The Kia Rio.
ROADTEST FACT FILE
Model... Style 1.25 Rio 2 Petrolo
Mpg (comb cycle)...44.1mpg
Loaned by Northwood Kia
ECONOMY motoring is the great buzzword of the twentytens and it’s a good ambition to run your car as cheaply as possible.
Quite a few cars now qualify for zero road tax, because of low CO2 emissions.
But often with low-cost motoring, space is limited. It’s fine if you want a runabout for one or two — but is there room for all the family, a week’s shopping or luggage piled high with bits of boat and wellie boots?
So when I was asked to take a new Kia Rio home, I was hoping it would have space inside to cope with my weekend.
First, I had promised to help a friend move cushions and bedding from a caravan to her home, in an end-of-season clear-out.
Would the Rio have space for quilts, pillows and towels? Yes was the answer to that, with the hatchback bootspace piled with pillows and bedding over the back seats. The seats fold, to give estate car capacity, or 60:40 for the best of both worlds. The next task was a large family shop, with half-a-dozen bags in the boot and children on the back seat. Again, a big tick for the Rio.
Power and performance was the next test, with a trip to Ventnor and Shanklin taking in hilly Island roads.
Despite its 1.25-litre engine, it coped well and we sailed along, keeping an eye on the in-board computer trip display for mpg — again, hoorah.
At just 119 gm/k CO2, the petrol version qualifies for cheap £20 road tax.
Kia is proud of its Rio diesel version, claiming the cleanest diesel engine around.
The 1.1 CRDi Ria 2 Ecodynamics, at £14,095, emits just 99gm/k, qualifying for zero road tax and with an mpg of more than 50.
With all the toys, including iPad connector, Bluetooth, folding wing mirrors and air conditioning, the Rio is fun and offers a great-looking car you can be proud of.
Add in Kia’s seven-year warranty and the Rio makes real sense.