What is it?
A car that can turn in Co2 emissions of 85g/km sounds like it must be a hybrid, and a pretty extreme one at that. But Kia’s new Rio Ecodynamics is simply a diesel supermini, and those emissions make it the lowest producer of carbon dioxide this side of a zero emissions electric car.
It’s propelled by a new three cylinder 1.1 litre twin cam, common rail diesel engine featuring a variable vane turbo and this, together with the usual carbon cutters of longer gearing, low rolling resistance tyres, a roof spoiler, a closed-off front grille and a stop-start system allow it to return a spectacular 88.3mpg on the official combined cycle.
That’s for the model without air conditioning – pay the extra £800, and the figures fall to a still outstanding 78.5mpg and 94g/km. A six-speed gearbox and a fat, 125lb ft torque curve that peaks at an early 1500rpm and remains sustained to 2750rpm also help the Rio go further on a gallon.
In other respects this ultimate Ecodynamics version is much the same as models in the rest of the new Rio range, which means that you get a car that’s among the biggest in its class, a roomy cabin being the result, fairly generous equipment that includes six airbags and ESP and a style that’s neatly contemporary, if short of the flair characterising the brand’s most recent models. You also get Kia’s desirable seven-year 100,000 mile warranty.