Used Kia Rio Mk4 (2017-date) overview

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It seems to be good, is fairly good to drive (no less than in 1.0 T-GDi type), the match and end aren’t far in need of what VW presents, and normal equipment is beneficiant, so there’s a lot to love concerning the Rio. Kia’s model transformation has been full for some time now, which is why you’ll be doing properly to search out any bargains; the Rio holds its worth properly, simply as all Kias do these days. However whereas the Rio could make an excellent purchase, once we examined one towards the Renault Clio and Hyundai i20 final 12 months, the Kia got here final due to its excessive price ticket, so-so dynamics, nondescript design and comparatively inefficient mild-hybrid powertrain. So the Rio is likeable, however it’s not essentially a category chief, regardless of its spectacular Driver Energy file.

Kia is a model that has undergone a giant transformation over the previous 20 years, and nowhere is that this extra obvious than with its Rio supermini.

When the unique Kia Rio arrived in 2000, there was little or no about it that appealed, from its styling to the driving expertise and the expertise that it featured. Nevertheless it was good worth and reliable, and it was these two cornerstones that allowed Kia to get a foothold within the UK.

In January this 12 months Kia was the UK’s biggest-selling model, and in 2022 it seems to be set to promote greater than 100,000 automobiles right here, claiming greater than 5 per cent of the market. Kia nonetheless sells the Rio, which is now a fascinating supermini for quite a few causes – however must you purchase a used one?

Historical past

The fourth-generation Rio arrived in April 2017, with the identical 82bhp 1.25 and 97bhp 1.4-litre petrol engines that had been accessible within the Rio Mk3. Whereas the smaller engine got here solely with a five-speed guide gearbox, the 1.4-litre got here with a six-speed guide or four-speed automated. Extra attractive although, was Kia’s 1.0 T-GDi – a three-cylinder petrol unit good for 98bhp or 117bhp with a five-speed guide. Diesel followers might purchase an 88bhp 1.4 CRDi, which got here solely with a six-speed guide.

The 1.25-litre Pulse particular version arrived in July 2017, then in March 2018 a GT-Line trim was added to the vary. A facelift in August 2020 introduced upgraded infotainment and further driver-assistance tech, plus a mild-hybrid primarily based on the 1.0 T-GDi engine and dubbed EcoDynamics+.

Which one ought to I purchase?

The 1.0 T-GDi engine is definitely the choose of the bunch; the 1.25 and 1.4-litre engines aren’t fitted with a turbocharger and consequently they lack zip. The 1.4 CRDi diesel is uncommon, however may be spectacularly frugal, and due to the Rio’s youth it’s additionally Euro 6-compliant, so it shouldn’t fall foul of any Clear Air Zones.

No Rio is spartan, with even the entry-level 1 that includes air-con, a multifunction steering wheel, electrical entrance home windows, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, and Bluetooth. The two provides 15-inch alloys, powered rear home windows, a seven-inch touchscreen show, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing digicam, rear parking sensors plus cruise management.

The Rio 3 has 16-inch wheels, local weather management, navigation, heated entrance seats and steering wheel, privateness glass and auto wipers.

Options to the Kia Rio

The hardest competitors comes from the Ford Fiesta, which is available and low-cost to purchase and run. It’s additionally a blast to drive and normally properly geared up. If you’d like practicality, the Vauxhall Corsa and Renault Clio have giant boots, spacious cabins and prepared availability, too. The Hyundai i20 is intently associated to the Kia, so is nice worth and dependable, whereas the Peugeot 208 has some sensible engines and appears good.

In the event you’re versatile along with your funds the Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Yaris are reliable, however they price greater than an equal Rio, particularly when purchased in hybrid type within the case of the Yaris. Different superminis to contemplate embrace the Mazda 2 and Dacia Sandero, the SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Fabia and Nissan Micra.

What to search for

Spare wheel

The Rio got here with a tyre mobility equipment, not a spare. Sellers might promote you an area saver or full-size spare, although.

Auto braking

AEB prompts between 4.9mph and 49.7mph, however it doesn’t intervene a lot, even when set to delicate. The 1 has no normal AEB.

Drive help

The Superior Driving Help Pack was non-compulsory on the 1 and introduced AEB, lane hold help, lane observe help and a 4.2-inch show.


Purchase a facelifted 1.0 T-GDi in 2 trim and it’ll have the common powertrain, however a 3 or GT-Line S will include 48-volt mild-hybrid tech that can assist you save gas.

Widespread faults

We’ve heard anecdotal stories from house owners of clutch, gearbox and air-conditioning faults with the Rio. It’s solely been recalled as soon as, although, and its lengthy producer guarantee ought to provide you with some cowl when shopping for second-hand.


Designed for readability slightly than aptitude, the Rio’s dashboard is straightforward to navigate and the switchgear feels sturdy, however among the cabin supplies are a bit light-weight for the worth.

It’s simple to get snug behind the wheel, and people within the again have it fairly good too, with respectable headroom and affordable legroom if the front-seat occupants aren’t too tall. Boot house is among the many finest at school, at 325 litres with the seat backs up, or 980 litres with them folded.

The Rio 1 had a stereo with Bluetooth and USB connectivity as normal. Greater trim ranges got here with higher tech – from October 2020, 2 trim and above had an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, whereas top-spec fashions bought built-in sat-nav.

Working prices

All Rios should be serviced yearly, with petrol fashions having a ten,000-mile interval between visits to the workshop; diesels stretch this cover to twenty,000 miles. The upkeep schedule is predicated on a six-service cycle, and though Kia doesn’t supply a reduced upkeep programme nationally, many official sellers do. Additionally, there are service programmes in place that may assist to chop prices considerably.

For instance, the primary six companies for a petrol-engined Rio are priced at £152, £191, £177, £262, £238 and £435. The equal costs for diesels are £152, £189, £176, £257, £151 and £215, and for hybrids you’ll pay £152, £254, £178, £254, £249 after which £280. However purchase a service plan and you may get two companies for lower than £350. Even higher, as a result of all Rio engines are chain pushed, there are not any cambelts to switch.


The Rio Mk4 has been recalled on only one event up to now. This solitary marketing campaign was launched in Might 2018 in relation to 2,300 automobiles that had been constructed between April and June 2017, which had been fitted with a cable contained in the rear doorways to function the kid locks. Nonetheless, it turned out the cable fitted was really too brief, which is why the locks ended up being defective; the answer to this concern was merely to suit an extended cable.

Impressively, the earlier Rio recall was issued 14 years earlier and it affected the first-generation mannequin, which was recalled in November 2003 due to an anti-lock braking fault on account of incorrect software program being put in inside the ECU. Simply as impressively, the second and third-generation Rios have by no means been recalled by Kia within the UK – a testomony to the agency’s high quality management.

Driver Energy proprietor satisfaction

The Rio has carried out persistently properly in our Driver Energy surveys. After a gradual begin in 2018 when the Rio got here thirty sixth out of 75 entries, it edged as much as twenty first in 2019, making it the highest-rated supermini. Ending twenty third in 2020 was respectable sufficient, however second place general in 2021 was way more spectacular. House owners put the Rio inside the highest 10 for many features, however security options had been marked barely decrease.

Trying to promote your present automobile shortly and for a very good value? We’ve partnered with Motorway to carry you the perfect supply from its community of UK sellers…


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