It’s hard to understate quite how far Kia has come with this third-generation Rio.
Both inside and out it’s the measure of anything else in its class in terms of design and build quality.
The 1.1-litre diesel engine doesn’t match the quoted figures in real world driving scenarios but it comes closer than you might imagine.
Close enough to mean that you should easily approach 700 miles between refills which, given that like most superminis it’ll largely be used for short trips with the occasional longer jaunt thrown in, might well bring up the prospect of a once monthly trip to the petrol station.
The entry-level Rio 1.1 CRDi generates fuel economy figures that almost defy credibility. Even around town it’ll return over 80mpg.
The average figure is quoted as 88.3mpg while open road driving nets 94.2mpg. See what I mean?
Let’s face it though, few of us are going to get anything like those figures and fewer still are going to put up with sweat dripping off the end of our noses in summer in order to do so, which is why most will prefer the Rio 1 Air model, which adds air conditioning but which in turn shaves the economy of the car down to 78.5mpg on the combined cycle.
Go for the Rio 2 model and your fuel figure will drop to 74.3mpg.
Larger than its predecessor but with a sharper driving experience and hugely improved engine efficiency, the Rio offers more than the elegant pen strokes of designer Peter Schreyer.
Packing in a massive amount of safety equipment doesn’t hurt its prospects either nor does the provision of an engine that might look slow on paper but which feels far more muscular in actuality. I wasn’t expecting too much from the Rio 1.1 CRDi but it’s a genuinely impressive package. Try it yourself before going for the usual contenders.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi diesel
PRICES: £11,895 - £13,795
INSURANCE GROUP: 3
CO2 EMISSIONS: 85-99g/km
PERFORMANCE: [Rio 1] 0-60mph 14.9s / top speed 98 mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION: [Rio 1] (combined) 88.3 mpg
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: six airbags, stability control, anti lock brakes