In-depth reviews

Kia Rio (2017-2023) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

A big boot is a plus for the Rio, but rear legroom isn’t the best

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.2 out of 5

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The Kia Rio is bigger than its predecessors, so there’s more space inside - although the Rio’s best point is its roomy boot rather than a particularly large cabin. 

Storage inside is taken care of by some handily-sized door bins, a large glovebox and a deep centre console cubby that has room for a smartphone, and there's a pair of cupholders, too.

Size 

The Rio is 5mm wider than before (at 1.73m) and has a 10mm longer wheelbase (2.58m) for more space inside. The car is 15mm longer (at 4.07mm) than the previous model in total, but it’s actually 5mm lower (1.45m) as well. Designers will tell you that contributes to a lower stance, but unfortunately the plain looks don’t do much for the Kia’s image.

Legroom and passenger space 

While the Kia boasts impressive luggage space, the interior isn’t quite as roomy as the competition. In fact, our tape measure revealed that there’s around 10mm less legroom in the rear than the Volkswagen Polo, and a massive 100mm less than in the Suzuki Baleno. That said, there’s enough space to carry four adults in reasonable comfort, while the wide-opening doors make access straightforward. There’s plenty of space up front, with the driver also getting a reasonable range of seat and wheel adjustment. 

Boot

An increase in length by 15mm and a 10mm stretch in wheelbase over the old car have helped make the Rio one of the more practical models in the class. For example, the boot now has a healthy 325-litre capacity. The load bay is well shaped, too, with a reasonably wide opening and small lip.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.25 1 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £12,820

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 T GDi 48V 118 3 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,870

Fastest

  • Name
    1.0 T GDi 48V 118 3 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,870
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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