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Kia Rio 2014 review

The Rio may not be such an obvious supermini buy as something like the Ford Fiesta, but that’s not to say this tiger-nose wearing model should be underestimated. There’s its decent kit levels, practicality and of course Kia’s sought after seven-year warranty. So, for those who may find the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa too commonplace you might want to give the Rio a whirl. The 1.4-litre diesel we’re testing offers a decent balance of power and CO2, using 89bhp and 105g/km. It also claims to return around 70mpg. However, the most efficient engine is the 1.1-litre diesel, emitting just 85g/km with fuel economy of around 88mpg. The 1.4 diesel hasn’t got much pull to it though, and you have to venture towards the red line on the rev counter to bring it to life, meaning its 0-60 sprint of just under 14 seconds can feel rather sluggish. The weighting of the steering is nice and light in the Rio, meaning it’s great for manoeuvring urban environments and parking, but it’s also a bit vague, feedback wise, making it less fun and assuring than the Fiesta on winding country roads. Its suspension is quite firm though, which does stop it rolling in the corners, but the payoff is a slightly unsettled and bumpy ride. For those wanting to jump in at entry level, do not fear, as all models come with some handy essentials like MP3 compatibility, an easily adjustable driving position and front electric windows. The slightly pricier ‘1 Air’ trim ads aircon. The mid-range ‘3’ trim that we have is well armed with comfort features like leather trimmings, heated front seats and automatic air conditioning. Overall build quality is really good as well, with everything feeling well bolted together, although materials aren’t quite as plush as you’ll find in a VW Polo. A few features seem a bit dated as well, like this radio display, which is a shame as these cockpit-like switches are really cool. But, there are still loads of storage compartments, including this little cubby which is surprisingly useful for things like keys, spare change and sunglasses. The cabin feels very airy as well and this continues into the back. The plentiful leg and headroom in the back gives you the feeling that you are sat in something like the Ford Focus, which is great. There is also the availability of three and five door body styles, with the latter obviously helping when it comes to getting in and out or fitting child seats. Size wise, the Rio’s boot offers 288 litres, which is on par with the Fiesta. However, it can be a little challenging to lift things over this large lip. The seats do however lie quite flat, making it easier to store long items. The Rio is hardly what you would call exciting, but many of those looking for a supermini will want decent practicality, efficiency and arguably good levels of kit. The Rio definitely has those in spades. It also has the added benefit of a seven-year warranty, and a lower price tag than the Fiesta. But what do you think? Would the Rio get your

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