Despite the injection of sophistication and desirability, Kia hasn’t totally forgotten that we expect it to adopt a market-leading position on value for money. Skoda’s Fabia 1.2 TSI is the only true rival that gets close enough to compete with the 1.4-litre Rio petrol across the board: on power, performance and economy.
Entry-level 1.1-litre diesel models, in '1' spec', will typically undercut rivals like the Ford Fiesta. The more powerful 1.4-litre diesel will also usually prove cheaper than equivalents, and substantially so when it comes to the likes of the Volkswagen Polo.
Economy is also very respectable right across the Rio model range. A 1.4 petrol will return almost 50mpg on a long 60-70mph motorway run, and better than 40mpg in mixed use.
The 1.25-litre petrol won’t better that by much, but both diesels should. Expect a day-to-day 50mpg from the 1.4 CRDI without trying too hard, and just better than 60mpg from the 1.1-litre diesel in real world conditions.
Other advantages of buying Kia are the seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty, as well as its Care-3 servicing offer, which buys three years of services for just less than £300, and is transferable to the next owner.