back to article Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi EcoDynamics

A Kia? Reviewed by Reg Hardware? No, we’ve not taken leave of our senses, because the new Rio EcoDynamics is being pitched as the most fuel-efficient and least-polluting car - when it comes to CO2, anyway - you can buy without an electric motor poking its nose into the drive train. Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi EcoDynmics diesel car Not …


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  1. annodomini2

    ok... ish

    74bhp from a 1.1 Common rail diesel is pretty good.

    Back end has been ripped straight from a Seat.

    Profile is very fiat bravo.

    But that front grille is hideous!

    Interior looks very low quality too, bit overpriced IMO, given as stated Ford and Vauxhall have equivalents in the same price range, but better quality.

    MPG difference is less significant, 88mpg is probably more like 65 real world, the fiesta is rated as 68, which is probably more 55 real world. (Difference is higher as engine is smaller and will need to be thrashed!)

    10mpg over 12,000 miles results in about £225 saving over a year (Fuel @ £1.50/Litre), if you factor in depreciation, the ford would probably make up for this.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "MPG difference is less significant, 88mpg is probably more like 65 real world,"

    Seems you are right

    On a trip from Manchester to Swansea and back - down along the M6/M5 and back up the A483 - I averaged 67mpg on the motorways and 58mpg on the A-road return journey

    Which makes me wonder how and why they have a standard measure that everyone knows isn't repeated in the real world. Is it actually useful for anyone?

    1. AdamWill


      The point isn't really to measure an 'accurate real world' figure (that's more or less impossible, because it'll depend on your driving style, where you drive, when you drive etc). The point is to measure all vehicles using the exact same test, and have that test at least more-or-less resemble real world driving. You're not supposed to read the resulting numbers as 'the mpg you will get when driving this car', but you _can_ use them for comparison: it should broadly be the case that a given car which is 20% more efficient than another given car in the tests will also be 20% more efficient than that other given car in the real world. That's the real purpose of the numbers.

  3. Ian Stephenson

    Low friction tires?

    Even the concept of these worry me, I mean the whole idea of a tire is to grip the road!

    Can anyone explain how these are not a bad idea given British weather?

    Stop sign because I'm not convinced it will......

    1. annodomini2

      Low rolling resistance, rather than Low friction.

      1. Tapeador

        Isn't that

        the same thing?

        1. annodomini2

          Low rolling resistance is is a specific load and direction.

          1. some vaguely opinionated bloke


            ... in my experience low rolling resistance tyres do not grip as well laterally as their more traditional counterparts, particularly in the wet.

        2. Giles Jones Gold badge

          Rolling resistance is the energy used up by the tyre flexing as it rolls along (look at your tyre, it has a little bulge at the bottom), it's nothing to do with the tread pattern.

  4. BigBruce

    if you can get one

    I ordered my 1.1 CRDi '1' (the 88.3mpg one) back in early October with an expected delivery date of early December.

    Early December came with out even a production slot visible. Then just before xmas the garage told me that there was a production issue with them and they would be delayed.

    In January I was finally told that there would be no production till June (for all Diesel versions).

    The garage did manange to get my name down for one of the '1' Air versions which had been made before the stoppage , though they haven't yet agreed to give me it for the same price as the non air version (despite it being 77.8mpg instead of the 88.3).

    So nice little car IF you can get one.

  5. armyknife

    Maybe you're not a very good driver ?

    See title.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wretched, styleless cars...

    The latter shape Hyundai Coupe begs to differ with you on that, and that was released 10 years ago (not the one that looked like it melted).

    1. Colin Millar

      Yeah - but the Hyundai Coupe did have those other problems

      No performance, no speed, no reliability, no handling, high emissions, high consumption.

      The car was an absolute dog.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great Review compared to Fifth Gear

    Great review, I'm glad to see it's getting close to it's rated MPG and you've taken the time to look at all the various practicalities of the car apart from just pure speed and acceleration

    Compare that to a recent episode of Fifth Gear recently where they claimed to be trying to get close to the rated MPG figure but just seemed to give up and absolutely horse the thing, then complain they got less than half the MPG they were 'supposed' to get. Too much time driving Ferraris I feel.

