AM Online

Long-term test: Kia Rio 3 1.4

Kia

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Review

Downsizing has become bit of an industry buzz word, but a quick look at the Kia Rio Owners’ Club shows it’s not just old Cee’d owners moving down into the Rio.

The top post is from a Land Rover Discovery TD5 driver asking for reassurance that he hadn’t made a terrible mistake. I can’t vouch for the Rio’s 4x4 capabilities but AM’s long termer has been a reliable and comfortable addition to the fleet since its introduction over three months ago.

Switching out of a premium vehicle into a Rio has been echoed on AM after test driving the new 911 and then jumping back into this little 1.4-litre monster. Of course the difference in acceleration was vast, but it actually wasn’t that long before I forgot about the pleasure of the Porsche and was cruising along happily down the A14.

Clearly the Rio has got it in the looks department too with another Rio owner boasting that he had received compliments about his “new Audi” (Kia’s design boss is ex-Audi).

There have been no problems with the car during its time with us, meaning most customers should experience trouble free motoring at the start of their ownership.
Kia dealers will have their best ever year with the Rio this year with sales already beyond last year’s total at 8,821 units according to the SMMT. Volumes have built consistently for the last five years which will help towards Kia’s goal of a 5% market share.

The Rio has been transformed from a grey anonymous Asian box to a credible, good looking European style supermini which appeals to a wide audience. The next-generation needs to look at improving interior quality further on the top trim level to compete against mainstream rivals. It won’t be too long before Kia is looking to take on Ford and VW.

Price £14,220 incl options
Engine 1.4-litre petrol, 107bhp
Performance 0-62mph 11.1 secs, top speed 114mph
Transmission 6-sp man
Efficiency 51.4mpg, 128g/km CO2
RV 3yr/30k 35%
Start mileage 380
Current mileage 6,122
Rivals Renault Clio, Skoda Fabia, Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Fiesta, Citroën C3, Toyota Yaris, Peugeot 208, Fiat Punto

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