Kia Rio Road Test

Kia Rio Interior

Kia Rio Review

Kia Rio ReviewKia Rio Review | Part Two

What a long way Kia has come in recent years. The new Rio looks good and drives well. It has contemporary styling, a smart and well-equipped cabin, and it is easy and likeable to drive

This is a well kitted-out car for the price. Standard equipment on all Rios includes electric windows, a trip computer, USB connectivity and daytime running lights, and with this mid-spec 2 model you also get air conditioning, electric folding mirrors, a chrome radiator grille and smart 16-inch alloys.

Safety and Security

The Rio is equipped with front, side and curtain airbags. It also has front seat belt pre-tensioners and load limiters. It comes with standard anti-lock braking with electronic brake force distribution. It also has emergency brake assist to reinforce braking effort in an emergency. Another safety aid is electronic stability control which detects when the car is at risk of skidding due to slippery conditions or incautious driving, and takes action to avoid trouble by cutting engine power and applying the brakes to one or more wheel.
There is the handy standard provision of Hill-start Assist Control, to prevent the car from rolling backwards when it is pulling away on a steep gradient. In addition, the Rio has emergency stop signalling, which warns following drivers of impending danger by automatically flashing the high-level rear brake light three times if the driver suddenly brakes very hard. Isofix tethers and anchors are provided for securing child safety seats.
When you drive away, the car doors lock themselves automatically for added security, but they are programmed to unlock again automatically in the event of an accident.


An MP3-compatible RDS radio and CD player is a standard fitment in the Rio, with USB and AUX ports provided. Bluetooth connectivity is also standard to let you pair mobile phones and other devices.

  • Ford Fiesta
  • Vauxhall Corsa
  • Hyundai i20
  • Skoda Fabia
  • Volkswagen Polo
  • Renault Clio
What We Liked
  • Stylish exterior
  • Roomy modern interior
  • Tidy driving manners
  • Good build quality
  • Excellent value for money
What We Disliked
  • More engine noise if you work the car hard
  • Six-speed gearbox's action is a bit notchy
What We'd Like To See
  • A further upgrade in driving dynamics

What a long way Kia has come in recent years. The new Rio looks good and drives well. It has contemporary styling, a smart and well-equipped cabin, and it is easy and likeable to drive. Its build quality is well up with the best of its rivals, and it is very competitively priced. The ace up its sleeve is Kia's long warranty, giving an owner seven years of cover from new, more than double what is on offer from most of the opposition. For anyone looking to buy a supermini, it deserves to be on the must-try list.

11 October 2011 Melanie Carter
Kia Rio ReviewKia Rio Review | Part Two
Kia Rio Road Test Data
Model ReviewedKia Rio 1.4 2
Body TypeHatchback
ColourBlaze Red
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph11.1 Seconds
Top Speed 114mph
Transmission5 Speed Manual
Fuel TypePetrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban39.2 mpg
Extra Urban62.8 mpg
Combined51.4 mpg
Insurance Group8
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty7 Years / 100,000 Miles
Price (when tested on the 11/10/11)13,095

The information contained within this Kia Rio review may have changed since publication on the 11 October 2011. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Kia dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018