From £9,445
Ride on faster roads and indifferent interior trim quality the lowlights in an otherwise decent car. If priced right, and it probably will be, it’s worth a look.

Our Verdict

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
9 July 2005

Kia’s Rio was previously neither one thing or another: the size of a small family car, yet priced like a supermini, and pitched as neither. Which made it almost the same as the Cerato, in fact, and neither were very good.No such confusion with the new Rio; it’s a supermini, pure and simple. Granted, it’s wider and taller than the old model, and with a longer wheelbase too, but also 250mm shorter, at 3,990mm.That’s still big for the class, so the Rio still offers more room than most other superminis, and will inevitably be priced at less than most of them, true to Kia’s previous form - the automotive equivalent of Matalan or EasyJet: offering more for less. So that’s the positioning sorted. This time, is the car any good?Actually, it’s not bad. There are still too few soft-touch plastics inside, but the Rio’s cabin is neatly designed, functional and spacious. Adults fit easily in the back and the boot’s respectable, at 270-litres with the seats up (770 with them down).There’s a 1.4-litre, 96bhp petrol motor or a 1.5-litre, 108bhp turbodiesel, the latter being preferable from behind the wheel. It’s quiet at idle, has real urge from less than 2,000rpm and rarely becomes intrusive. The 1.4 requires more work, more often, and sounds strained at high revs.Dynamically it’s a mixed bag too. Noise is well suppressed and the ride compliant around town, It’s a real shame then that matters become comically unsettled on country roads; although we’re told the spring and damper rates may change before launch. Let’s hope so - they’re the weakest link in an otherwise decent package. 

Join the debate


12 November 2008

Earlier this year I purchased a new Kia Rio 1.4 Ice automatic.

Until now I have had no warranty issues and the car seemed pleasant and nice to drive, despite the rather disappointing fuel consumption.

Last week I noticed that the front offside tyre was completely bald on its inner rim.

I immediately brought this to the attention of my local Kia dealer from whom I had purchased the car and they booked the car in for inspection.

They did supply me with the loan of a nice Picanto courtesy car.

I naturally assumed that this work would have been covered by their guarantee, not to mention the cost of a new tyre, which is now illegal.

First I was told the wheel alignment was OK and the car would have to go the their Forres branch to have the camber checked.

When I went to pick up the car I was told the chamber was OK and the wheel alignment had to be adjusted as it was out on the O/S front wheel.

Imagine my surprise to find that they had swapped the bald tyre around with one on the back! and then informed me that this was not a warranty issue and I would have to pay for the work.

After some negotiation I agreed to pay a reduced fee and would bring the matter up with Kia the following day.

I phoned Kia who also informed me that it was not covered by their warranty.

I honestly feel I have been cheated, as I am a very careful driver and could not have induced this fault without the damaged being obvious on the tyre (pot hole strike etc)

I am writing this review to warn other prospective Kia customers to consider the value of their warranty.

I will update this review if I hear from Kia again.

2 February 2013

"Until now I have had no warranty issues and the car seemed pleasant and nice to drive, despite the rather disappointing fuel consumption."

I have heard the same thing was is making me very wary of buying one. I have been toying between the Hyundai i20 and the Kia Rio for the past 3months and even though i prefer the Rio considerably more in appearance, having spoken to both agents Ive ben told that the difference in fuel consumption is significant.

Kia Rio 1.4ltr gets 9ltr/100km compared to the Hyundai i20 1.4ltr getting 7ltr/100km. This has made me lean towards the i20. That's means you get an extra 100km per tank in the i20 (340km vs 440km).

I would be interested to know your experience on this.

18 November 2008

Further to the above I have today (18/11/08) received a phone call from Kia UK telling me that they will not honour this issue under warranty.

If poor geometry on a new car which causes tyres to go bald in 9000 miles is not a warranty issue, WHAT IS!!

I am posting this so other prospective Kia customers can make up their own minds as to the value of Kia's warrant.

Next time I shall stick to Citroen/Peugeot which I deeply regret not having done so 9 months ago.

18 November 2008

[quote capercaillie]

Further to the above I have today (18/11/08) received a phone call from Kia UK telling me that they will not honour this issue under warranty.

If poor geometry on a new car which causes tyres to go bald in 9000 miles is not a warranty issue, WHAT IS!!


There are two sides to this argument.

Unfortunately, things like geometry can't ever be covered. General wear and tear in 9000 miles can knock out the settings, especially if you hit a pot hole. Speed ramps / humps are another big cause of mis-aligned geometry. This doesn't mean that the car wasn't supplied like this, but it is incredibly hard for either party to prove where the cause lies.

The other side to this though, is that personal experience of Kia dealers has shown me they can be less than customer friendly. Certainly, as it is a labour only job, as a matter or good will they could have done this free of charge. This would hopefully retain your custom, which in times like these can be invaluable.

I think this is one of thoes cases that you have to put down to experience.



It's all about the twisties........

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