In terms of the market, the Kia Rio is a funny one to pigeonhole. It’s got five doors, and five seats plus generous storage space.
It looks fairly small but it’s larger than a supermini such as the Fiesta, and not quite a hatchback in the Ford Focus mould. However, you can pick one up for Ford Ka prices.
Engine-wise, the 1.4 petrol unit has easily enough grunt and overall power to haul the diminutive Rio around, generally through a five-speed manual gearbox but with the option of an automatic gearbox.
Another option is a strong diesel engine, with plenty of low-down torque. Both return over 45mpg combined, with the diesel offering over 62mpg and emitting under 120g/km.
On the road the Rio will handle most everyday road surfaces it encounters, while the engine is relatively quiet and a decent cruiser.
Mostly, the Rio makes sense nipping around town. It’s small and nimble and easy to park.
There’s more room inside than you might expect, with five doors for easier access, and enough space to fit four comfortably – five, conceivably – plus rear seats split and fold to allow an impressive 1145 litres of storage space.
One of the undoubted strengths of the Kia Rio is in its asking prices and running costs. The diesel model will make particularly good sense, and there will be ongoing benefits in the form of VED, insurance and fuel costs.
Remember that seven-year warranty – proof that Kia believes in its product range. And the Rio is well put-together. It’s not flash, but it looks and feels durable. Look after it, and it’ll last for years.
There’s also a decent standard specification, including 12V power jack, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, USB and auxiliary socket, CD with MP3 player, ABS braking with EBD and two airbags.
Go up a grade and you get side and curtain airbags, remote central locking and a perimeter alarm. Safety-wide, all Rios benefit from a four-star Euro NCAP rating for adult occupant protection.
So, this is a car that’s not setting the world on fire. But it can offer virtually unbeatable value for a good-sized car that won’t let you down, and will run cheaply too.
If you’re in the market for a runabout, a second car, a first car or a city car – consider the Kia Rio. It makes too much financial sense not to.