From £9,445
Improved suspension and keen pricing (especially the diesel) complete the rosy Rio picture.

Our Verdict

Kia Rio
Kia's star is raising, can its new supermini continue that trend?

The Kia Rio offers appealing style and tangible quality as well as typical Kia brand value

  • First Drive

    2015 Kia Rio 2 1.4 review

    Facelifted Kia supermini is wholly competent, but look elsewhere in this competitive class for a more inspiring drive
  • First Drive

    Kia Rio 1.1D 1

    Three-pot diesel Rio is the lowest producer of carbon dioxide this side of a zero emissions electric car

We've sampled Kia’s new hatch before, but this is our first taste of the car on UK roads and, more importantly, with European specification suspension.
The pre-production cars we experienced last month in France were fitted with suspension set for Korean roads where potholes are like craters. The resulting soft suspension and under-damping left the Rio unsettled at speed; a weakness in what is otherwise a surprisingly good car.
In tuning the car for European roads Kia’s engineers have stiffened the springs and upped the damping rates to the extend that at times the Rio borders on the firm. It stops short of uncomfortable, however, and demonstrates the composure needed to keep the body under control over more undulating roads.
As well as tweaking the suspension, Kia has finalised UK pricing. With only two engine variants and two spec levels it was always going to be simple, but Kia has gone a step further and priced both the diesel and petrol versions identically. So whichever engine you opt for – and we’d recommend the diesel – prices start at £7995 for the GS and rise a grand for the better-equipped LX. Both models get air-conditioning, a CD player and two airbags, but the LX also gets larger wheels, side and curtain airbags and a smarter interior.
With the ride quality sorted, the Kia makes for an attractive budget alternative. Kia may still be marketing the Rio on price, but don’t confuse this with a compromised product. The Rio offers a balanced chassis, strong engine, useable space, and a cleanly designed interior at an affordable price. In short, excellent value for money.
Jamie Corstorphine

Join the debate


27 March 2008

I have one Rio diesel for 10 months,clocked 13000miles (in Belgrade,Serbia) ,and I am very pleased with it.It is fast ( 115mph gps navigation speed on autobahn ),and it is very economical.In city trafic about 6.5L diesel on 60 miles.

I did not have any problems with it,and it is fun to drive.It is faster than what people would think it is.good value for money.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run