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Kia Rio

The independent definitive Kia Rio video review
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    RIO GRAND? (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    The Kia Rio supermini has been rejuvenated in fourth generation form. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 44

    The MK4 model Kia Rio now looks an even better alternative to the Corsas and Fiestas of this world, with a more spacious cabin, impressive connectivity and a clever downsized turbo petrol engine option. Prices are keen and the seven-year warranty speaks for itself.

    Backgroundword count: 183

    For buyers, the supermini category has never been more important. Why? Because modern examples of the breed are now for the first time large enough to function as complete family cars. Take, for example, the model we're looking at here, Kia's fourth generation Rio. It's as big as a turn of the century Astra or Focus from the Family Hatchback segment, the next pricier class up. More importantly, it's the first really top class supermini the Korean brand has ever bought us. It's a progression that anyone familiar with Kia will have been expecting. The first two generations of Rio were quite embarrassing but the MK3 model of 2011 was pretty class-competitive. When the wraps came off this fourth generation version in the autumn of 2016 though, it was clear that it was going to be a bit more than that. Here's a car that targets nothing less than the top of the segment in terms of the things that really matter to supermini buyers - styling, running costs and everyday practicality. How close it gets is what we're here to find out.

    Driving Experienceword count: 268

    Kia is well aware that driving dynamics weren't a strong selling point of the previous third generation Rio, hence the efforts put in to making this MK4 model more agile and interesting to drive. The stiffer bodyshell should help here and it also allowed the development team to introduce a more compliant suspension system. This Rio benefits from a revised spring and damper set-up than the old model, improving the car's compliance and comfort at all speeds, while supposedly facilitating more enjoyable, engaging handling characteristics. A repositioned power steering gearbox should provide greater feel through the helm too. The previous generation Rio model didn't advance existing engine technology too much, so it's good to see that Kia has made a bit more effort on this front this time round. Key to the line-up is the down-sized three cylinder 1.0-litre T-GDI petrol unit we first saw on the facelifted MK2 model cee'd family hatch, offered here - as there - with either 99 or 118bhp power outputs, in both cases accompanied by 172Nm of torque. The lightweight nature of this T-GDI powerplant should benefit the Rio's front-end handling, with less mass and inertia for the car to work against under cornering. Less sophisticated are the 83bhp 1.25 and 98bhp 1.4-litre MPI petrol units, a comment also applicable to the 1.4-litre diesel engine, which produces 89bhp. All engines apply power to the front wheels. There's a five-speed manual transmission for the base 1.25-litre petrol unit and the 99bhp 1.0-litre T-GDI powerplant. Otherwise, your Rio will come with a six-speed manual 'box. There's a 4-speed auto option on the petrol 1.4.

    To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    0-62 mph (s):

    11

    16.1

    Combined mpg:

    44.8

    85.6

    Extra urban mpg:

    56.5

    91.1

    Height (mm):

    1455

    Length (mm):

    4050

    Max Speed (mph):

    99

    114

    ... and 5 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Small Runabouts

    Performance
    40%
    Handling
    60%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    70%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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