Too expensive, and doesn’t live up to the sport moniker

What is it?

This is the misleadingly titled Kia Rio Sport, the new range-topping version of Kia’s B-segment hatchback, which gets a 111bhp 1.6-litre engine taken from the Cerato – a long-since forgotten small saloon.

What’s it like?

Trying to pass off the Rio as sporting is something akin to entering Monty Python’s Mr Creosote for the Olympic gymnastics.

In truth, the Rio Sport’s greatest sin is the engine noise, which reverberates around the cabin at any speed and gets particularly wearing under heavy load or on the motorway.

The 1.6-litre engine is powerful enough for a car that weighs in at a respectable 1079kg, and the steering has decent weight and response. It also offers good economy, with a claimed combined consumption of 43.5mpg, and there’s plenty of space in the cabin for front and rear passengers.

But there is no denying that this car’s styling and quality of materials are behind the times, and its driving dynamics should in no way be described as sporty.

Should I buy one?

If you must have a Rio, buy from the bottom of the range, where you get better value for money. But the Sport's list price isn’t far off an entry-level Cee’d – a bigger and far more accomplished car that shouldn’t be tarnished because it shares a badge with the Rio. Even more relevant is the fact that could get a 1.5-litre Suzuki Swift or 1.3-litre Mazda 2 and still have change left over.

They might have less room inside, but they’re both better cars that have the prospect of being enjoyable to own and will hold a decent amount of their value – two advantages that the Rio simply can’t claim.

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