    I've had a curiosity about this car for some time and this review has been a good read.

  8. Silverburn

    Quiet French Diesels?

    If my french Diesel is anything to go by, the only reason it's quiet is because a butterfly in China flapped its wings so it spontanously dumped all its oil and welded itself solid.

    French Diesels are great. When they're not blowing Turbos, manifolds, injectors, heads or bottom ends.

    1. Tapeador

      French diesels

      at least the citroens, are the same as ford, peugeot diesels - in fact shared across a great number of cars. i think it's the amount of damping around the engine bay that makes much of the difference (might be wrong...)

      1. annodomini2

        Quality of the injection system affects the 'knock' as well.

        It can be eliminated, but the injection system is so expensive you'd tripple the price of an executive saloon. i.e. S-Class diesel in the £180k region!

  9. Armando 123

    One question

    Is Kia still building cars with a suspension that can be damaged by running over a nightcrawler?

  10. Alfie

    Recent Kia OK

    I had a Pro Cee'd 1.6 CRDi for over three years with no real issues. It was "3" spec so it sat on stiff suspension and big alloys that didn't help the ride, but the interior was pretty much unmarked after three years, and it looks very similar to the Rio interior. Couldn't really complain about build quality or the 7 year warranty...

    ...but it was so very, very dull to drive. Traded it in for a Renault Wind, even though I know that I'll probably have issues with it, it actually likes to go round corners and gives feedback to the driver.

    1. annodomini2

      Broken down yet though?

      1. Tapeador

        quite so

        it's a getting-to-a-place-cheaply-and-safely device, not a toy.

        try telling police crash investigators you view driving as a bit of fun and a game and they'll probably chin you!

  11. Bodhi

    Why on Earth are El Reg now reviewing depressing little hatchbacks? Seriously, a Kia.....with a 1.1 litre diesel engine......I cannot think of anything I would want to drive less. It's quite tragic that the great unwashed have got it into their heads that they MUST buy a more economical car, when they fail to realise fuel is only a very small part of the bill for running a car, which means manufacturers are released utter tedium like this.

    The number of times I have had the conversation with people who have spent 10k+ on a new diesel to save £200 a year in fuel beggars belief. Or the ones who do 3,000 miles a year and insist on going diesel, when a petrol would work out far cheaper. Idiots the lot of them.

    Mine's the one with the keys to a 15 year old BM in it. Cheaper to run than a BlueEcoMotiveMotionHybridSynergyDynamics and 1000x more fun too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      If cost savings are your main motivation when buying a car, then NOT buying a new one (and getting shafted royally by the depreciation in the first few years) is probably the wisest move!

    2. Peter Townsend

      New v Old

      Yeah, but did your 15yr old BMW come with a 7-year warranty?

      Reviews of new cars are aimed a new car buyers, this isn't Auto Trader FFS.

      1. Colin Millar
        Thumb Down

        Er - since when

        Did anyone buy a car because of the warranty? If the warranty is featuring that much in your decision then FFS don't buy it cos its obviously a piece of crap.

        And if someone spending loadsadosh doesn't consider all their options including the second hand market then they are as dumb as a bag of spanners.

    3. Tapeador

      your bimmer

      probably costs 2 grand a year in fuel against 1 grand for this machine; probably requires another grand in welding PA, and a fuckload of hassle every time some widget goes wrong and you have to figure out whether you want to get underneath it and get on ebay for every stupid doohickey which breaks, and/or risk being ripped off by your mechanic who has a bill to pay; that against 7 years of car at £1k-1.4k a year, fixed servicing costs...

      TIME is the real cost of an ancient car - and life is short!

      1. Bodhi

        It actually costs closer to 3 grand a year in fuel, due to the mileage I'm doing. I worked out I could save about 3 pound a day if I bought a depressing little hatchback, which I would then spend in the pub when I got home to forget about the ordeal of peddling a tiny diesel engine up and down the M6. It requires zero welding, ever (ever heard of galvanised panels?) and very little in maintenance as it has been well looked after in its life. If something goes wrong I just drop it off with my mechanic, who lends me a car to get to work and fixes it to BMW standards for half the price. 33,000 miles I've done in it now and have spent the sum total of bugger all keeping it going, and haven;t even had to get me hands dirty.

