Used Kia Rio Review (2016-present) MK4

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Red Kia Rio Exterior Front Driving

Kia Rio (2016-present)

Highly reliable and spacious inside, the Kia Rio is a supermini that offers good all-round capabilities ideal for the life of a small family

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  • Reliability
  • Economy
  • Comfort
  • Could be better to drive
  • Rivals offer more flair
  • Interior could be more exciting
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What's the Kia Rio like?

All of today’s cars are pretty closely matched when it comes to performance, economy, and low emissions in each class.

But the Kia Rio supermini, which gets close to the best in class, came with the superb 7-year warranty when new, and it makes a pretty unbeatable used combination.

All models are capable, comfortable, and enjoyable to drive and to live with.


The best performer in the range has the smallest engine. It’s the latest 1.0-litre T-GDi turbo petrol, which packs no less than 118bhp.

That’s enough to give a 0 to 60mph sprint of 9.8 seconds, and yet it still returns 55mpg economy.

Other petrol engines start with a 1.25-litre that has 83bhp and is capable of 51mpg. It takes a fairly slow 12.7 seconds to get to 60mph, while a larger 1.4-litre unit with 98bhp takes a more respectable 11.8 seconds and can still do 49mpg.

There have also been a couple of versions of the same 1.4-litre litre diesel, available with either 76 or 89bhp. These two are the fuel-sipping kings, being capable of 80mpg and 74mpg respectively, but 0 to 60mph takes 13.5 seconds in the lower powered model and 11.6 seconds in the higher.

The 1.0-litre turbo engine proves popular because it packs a very good punch off the line and through the gears while still giving excellent economy.

All the carmakers are moving in the small turbo direction now, to gain better economy and lower emissions without losing performance.

Drive is to the front wheels of course, through a quick changing 5-speed gearbox, with a light clutch and easy controls generally.

Reliability and Driving Experience

After many years, Kia is the only carmaker that’s so sure of the reliability of its range that it gives an unbeaten 7-year warranty good for no less than 100,000 miles.

And as if that wasn't enough for those who keep their cars for many years, this excellent cover is transferable to new owners at any time.

The Rio has much more to offer. It rides comfortably over just about every surface at speed, and still remains mainly comfortable in town.

The roadholding is excellent, with brilliant grip and a very stable feel through the corners.
Peter Hayward


The standard stop/start on most models works well to help lower emissions and push up economy, and equipment in all includes an alarm, good steering and seat adjustment, split fold rear seats, audio remote controls, traction control, and heated electric mirrors.

Upper models also get cruise control, air conditioning, alloy wheels, a touchscreen infotainment system, and parking sensors with a camera.

There's very good rear legroom, making it big enough for families, and the boot is also larger than many in the class.

Find your Kia Rio your way with CarStore

The Kia Rio is a supermini that offers a top level of reliability and low running costs, making it suitable for various needs. Its spacious interior, well-sized boot, and comfortable driving experience make for a package that's hard to beat within the supermini class.