Review Of Kia Rio - Kia’s neighbouring Hyundai i20 competitor has recently had a date with the Botox department, so now it’s the Rio superminis turn, but this facelift is much more minimal. There have been some very subtle changes to the front and rear bumpers, not that it needed them, and it remains quite a stylish little car… okay, Simpsons yellow may not do it justice, but its design is certainly less conservative than something like the Volkswagen Polo. There have been some minimal changes to the trim levels in the Rio but they remain easy to understand with 1, 2, 3 and 4 notations. The key addition equipment wise is the seven-inch touchscreen sat-nav system, now standard on 3 and 4 models – which brings me to this radio display. If you don’t have the touchscreen system then you are left with this, outdated radio, which really kills the interior design. It’s a shame as Kia has added some plusher materials to the dash. But the materials on the doors, although they look the same as the dash *Knock on door* (try scratch shot as well) are nowhere near as soft to the touch. Regardless of all this, standard kit across all models is impressive in the Rio, with all models getting DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, front electric windows and daytime running lights. But air-con is reserved as a premium for the slightly pricier 1 Air model. The Rio’s legroom for rear passengers is great, verging more on family hatchback standards, and headroom is fair as well. We’d suggest going for the five-door when it comes to practicality – and speaking of practicality the Rio’s boot is on par with the usual suspects like the Ford Fiesta, with 288 litres.
Storage space can be enhanced by folding the seats down, but you are met with two pretty awkward lips here and here. The engine line-up remains very simple, with two petrol’s and two diesels. There is a 107bhp 1.4-litre petrol available but most will go for the lower-powered 84bhp 1.25-litre unit, which is what we’re driving. This has fair fuel economy and will realistically return around 45 to 50mpg – but it does feel very lethargic when it comes to its power and you have to really rev it out it get any oomph out of it – and that results to in lots of engine noise in the cabin. The 1.1 and 1.4-litre diesels available aren’t much punchier either – but they are more efficient, with the 74bhp 1.1-litre diesel emitting just 85g/km of CO2 and Kia claims you can achieve up to 88mpg. The steering is clearly city-orientated in the Rio as it is very light and is limited when it comes to feedback.
The suspension is just on the right side of supple though, so if you do encounter any uneven roads, it will serve you well. The light feel of the steering is the same with the instruments, like the toggles for the indicators and lights, and the same goes for the gearbox as well. In fact the gearbox can feel quite sloppy at first, especially if you are not used to driving Kia’s, as it is nowhere near as direct as something like a VW or Mazda – but you do get used to its light feel after a few hours. The hard to judge clutch takes a bit of getting used to as well. At just over £10,000, the Rio costs the same as the Ford Fiesta and manages to undercut more premium models like the VW Polo by around £1,000. And you can actually save around £1,500 on the Rio if you visit the Dealer. But aside to the price, let’s not forget about Kia’s seven year, 100,000 mile warranty. On the whole the Rio’s not ground breaking but it certainly matches the benchmark standards of the supermini segment and for that reason it remains a key alternative to the likes of the Ford Fiesta. Thanks for visit Review Of Kia Rio.