In-depth reviews

Kia Rio 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

Price
£12,135 to £20,530
  • Decent practicality
  • Punchy turbo petrol engine
  • Seven-year warranty
  • Unexciting design inside and out
  • Firm ride
  • Mixed cabin quality

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.

Most Popular

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars
Opinion

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021
What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven
Skoda vRS range
Skoda

What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven

To mark 20 years of Skoda’s vRS badge, we rounded up some of the performance cars from the past two decades that have worn the subtle green badge
17 Sep 2021
E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?
Petrol pump
News

E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?

E10 petrol is up to 10 per cent ethanol and is available at UK fuel stations now as part of the bid to cut CO2 emissions
1 Sep 2021