        All I'm saying is that with a bit of common sense and buying wisely, you can have something far more interesting for a lesser amount. Hmm 1.1 diseasal or lovely 2.8 litre straight six? that is a toughy.....

        1. Tapeador

          @ Bodhi (bimmer owner)

          Ok you got me there, your car is more interesting. and you seem to have the nouse and support to keep the finances under control.

          In my case, I had a 2.8 granada many years ago - amazing but too fast - but then that is factoring in there was a complete idiot at the wheel, i.e. me at the time. seriously - i couldn't bring myself to drive within the speed limit - or even a long way within it. it was probably a blessing when some lady wrote it off driving into it.

          so having a car which is slower than anything else on the road for me is a safety feature!! one gets up to 26 or 30 and you thinik "ooer missus, this is a bit fast..!!" lol.

        2. SoftFox

          @ Bodhi

          Sounds better if you put it at 3 pounds a day..

          Thats 100 pounds a month (nearly), a not small sum for most people. Then there is the free road tax..thats probably another 20 (?) quid a month saving at least... All adds up

    4. AceRimmer

      Fuel costs

      Fuel costs are not a small cost of running the car if you're doing 25,000 miles a year.

      I've got an "eco box" just for my work miles. It pays for itself in fuel savings

  12. Mike Wilson
    Paris Hilton

    Ford or Volkswagen

    "OK, the plastics and fabrics aren’t quite up there with the best from Ford or Volkswagen...".

    Ford have come a long way in the last 10 years, haven't they? I never used to hear them mentioned as a paragon of quality.

    A few years back when people laughed at horrid Korean cars, I told them to remember what early Japanese cars were like and to give the Koreans a few years. Looks like they have got where they probably planned to be all along.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did you by any chance own a yellow Datsun Sunny 23 years ago?

      1. . 3


        Hah. My daily driver is a Datsun Cherry. I had a Proton MPi once. The Proton was a thinly veiled 80's Vauxhall and although comfy exhibited all the rubbishness. Apart for is love for the tinworm, the Datsun is in a different league in terms of component quality and refinement.

        I don't think you can draw any meaningful comparison between Japanese and South Korean car industries at all. Different mindset, different goals.

        1. Z80

          Those Protons were based on a Mitsubishi model. It was Daewoo that used to have cars based on 80s Vaukhalls with the Espero (Mk. 2 Cavalier) and the Nexia (Mk.2 Astra).

          1. MJI Silver badge


            I still remember a head to head test between the Daewoo Astra and a second hand Vauxhall Astra - the Vauxhal won

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nicely sited

    oil filter - v accessible and practical (says he still sore from trying to get to the filter on his peugeot)

  14. hEdly

    what the???

    <sarcasm> Why is the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car? Is the photo reversed? It will never sell in the states like that </sarcasm>

    1. DRendar

      Yanks just don't get humor at all.

      <sarcasm> Why is the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car? Is the photo reversed? It will never sell in the states like that </sarcasm>

      That isn't sarcasm.

      Sarcasm would be "Oh that car is going to sell REALLY well in the US..."

      What you said was satire, which you get points for, but misrepresenting it as sarcasm puts you right back to square one. Sorry!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kia comes with a Rio that gets a decent number of miles per gallon. And Ford adds a start/stop thingie to a Focus, and advertise it as the best thing since sliced bread. Yes, it's all very new and exciting and totally awesome. Assuming you're not familiar with the Volkswagen Lupo 3L.

    The moment there is a diesel that gets more than 100mpg I might get excited, but this car doesn't really warrant this amount of coverage.

  16. jungle_jim


    i got 62mpg out of my old 120d on a run.

    not impressed.

    and yes i am aware the cars cost a lot different from new, but a 2l diesel nearly matching a 1.1l for economy.... meh

    1. MN

      That's a BMW, though

      Less air resistance due to you probably being 1" from the car in front, and less work for the alternator, due to refusal to use indicators.

