Kia Rio review
Joel Helmes has filed this Kia Rio review.
One of my father’s favourite sayings is that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, well I don’t know if that’s really the case when it comes to the new Kia Rio.
The superseded Kia Rio was an honest little toiler, a car that was anything but remarkable – I should know I owned one.
When I purchased the vehicle, a 1.4 litre manual, it was basically the cheapest new car on the market.
To be honest it never really felt like that, I was actually quite impressed with how the Kia Rio went about its business for the first three years of its life without any fuss or fanfare.
The new Rio basically has the same underpinnings and shares many of the same body panels…But it does have quite a different feel.
The ride, steering and handling have been vastly improved, the interior is light years ahead in comfort and refinement, and overall it just looks and feels like a much better vehicle.
Under the bonnet my test car was powered by the larger 1.6 litre petrol engine and the bigger motor does give the Kia Rio longer legs particularly on the highway.
However just like the 1.4, down low in the revs it really does have a fairly big flat spot that requires a heavy right foot to overcome.
Safety in the new Rio is also improved with ABS brakes, side and head air bags, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, and electronic stability control.
So as you can see this is a greatly improved little car, it is pretty obvious when looking over it and driving it why it has picked up so many car of the year awards.
The only issue is that my test car, which is the same size and shape as my old Rio cost nearly $9,000 more at almost $22,000!
The Kia Rio range now starts at $16,290.
So the whole game plan has changed for the Rio, it’s very much gone up a weight division and that means competition is stronger and expectations are raised.
So far however buyers seemed to be quite happy with the new Rio with sales growing strongly.
I’m going to give the new and improved Kia Rio 3 and ¾ out of five in this review, and forever be more optimistic that even the most bland and lifeless little cars can be transformed into something much more refined and exciting!