Used test: Kia Rio vs Skoda Fabia

If you're looking for a great small car the Rio and the Fabia are two of our favourites, but which one makes the most sense bought used? Read on to find out...

Used test: Kia Rio vs Skoda Fabia

Our Verdict

Wow, this is a genuinely close contest, and really hard-fought. The Rio runs the Fabia right down to the wire. That cracking engine makes it surprisingly nippy, and it’s genuinely roomy for four adults (even for five at a push), and it’s handsomely equipped and nicely finished too. If only it were a bit more comfortable, and a little bit nicer to drive, it might have won. However, if you found a good one near you and you felt inclined to buy it and benefit from the remainder of its long warranty we wouldn’t blame you.

Once again, though, it’s the Fabia’s package of affordability, decent practicality and fine driving manners that keeps it at the top of the pile. Its steering is nicer, for one, it’s more comfortable and its low-speed and around-town ride is better, too, and as that’s where these two cars will spend the majority of their time that is obviously quite an important factor. The Fabia also has a better infotainment system and, bought as here at two-years-old, it’s cheaper by a fairly considerable amount. So victory to the Fabia then but, as Wellington said of Waterloo, it was the nearest-run thing you ever saw.

Read our review of the all-new Skoda Fabia

1st – Skoda Fabia

New Kia Rio vs Skoda Fabia

For: Sweeter ride and handling; better infotainment; cheaper to buy

Against: Less rear seat space; slower; not as well equipped

Verdict: Great to drive, sit in and live with. Still one of our favourite small cars

4 out of 5 stars

Read the full used Skoda Fabia review 

Buy a used Skoda Fabia with What Car? >>

2nd – Kia Rio

New Kia Rio vs Skoda Fabia

For: Stronger performance; more space in the back

Against: Jittery town ride; too much road noise; infotainment fiddly

Verdict:  Comes up short in a few areas, but still very recommendable

4 out of 5 stars

Read the full used Kia Rio review

Buy a used Kia Rio with What Car? >>

Specifications: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE

Engine size 1.2-litre petrol

List price when new £14,005

Price today £9000

Power 89bhp

Torque 118lb ft

0-60mph 11.3sec

Top speed 113mph

Fuel economy 60.1mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 117g/km

Specifications: Kia Rio 1.0 T GDi 99 ‘2’

Engine size 1.0-litre petrol

List price when new £14,545

Price today £11,000

Power 99bhp

Torque 126lb ft

0-60mph 10.0sec

Top speed 115mph

Fuel economy 62.8mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 102g/km

Price today is based on a 2017 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

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