In-depth reviews

Kia Rio hatchback - Interior & comfort

The Kia Rio interior is let down by some scratchy plastics but standard equipment levels are good

Kia Rio dashboard

The outgoing Rio felt dated inside and the latest dashboard design is a marked improvement. An eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system was introduced as part of the latest update and is fitted to 2 trims and above. It's slick and easy to use but it's a shame the Rio misses out on digital instruments, particularly when they're fitted in the closely related Hyundai i10. There are buttons to control the air-conditioning and media systems, but Kia has avoided cluttering the dashboard excessively.

Although the interior looks smart, it doesn’t really feel as high-quality or as plush as that of rivals such as the Volkswagen Polo or Renault Clio. There are some hard, scratchy plastics on the doors and certain parts of the dash, which detract from an otherwise spacious and attractive design. The driving position is good, making it easy to get comfortable behind the wheel.

Equipment

The Rio is available in three regular trim levels, named simply 1, 2 and 3, alongside a sporty GT-Line S version that competes with the Renault Clio R.S. Line and Ford Fiesta ST Line. The entry-level 1 grade includes air-conditioning, front electric windows, a 3.8-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth, LED daytime running lights and 60:40 split-folding rear seats.

Kia expects most buyers to go for 2 trim, so this has the greatest choice of engines, as well as extras like 15-inch alloy wheels, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, electric windows all round, electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors, a DAB radio, an eight-inch colour display, an upgraded stereo and a reversing camera, plus rear parking sensors, USB ports and cruise control.

Range-topping 3 cars feature 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic air-conditioning, black faux-leather upholstery, sat-nav, heated front seats and steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers and tinted windows. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity is available from the 2 trim level model upwards to the range-topping GT-Line S model. 

GT-Line S adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a sports steering wheel, keyless entry and start, distinctive 'Ice Cube' front fog lights, black exterior trim and twin exhaust tips, along with front parking sensors.

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