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Kia Rio hatchback (2011-2017) - Interior & comfort

The Kia Rio interior is well equipped and straightforward, but not very stylish

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Interior & comfort Rating

3.3 out of 5

The Kia Rio isn’t quite as stylish on the inside as its exterior would suggest. However, it is handsome and business-like in a Volkswagen kind of way with a well organised dashboard, contrasting surface textures, firm seats and plenty of storage.

Rio owners will want for little, with items such as steering wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity (on petrol models only), body-coloured mirrors and door handles, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and split-folding rear seats all standard. Options include special alloy wheels and a rear spoiler.

Kia Rio dashboard

The Kia Rio’s dashboard looks dated compared to the Ford Fiesta’s (which has modern, angular styling and a high-level display screen) and the Renault Clio’s, (which has a tablet-style console and very few buttons). The Rio’s, on the other hand, is all very predictable and business-like, though not unattractive. Some buyers might prefer it for exactly these reasons. It’s easy to operate, with steering-wheel-mounted controls and a height-adjustable driver’s seat both coming as standard. The steering wheel is two-way adjustable, too, though not in the most basic diesel model.

Equipment

To the standard equipment available on the basic 1, the 1 Air adds air-conditioning, while the SE model introduces luxuries including 15-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors and classier cabin finishes. Subsequent trim levels, rising from 3 to 4 (available only on the five-door), bring larger 17-inch alloy wheels, higher-grade cloth and eventually full leather upholstery, automatic air-conditioning and a wide array of driver aids, including reversing sensors. The Rio 3 and above get sat nav, while all versions have DAB radio.

Options

Only metallic paint is an option across the range, and it’s worth specifying for the extra resale value it generates. Otherwise, the accessories list is where you’ll find personalisation opportunities ranging from larger alloy wheels (beware: they can make the already firm ride firmer still) to tow bars, body decals and a roof spoiler. A roof spoiler may help a Rio’s resale value, but extreme body decals can turn used car buyers off.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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