Kia Rio (2017) Review

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Kia Rio (2017) At A Glance


+Practical and easy to drive. Enjoyable on a country road. Great 1.0 T-GDI engine. Good value. Long warranty.

-Ride could be better in town. Some old-fashioned engine options.

New prices start from £13,145
Insurance Groups are between 2–9
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

There’s nothing groundbreaking about the Kia Rio – but that’s no bad thing. If you want simple, honest transport then it fits the bill perfectly. Plus it’s affordable, reasonably well-equipped, cheap to run and comes with a seven-year warranty.

Economy is strong, with almost every engine officially capable of more than 60mpg. Go for a diesel and the claimed figures rise upwards of 80mpg, but the real highlight is the 1.0-litre T-GDI petrol. It’s punchy, quiet and economical whether you pick it the 100PS or 120PS version.

The Rio is very easy to drive, with light, smooth controls. Around town it’s good for the most part, but the suspension does have a tendency to thump over potholes. Fortunately, things get smoother and more comfortable at higher speeds with refinement good on the motorway.

Inside, the Kia Rio is nicely finished, with sturdy build quality and a clear and intuitive layout. The centre stack features a responsive 5.0-inch touchscreen system if you skip the basic ‘1’ trim level, while the dials are simple and easy to read. There’s plenty of adjustment in the driver’s seat too.

As small hatchbacks go, practicality is good. There’s enough space in the back for a couple of adults, with surprising levels of hat room and - unless there are tall occupants up front - decent leg room too. The boot is sizeable with 325 litres of capacity, beating the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo.

It might not have the all-round classiness and capability of the SEAT Ibiza or the dynamic sparkle of the Ford Fiesta, but the Rio is a very capable hatchback that does everything well enough. Factor in the seven-year warranty and it's a sound buy. 

Kia Rio 2017 Road Test

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Real MPG average for a Kia Rio (2017)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

33–70 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

What should I replace my Ford Fiesta with?
"Can you recommend a car to replace my Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost? I enjoy driving it but it has given me problems since new. I've looked at your website and so many of the new smaller cars show issues that it's difficult to choose a reliable one. Your help would be appreciated."
Best protection: Kia Rio 1.0 T-GDI or a Kia Stonic 1.0 T-GDI (7-year warranty), Hyundai i20 1.0 T-GDI or a Hyundai Kona 1.0 T-GDI (5-year warranty). Also, look at a Toyota Yaris 1.5 or Toyota Yaris hybrid (5-year warranty). In cash terms, Kia's 7-year warranty is worth about £1250 above anyone else's 3-year warranty and there are comparatively few claims on it.
Answered by Honest John
Should I get a Kia Rio or Renault Clio via the scrappage schemes?
"I want to buy a new car via the scrappage schemes. I need a boot of about 350 litres, which brings my final choice down to the Renault Clio or Kia Rio. Which is the better built car and, doing 10,000 miles per year, which will have a better resale value after five years?"
The Rio 1.0T, simply because it comes with a seven year warranty versus the four year warranty of the Clio.
Answered by Honest John
Which cars are cheapest to insure for a reformed drink driver?
"Which cars are cheapest to insure for a reformed drink driver?"
You would need to look at ones with the lowest insurance group rating and smallest engine size:
Answered by Tim Kelly
Which scrappage scheme should I buy a new car through?
"I would like a new car. It needs to be cheap, small, reliable and economical as I drive less than 4000 miles a year. Which cars would fit my requirements?"
Kia is offering a scrappage allowance of up to £2000 against its excellent new Picanto and also its Rio models, both with a seven-year warranty: Here's a round-up of all the latest scrappage schemes:
Answered by Honest John

What does a Kia Rio (2017) cost?