Used Kia Rio Hatchback 2005 - 2011 review

Category: Small car

Lots of car for the cash, especially the diesel

Kia Rio Hatchback (05 - 11)
  • Kia Rio Hatchback (05 - 11)
  • Kia Rio Hatchback (05 - 11)
Used Kia Rio Hatchback 2005 - 2011 review
Star rating

What's the used Kia Rio hatchback like?

Prices of the Kia Rio are low for what you get, and even the range-topping model, which has lots of goodies, should be within reach. The diesel version is especially good value, because it's not that much more expensive than the petrol car.

There's plenty of space, too. The Rio is one of the bigger vehicles in the supermini class, and this is reflected in good head- and legroom throughout. The boot is a good size, too, but dashboard quality could be much better. Some of the plastics look and feel cheap.


Lots of car for the cash, especially the diesel

  • Cheap to buy and run
  • lots of kit
  • Interior finish iffy
  • Sloppy handling
  • Bland looks

The drive trails behind some rivals, mind you. The body leans through corners and the steering is vague. Likewise, the ride is a touch firm at low speeds, but it settles down as you get faster, and the diesel is impressively quiet at the motorway limit.

Ownership cost

What used Kia Rio hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Kia Rio hatchback?

Kia is making very capable cars these days, but they still aren't that desirable. This means residual values aren't very strong, so the Rio, which was extremely cheap when it was new, is a genuine bargain as a used car.

As well as costing very little to buy, the Rio is also very cheap to run. Even the petrol version will return an average of 44.8mpg. But, those who want really lean consumption should go for the diesel, because it will reward you with an average of 60.1mpg.

Insurance costs are about what you'd expect for the class. The petrol car is in group 4, while the diesel-engined car is only a touch higher, in group 5.

Routine servicing will prove a good deal costlier than most other superminis, however. When you compare the Rio's servicing bills with those for a car such as the Ford Fiesta, there's a big difference.

Our recommendations

Which used Kia Rio hatchback should I buy?

We'd go for the diesel. The 96bhp 1.4 petrol is cheaper, and it's fine in town, but it gets noisy at speed and isn't strong enough to cope with steep hills without changing down a gear or two.

On the other hand, the 109bhp 1.5-litre diesel pulls strongly, and overtaking is easy. It makes more financial sense, too. You won't find a cheaper diesel-powered car of this size, and its fuel economy is also far superior to the petrol's.

Of the two trims, we'd go for the range-topping LX. You'll get alloy wheels, air-con, remote central locking, four electric windows, six airbags and a CD player. The upgrade isn't that pricey, either.

The more modest GS is missing too much safety kit on the petrol-engined car (no curtain airbags), although you do get air-con, powered front windows and a CD player, though. Oddly, the GS diesel is better, with curtain airbags, a sunroof and electric rear windows added.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Kia Rio hatchback?