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The Rio was stretched by 10mm in the wheelbase and by 15mm in overall length in its transition from third- to fourth-generation version.

You might not imagine you’d notice that kind of difference, but combine it with a longer bonnet and front overhang, a shorter rear overhang, a roof that has been lowered by 5mm and a C-pillar that’s much slimmer and more upright than it was, and it begins to explain why the new car appears so markedly changed when compared with the old model.

It’s rare to find such a big fuel tank in a car as small as this: 45 litres, up from 43. That gives the potential for more than 500 miles on a tank.

The Rio not only has a better stance but also just a suggestion of visual sophistication and maturity about it than the cutsie-looking, big-featured third-generation car had.

It may be a touch less characterful, but it certainly looks serious about its assault on Europe. It also looks more like a car deserving of having what you might consider a 'proper' amount of money spent on it, which is handy; because proper money is what Kia is asking, albeit it's giving plenty for it.

Under its skin, the Rio remains a conventionally constructed supermini with a steel body, a front-mounted engine, an in-line gearbox, driven front wheels, a MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam at the rear.

The car’s structure has been stiffened as well as enlarged and it now consists of 51 percent high-strength steel (up from 33 percent in the last version).

Kia claims this delivers better refinement and handling and improved crash performance; a statement confirmed to an extent when EuroNCAP crash-tested the pre-facelifted car in 2017, giving the one fitted with Kia's optional safety pack a five-star full-house endorsement, but only giving the standard version three stars.

The car's structure seems to make for no significant weight saving; we weighed an upper-mid-spec, 1.0-litre version of the 2017 car at 1228kg, before Kia put any electrification gubbins onto ti. That figure would have been pretty typical of an equivalent 1.2- or 1.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol version of the previous-generation Rio.

There are now effectively three petrol engines to choose from in the Rio. The entry-level 1.2-litre petrol produces 83bhp while the 1.0-litre turbos make either 99- or 118bhp; and plumping for one of the latter gets you six speeds in your manual gearbox instead of five - assuming you wouldn't prefer a seven-speed twin-clutch auto. All 118bhp versions of the car come with mild-hybrisation, even the six-speed manual (which now has intelligent 'by-wire' clutch actuation for automatic coasting).

No Rio offers a spare wheel; a fact that helps make way for the hybrid's lithium ion drive battery and power inverter which are packaged and carried, in a roughly briefcase-sized box, where the spare wheel might otherwise be under the boot floor.