KIA RIO variants
Total price
Monthly payment
Figures are based on a 20% deposit

Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £15,499. Borrowing £12,399 with a £3,100 deposit at a representative APR of 12.9%.

49 monthly payments
Fixed interest rate
Total amount payable
Cost of credit
Optional final payment
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

Kia Rio buying guide

What Kia Rio trim levels are there?

Kia’s trim level range couldn’t be easier to decipher. There are ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’ levels with increasing amounts of equipment, plus a range-topping GT-Line S Rio with sportier styling.

The ‘1’ opening model comes with air con, DAB radio, Bluetooth and heated mirrors. Upgrading to ‘2’ brings 15-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and an eight-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring. Next, the ‘3’ spec adds sat nav, leather-effect upholstery, bigger wheels and even heated seats.

GT-Line S ups the size of the wheels again, and also gets darkened headlights, live traffic updates for the sat nav, keyless start and a blind-spot monitoring system.

Kia Rio interior and technology

Besides a few cheaper-feeling materials – as you’d expect from a car of this price – the Rio has plenty to offer inside. The sensibleness continues with well-placed, easily understandable buttons, which both cuts production costs and improves usability.

There is a touchscreen on all but the most basic model. Like most cars, it provides all the modern phone connectivity but, handily, Kia has also managed to make it easy to use. It’s probably one of the better infotainment screens in this class.

Kia Rio engine range explained

Kia Rio 1.0 T-GDi petrol

Kia’s willing 1.0-litre engine is the one to go for if you’re going to be venturing out of town on a regular basis. It’s turbocharged and offers a reassuringly sensible mix of performance and fuel economy, with 0-62mph taking around 10 seconds and all versions offering over 50mpg. There are 100hp and 120hp versions, with the latter coming with mild-hybrid tech to marginally reduce fuel consumption.

Kia Rio 1.25 petrol

Available on the entry-level trims, the 1.25-litre petrol is a good choice if you want cheap insurance or don’t really care about performance. Its 83hp is enough to push the Rio from 0-62mph in under 13 seconds, which should allow you to keep up with traffic without too much trouble. It manages over 50mpg, just like the 1.0-litre petrol. This engine replaced a 1.4-litre engine with slightly more power but slightly higher fuel consumption.

Kia Rio FAQs

Sitting between the Kia Picanto and Ceed, the Rio is a five-door hatchback with some smart detailing, such as its ‘tiger nose’ grille. It’s been on sale since 2016 and was facelifted in 2020. Lower-powered versions offer cheap insurance and basic transport needs, while higher-spec cars add goodies to make long journeys more enjoyable.

The Kia Rio is marginally longer than a Ford Fiesta and Citroen C3 but, at just over four metres long, it should still be very easy to park. To take the stress out of parking and manoeuvring, all but the base-spec car come with rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. The Rio’s 325-litre boot is pretty good for a car of this size, comfortably beating the Fiesta and i20.

Headroom is also commendable, while you’ll only struggle for legroom if you’re sitting behind a really tall driver. This is still quite a small car, after all, and compared to its rivals the Rio isn’t too bad.

The Rio comes with a couple of petrol engine choices – usually a non-turbocharged entry-level engine and then a turbocharged version that’s a bit more suited to higher speeds. A manual gearbox is standard on all engines.

Yes. In fact, the Rio is one of the most compelling small hatchbacks on sale and well worth considering if you're shopping in this class. The car's design, quality and ergonomics are already strong, but it's the cabin space that's a real stand out – there's a very impressive amount of room for passengers, even in the back. That's not something most small hatches can achieve.

Compared to the average car, you shouldn't have to pay too much to replace parts on your Kia. Of course, breaking something like the engine is going to be more expensive than pranging a wheel, for example, but replacement bills shouldn't be too high if something fails.

On paper, the Rio's scores in reliability surveys are about average. In practice, it's one of the simpler cars Kia builds so has fewer things that can go wrong.

Kia as a brand tends to score better in reliability surveys and you can take some confidence in the fact the company offers an excellent seven-year factory warranty on its cars.

You can add an extended warranty to your Rio that provides even more coverage after the manufacturer's warranty has expired.

Yes, the Rio would make a great choice as a first car. Standing in its favour is the car's low insurance groups – most models sit between groups 5 and 8, and no version is rated above a 10. That means your premiums as a new driver should be comparatively affordable.

Plus, the added reassurance of Kia's seven-year factory warranty means you're insulated in the event you suffer an unexpected mechanical or electrical failure.