In-depth reviews

Kia Rio review - Reliability and safety

The long warranty is one of the Kia’s best aspects, with seven years of coverage as standard

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Reliability and Safety Rating

3.8 out of 5

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

Kia has worked hard to shake off its budget brand image, and on the evidence of its recent Driver Power performances, it’s clear these efforts are paying off. For example, the brand finished an impressive 2nd in our 2020 survey – bested only by Lexus. The Rio itself was voted the 23rd best car to own (out of 75).  

The Rio also boasts impressive safety credentials, with stability control, six airbags and impact-sensing door unlocking featuring on all models. Euro NCAP rated the Rio with a three-star score in basic form in 2017, but adding Kia's Advanced Driving Assistance Pack (ADAP) raises this to the full five stars. It's worth noting that Rio 2 and above come with ADAP as standard, and this includes autonomous braking and a lane departure warning.


The Kia Rio comes with a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, just like all other models from the brand. That means it’s best-in class in this area, handily beating the three-year period you get as standard on most rival superminis. It was a huge selling point for the previous car, and continues to be for this model - especially as there’s not much else that the Rio stands out for.


Service intervals are 12 months or 10,000 miles, whichever comes sooner. Kia does offer servicing plans and they are called Care 1-2, Care 1-3 and Care 1-5 – they last 2, 3 and 5 years respectively. With regard to costs, it depends on which engine is under the bonnet but even so the prices don’t change by much. 

As an example, a two-year service plan for 99bhp petrol models costs £329, increasing this to a three-year package would be an extra £130 and going the whole hog and purchasing a five-year plan would be £839 in total. MOTs can be added for an additional £35 per test as well. Handily, the packages are transferable to the new owner if you sell the car.

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