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
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.
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.
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.
In this review
- 1Kia Rio (2017-2023) reviewThe Kia Rio offers good value and practicality - a safe pair of hands in a talented supermini class
- 2Engines, performance and driveTurbo petrol engine is punchy and refined, but disappointing ride and refinement and average handling disappoint
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Rio offers decent fuel economy despite some old-tech powertrains, and the seven-year warranty should benefit residual values
- 4Interior, design and technologyWhile it's well built, the Rio's plain looks and a dark interior hurt the car's appeal
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingA big boot is a plus for the Rio, but rear legroom isn’t the best
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe long warranty is one of the Kia’s best aspects, with seven years of coverage as standard