 99 bhp or 118 bhp and is also a smooth performer on motorway journeys. Fuel consumption for the engine is around 49mpg for the 99bhp version, the more powerful unit returns around 46mpg and emissions of 139g/km. There's also a 1.2-litre petrol engine producing 83bhp available too.
Kia is an increasingly popular brand in the UK
Since Kia is an increasingly popular brand in the UK, drivers like their comfort levels, interiors and levels of practicality. These well-made cars are also safe and have five stars awarded by Euro NCAP - though the full score was for those models with the advanced driving assistance pack. Safety features include electronic stability control, autonomous emergency braking, hill start assist and lane-departure warning. And, like many other rival carmakers, the Rio is now only available as a five-door model. The three-door version apparently didn't sell in huge numbers, but the practicality of having five doors makes it an attractive choice.
Rio's boot is one of the largest
Also, the Kia Rio's boot is one of the largest in the supermini class and there's plenty of room for adults in the cabin - though very tall adults may feel cramped in the rear seats. The interior is also a pleasant place to spend time with good use of materials and some hard-wearing plastics for families and the latest version has a much-improved dashboard design.
Opt for the Kia Rio 3 and the seven-inch infotainment display is responsive and easy-to-use. Everything feels spacious, visibility is good from the driving seat and the controls are within reach.
Equipment for the Kia Rio
Standard equipment for the Kia Rio includes front electric windows, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and a 3.8-inch display. With the Rio 2 trim, drivers get a wider choice of engines, alloy wheels, electric windows, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, a DAB radio and a five-inch touchscreen. There's also a reversing camera, an improved stereo, cruise control and rear parking sensors. That's a good offering for the money with the 3 trim featuring automatic air conditioning, larger alloy wheels, the seven-inch touchscreen with satnav, rain-sensing wipers, black faux-leather upholstery and smartphone connectivity. Kia also produced a First Edition that featured stylish alloy wheels, LED rear lights, stainless-steel pedals, keyless entry as well as black and red faux-leather upholstery. The GT-Line S has even more kit including front parking sensors and twin exhaust tips.
A lot to like about the Kia Rio
Essentially, there's a lot to like about the Kia Rio it is an attractive and well-made car and while it's not a class leader, it's certainly one to shortlist for those who won't be buying a supermini with their heart - and instead use their head for a practical and value for money choice. Head over to DesperateSeller.co.uk to check out the wide selection of used Kia Rio cars for sale we have available right now.
DesperateSeller.co.uk rating: 4/5.