This is the latest, fourth-generation version of Kia’s biggest-selling car around the world. It’s not that popular in the UK – over here, we’re more familiar with the Sportage SUV
and Cee'd hatchback
ranges – but, generation by generation, the Rio has nevertheless become an increasingly serious rival to the likes of big-sellers including the Ford Fiesta
, Vauxhall Corsa
and Renault Clio
With a new Fiesta just announced
, as well as new versions of the Nissan Micra
and Seat Ibiza
reaching showrooms soon, it’s clear the new Rio will have to shout pretty loud if it’s to be heard by buyers.
The good news – from Kia’s point of view, anyway – is that the car does have plenty to shout about. Not only is this the largest Rio, it also has the latest in connectivity, driver assistance and safety systems, as well as a new suspension set-up that is claimed to give the car a more ‘grown-up’ feel.
The full range has just gone on sale, with just one five-door body style, but a choice of four engines, three gearboxes and four trim levels. Prices start at just under £12,000, but for our first experience, we’re driving one of the more expensive versions, mating the 99bhp version of the three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine with ‘3’ trim, which costs just over £16,000.