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Kia Rio Hatchback engines, drive and performance

2011 - 2017 (change model)
Performance rating: 3.5 out of 53.5

Written by Simon McBride Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

Four engines will be available in the Rio line-up – two petrols (an 83bhp 1.25-litre and a 107bhp 1.4-litre) and two diesels (a 74bhp 1.1CRDi and an 89bhp CRDi). Through town the 1.4-litre engine, which is mated to a smooth shifting six-speed gearbox, was fine. Out on the open road, however, accelerate hard and it lacks punch. Passing manoeuvres need to be well planned and it is wise to keep momentum up or you will have to work the gears quite hard to complete them.

This is reflected in Kia Rio performance, with zero to 60mph taking 11.1 seconds. Its top speed is 114mph.

The Rio is great to drive in town thanks to its light controls. Take it on faster twisting B-roads, however, and the vague steering can become frustrating. The Rio is fairly grippy and agile – but it could have been much better if there was more feedback through the steering. The Rio is capable and resists body roll quite well, but it’s just not as involving as a Ford Fiesta.

So, it isn’t an ideal choice for enthusiasts but it is fine on motorways where you can enjoy the comfortable ride.