2018 Kia Rio Review
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2018 Kia Rio Review

Car Tested: 2018 Kia Rio; Road Test No. 981; Test Location: Delhi, NCR

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 7-11 lakhs (est.)

The Kia Rio is one of the best-selling cars worldwide for the Korean carmaker

The Kia Rio is currently in its fourth generation. Based on the Hyundai Elite i20, the premium hatchback was showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo earlier this year and is expected to be launched in India by 2020. Tough times ahead for the Maruti Baleno, Honda Jazz and the Hyundai Elite i20? Time will tell.

The bigger wheels and the hunkered down stance make the Rio look very handsome

Exteriors – First things first, the Kia Rio is an instant attention grabber. This is the international-spec version and hence it sits lower to the ground, gets a sunroof and bigger alloy wheels as well. That aside, the premium hatchback, like any other Kia car gets a sporty design and is very youth-centric in the way it looks. The signature Tiger nose grille is flanked by projector headlights with U-shaped LED DRLs at either side. The lower part of the bumper houses a large air intake and the vehicle gets projector fog lights. The dual-tone alloy wheels complement the otherwise plain-looking side profile. The LED tail-lights add a touch of bling to the rear fascia while the black finish on the bumper cuts off the visual mass slightly. Overall, the Rio is very European in terms of its design and is easily one of the most attractive looking cars in its class.

The cabin of the Rio hatchback is as sporty and good-looking as the exteriors

Interiors – The Kia Rio gets an all-black treatment for the cabin. Quality levels of the materials used inside are just surreal. The 3-spoke steering wheel gets a ton of buttons and looks as well as feels good to hold to. The instrument console is similar to the one on the Hyundai Elite i20 and one grouse with our test car is the infotainment system. The small screen does make it feel out of place, especially in 2018. However, when launched in our market, expect the Korean carmaker to give it a touchscreen unit with all sorts of connectivity options. In terms of features, our test car was equipped with climate control AC, electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs, engine start-stop button, rear parking camera with adaptive guidelines, cruise control, electric sunroof and faux leather upholstery.

In comparison to the Elite i20, there is limited space at the rear

Both the front and rear seats of the vehicle are well-cushioned and feel comfortable

There is generous space at the rear and the seats are foldable in 60:40 ratio for more practicality. While there are no rear AC vents on offer, the 300-litres boot space is big in size and can easily swallow a family’s weekend luggage.