Kia Rio (2005 – 2011) Review

Kia Rio (2005 – 2011) At A Glance


+Roomy, well equipped and keen value. Diesel is easy on the fuel. Four-star crash test rating.

-Cabin finish is pretty average.

Insurance Groups are between 12–19
On average it achieves 82% of the official MPG figure

The biggest problem the new Kia Rio has it you've heard it all before.

Family car at baby car price. Lots of extras at a stripped out price. 1.4 engine for the price of a 1.2. All that kind of stuff. And even though the old Rio was a lot of car for the money, it wasn't really much of a car.

All that has now changed beyond belief. I got into the new Rio diesel a bit irritated because I'd arrived late after a dental appointment. Then I tried to cut short the route and went the wrong way. Then I hit traffic. So it wasn't until I was half way through the test run that I began to realise what a good car I was driving.

KIA Rio III 2005 Range Road Test

Real MPG average for a Kia Rio (2005 – 2011)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

26–62 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

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Ask Honest John

What are your thoughts on the Kia Rio?

"I am thinking of buying a 2010 Kia Rio 1.4 2010 manual petrol with 35,000 mileage for £3500. I would like to know your general opinion about KIA Rio? What should I look for before buying it? Is it a fair price for such car? "
They were okay. Some of the trim wasn't very nice, but the cars themselves are good looking ands reliable. The diesel was better than the petrol. See: and You can probably work £500 off the price.
Answered by Honest John

Kia Rio petrol or diesel?

"Looking to spend £5K on a used Rio, covering 10K to 12K miles per year. Would you recommend the 1.4 petrol or 1.5 diesel? Never owned diesel before and don't want to get into costly DPF issues etc but not sure this is a problem with the CRDI version. I like the fact that the diesel is chain cam rather than belt cam, but keen to hear your opinion on the two engines. Looking to keep the car for the next 5 years. "
The old shape Rio 1.5 diesel was not plagued with a DPF and was both reliable and good to drive, so I'd go for that.
Answered by Honest John

Can you recommend a cheap second car?

"I am looking for a second car for work/odd jobs that will otherwise ruin a new car. All it needs to be is cheap to run/buy and reliable. The top contenders are the last model Kia Rio 1.5 diesel and the Toyota Yaris 1.4 diesel, as these are chain cam which I prefer. I have also thought about cheaper options like the Renault Clio 1.5 and Peugeot 206 1.4 HDI. What do you recommend? "
Better the old model Rio 1.5 diesel or the Yaris 1.4D-4D. The Renault and Peugeot are belt cam and 206s tend to fall to bits. HJ
Answered by Honest John

Which car is best for high mileage - EcoBoost or diesel?

"I currently rack up 20,000 miles a year and run a 1.6 petrol Ford Focus Style. I would like to change my car for something more economical. Is it is better to go for a smaller EcoBoost Fiesta or should I get a diesel Focus?"
For that mileage a diesel would make sense. But not a Focus diesel with a DPF and a lot of other stuff that could go wrong. And you didn't tell me how much you can spend. Earlier today a reader asked if he should buy a 2009 KIA Rio 1.5 diesel or a 2007 KIA cee'd 1.6 diesel to deliver pizzas in. Both chain cam. Both make sense because no DPF. But the 2009 made more sense than the 2007.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Kia Rio (2005 – 2011) cost?