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Kia Rio 1.0 T-GDi 3 Eco

Kia Rio 1.0 T-GDi 3 Eco

Peter Keenan, 2017-10-08

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THE name suggests something exotic with a carnival atmosphere - but in reality the Kia Rio is a no-nonsense, modern supermini with an outstanding warranty.

The recently-introduced fourth generation of the Korean car manufacturer's global best seller is intent on evolution rather than revolution to build on the success already achieved.

So the exterior is not a radical departure with Kia introducing smooth curves, a wider grille and bigger dimensions making it a major player when it comes to passenger and boot space.

The star performer though is under the bonnet where a three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine resides.

Official figures say it produces just 99bhp which does no justice to the get up and go it gives the Rio. This it achieves through great pulling power which is deployed from the word go so you advance from a stationary start at a surprising rate of knots.

A tight rein is kept on running costs with the power unit claiming a fuel economy figure in excess of 60mpg while carbon dioxide emissions are 102g/km.

The Rio handles well with informative steering and a suspension that copes with most humps and hollows our nation's roads can throw at it. Corners are taken with confidence thanks to good levels of grip and decent body control.

Whether it be in the urban jungle, where good visibility, slick gear changes and a smooth clutch come to the fore, or the motorway, where a decent cruising speed is achieved without the need for ear plugs, the Rio is equally at home.

The interior is a pleasant place to spend a journey with the growth in the Rio's size welcomed by a harassed father looking to pack in a mountain of stuff for his son's return to university.

The boot is big for a supermini while the rear seats split and fold creating even more space. The opening is reasonably wide and the lip is small making it easy to load all the luggage and equipment a student - or small army - could need.

Legroom can get a bit tight in the back if the driver and front seat passenger are tall, but in general there is enough space for a normally proportioned family of four.

The driving position can be adjusted to suit as the steering wheel and seat are easily manoeuvred into a comfortable slot.

Odds and sods are well catered for with big door bins and glovebox. There is also a good-sized centre-console cubby hole, with space for your mobile phone and glasses, and a couple of cup holders.

The modern cabin features a host of goodies - even on the standard ‘1' model. By the time you reach the £16,295 3 model I drove a seven-inch colour touchscreen gives access to the easy-to-use satellite navigation system.

Other trinkets include climate and cruise control, a heated steering wheel and seats, a reversing camera plus automatic headlights and wipers as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for your smartphone. There are USB ports front and rear so mobiles can be charged from any seat.

The Rio is also a safety conscious automobile with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and six airbags fitted to all models.

Fast Facts

Kia Rio 1.0 T-GDi 3 Eco


Mechanical:99bhp, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:115mph

0-62mph:10.3 seconds

Combined MPG:62.8

Insurance Group:8

C02 emissions:102g/km

Bik rating:19%

Warranty:7yrs/100,000 miles

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