The Kia Rio set the benchmark for low fuel consumption in a supermini at launch in 2011. Again, efficiency impresses across the petrol and diesel range, but the 74bhp 1.1-litre three-cylinder diesel model leads the way with 88.3mpg fuel economy. It also claims CO2 emissions of only 85g/km, so is exempt from road tax.
The Rio comes as three or five-door, and despite its compact dimensions feels spacious inside. The boot size is competitive for the class, with a 288-litre capacity increasing to 923 litres with the rear seats folded.
Dragging the Rio down in our top 10 is the fact equipment isn’t as generous as in some rivals – to get such low running costs, you have to go for the 1 model, which doesn’t have air-con or Bluetooth. But safety impresses, with ESP fitted as standard on all models, which helped the Kia achieve a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.
Service intervals for the Rio 1 1.1 CRDi aren’t as long as on some rivals, with a check required every 10,000 miles, but Kia sells a fixed-price servicing pack. And a key part of the car’s appeal is the manufacturer’s industry-leading seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.