This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Kia Rio Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Three engines are available in the range but the most popular choice is the 1.4-litre petrol with 96bhp. It's smooth enough around town and delivers adequate pace with a 0-62mph time of 12.3 seconds, but does get noisy under hard acceleration. Economy is good too, with an average of 46mpg, but if you're a higher mileage driver, you should seriously consider the 1.5-litre CRDi.

It's powerful, quiet at speed and economical too. It pulls well from low revs and has plenty of power to cruise comfortably at motorway speeds while 0-62mph takes 11.5 seconds. In July 2008 this engine was tweaked slightly to lower emissions. It now emits 119g/km of CO2 making it cheaper to tax. There is also a 1.6-litre petrol (only available in Sport trim and launched in 2008) with 111bhp that gives the Rio a 0-62mph time of 10.2 seconds yet still returns 44mpg.

All cars have a five-speed manual gearbox, though a four-speed auto is available on the 1.4-litre.

The Rio is easy to drive, especially in town, thanks to light controls and good visibility. There's little in the way of excitement, with vague steering and a lifeless gear change not helping, but it will cruise smoothly on the motorway with few problems. The ride is decent too and the Rio deals well with potholes and speed bumps, but in tight corners the soft suspension means there's too much body roll.