What is it?
With the fourth generation of Rio, Kia has boldly set out to steal sales from five rivals – the Renault Clio, Peugeot 207, Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Polo and class-leading Ford Fiesta.
The Korean firm says it wants to sell 12,000 Rios in the UK next year. That’s an increase of about 30 per cent on its projected 2011 sales. It’s an ambitious battle plan, but with its latest generation of cars – the Rio is the fifth new unveiling in 18 months – Kia has made significant strides in quality and style.
What's it like?
The new Rio, penned by Kia’s design guru Peter Schreyer, is longer, wider and lower than the old version, although the styling is a touch less striking than that of its baby brother, the Picanto. The trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille is given an aggressive treatment, and the large headlamps and swooping roofline give the car a sporty look, with a hint of coupé to it.
It is a big car for the class. At 4045mm, it is 55mm longer than the Fiesta, for example, and the wheelbase of 2570mm is 70mm more than the previous Rio’s. As a result, the cabin has a roomy, spacious feel. The car’s occupants feel the benefit in terms of decent legroom and headroom in the front and rear, although boot space isn’t as generous as some rivals’ – at 288 litres, it is slightly smaller than the Fiesta’s.