Review: 2014 Kia Rio

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

In the small car world, it’s not always about getting from A to B. It’s about creating an experience that’s fun and enjoyable for everyone. Everyone, including a young driver in their first car, a parent nicking down to the shops, or grandparents visiting friends at the RSL down the road.

The Kia Rio is all about style on a budget – think Target teaming up with Roberto Cavalli. Priced from $14,490 drive away, the entry-level Rio S 3 Door hatch offers a great starting point with air-conditioning, 6 airbags, Bluetooth and more.

Kia’s always have the power to surprise (pardon the pun), and with a range of awards from Carsales, Carsguide and New Car Buyer from 2006 through to 2013, there must be something special about this car.

Initial Impression 

Even though other manufacturers have started to pay more attention to the styling of their smallest vehicles, the Kia Rio remains as one of the best looking small cars on the market. 

Thanks to the styling excellence from former Audi design chief, Peter Schreyer, there’s a lot of European influence both inside and out that makes the Rio look a lot more premium.

Even for those a little larger than the average person, it feels nice and roomy on the inside, with a high roofline and large windows.


Offered in the Rio are two engine sizes, a 1.4L four-cylinder and a 1.6L four-cylinder that offer 79kW and 103kW of power respectively. What makes these two engines significant, is that the power offered is some of the best in the segment.

This makes getting around in peak hour traffic, or overtaking that caravan on the highway, really easy and stress free.

Road noise for a hatch traditionally tends to be quite loud, but thanks to some good sound dampening, the experience in the Rio was quite pleasant, even on a loud highway surface.

As for fuel economy, our 5-door Si review model reported a figure of 6.7L/100km for our combined cycle of driving, but you should be able to see that figure drop closer to Kia’s claimed 5.6L/100km once the engine is run in.

Overall, the driving experience was impressive. Kia Australia tunes each and every model in Australia for Australian conditions, and whilst the steering and suspension wasn’t perfect, it was definitely good enough for everyone stopping short of pro racecar drivers.


The dimensions of the Rio, being a little bigger than some other cars in its class, allow it to claim the best rear head room and leg room in its class.  So, whether its child seats in the back, or tall teenagers, you’ll be left with a little bit of room to spare for luggage.

Just like the space for the rear passengers, the boot space is one of the biggest available. If you aren’t accommodating rear passengers, you can more than triple your rear boot space by dropping the 60/40 seats.

So, if you’re trying to figure out how to fit that new big screen TV in, you can rest easy.


Whilst sitting in one of the most competitive car segments, where some new cars will cost you less than a newly renovated kitchen, it offers a totally different experience.

Depending on your budget and your needs, the Kia Rio range starts from $14,490 for the entry-level 3-door hatch and works its way into the low $23,000 range for the top-of-the-range 5-door hatch.

Included in the purchase price is Kia’s unrivalled 7 Year/Unlimited KM warranty, and access to 7 Years of Capped Price Servicing and Roadside Assist. This provides excellent peace of mind that can even be transferred to subsequent owners.


Kia have created an excellent car that challenges the status quo and goes to offer class leading features in a great looking package. Current owners will tell you how much they love their car and how well it tackles the competition.

The 2014 Kia Rio is an impressive car to drive and live with and should be on any shopping list.

Make sure you come in and test drive this little hatch at either of our Motorama Kia dealerships at Moorooka and Browns Plains.

Search our Pre-Owned Kia Rio's