      1. jungle_jim


        the fucking car cost enough.... didn't want to pay for indicators as well did i?! people should keep out of my way anyway, as im a better driver.

    2. annodomini2

      Larger engine

      With the larger engine you don't need to work it as hard to achieve desired performance.

      But at the same time, my Clio DCI will do over 90mpg if driven like a granny.

      Driven the same way with this car you may achieve 80-90 listed.

    3. MJI Silver badge


      Pah! My moped did 200mpg but only 40mph.

      I did however have a Suzuki 250 which would do 80mpg at 80mph.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    German Styling

    "partly styled at Kia’s German studio" indeed. It screams GM at me. The Vauxhall Insignia scallop in the side, the preposterous high shoulder line, the wilfully bland rear quarters and the uber-retro honeycomb pattern fake diffuser. I mean, 16" wheels? That thing looks almost as big as the current generation Corsa (i.e. roughly the same as a 90's Ford Granada). I bet these don't sell well in the home market.

  18. KitD

    Headlight bulbs

    How easy is it to change headlight bulbs? I've ****ing had it with modern cars that require you to dismantle the front grill / remove the battery + supports / flay the back of your hand just to put in a new ****ing headlight bulb !!!

    1. jungle_jim

      just do what loads of people seem to be doing nowadays.

      drive around with one (or more) light out. stupid cunts.

      1. Silverburn
        Thumb Up

        @ jungle jim

        That's 'cos car are so reliable these days, that everyone ignores the daily Checks. Admit it - how many of you checked your lights, tyres (all 5, for pressure, wear & damage), oil and coolant levels, "schooshers" level, wiper damage etc?

        Not many, I suspect. Most people don't even know how to open their bonnets, or how to do even the most basic preventative maintenance. Reliability has reached "white goods" level, and people have got complacent.

        PS - I hate the broken light brigade too. Especially the ones with 2 broken brake lights, but think that because the centre one works, it's all ok. Cunts.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Checking the car

          Tyres occasionally, coolant and oil level - my car tells me, lights bulb failure warnings, washer fluid - level sensor.

          They all work as my car has a small oil* and a small coolant leak#.

          * Replaced both cam cover gaskets, oil filter gasket, oil pressure sensor, cam seals next to be checked.

          # Only in winter, replaced a few tatty pipes.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        1 light w@nkers

        Too many of them around, gets on my nerves, I flash them - maybe one day they will get the message.

        1. karl reading

          thats all very well mate but when your car requires a garage to change the bulb because the silly bialys in france couldn't even design a bloody croissant let alone a light cluster and u don't have the money for the labour charge, sometime u have to drive around with just the one in till pay dy...

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Headlamp bulbs

      Took me about 30 minutes a side last time - including fitting ballasts (went Xenon) fittiing the washers took longer.

      Anyway sidelight bulb took 10 minutes including removing and refitting the air filter box.

      An old car I had took about 2 minutes to swap a bulb.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A decent little review that strikes a fair balance between tech, driving experience and practicality. I don't usually read car reviews but the Reg's are the exception. Good work, credit where due etc

  20. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Junky tires, and a nice car.

    @Ian Stephenson, yep these kinds of tires are rubbish, they allow for a (slightly) higher MPG rating while compromising handling, braking, (maybe) acceleration, and safety. @armyknife, one aspect of being a good driver is keeping your vehicle in safe condition. These tires I'm sure are technically legal, but they really are not remotely safe tires. I've been in several vehicles with these types of tires, and they don't corner worth a damn, don't stop worth a damn, and don't give any warning they are getting ready to let loose. So, if someone stops short in front of you and there's a drop of rain on the road, you WILL ram into them. My friend got rid of his after he got stuck because *1* out of 4 tires was in about 2 inches of snow (with the other 3 tires on dry pavement.) That was too much for it!

    That said, I wish they'd sell some cars like that here in the states. They are starting to pay *some* attention, finally within the last year or two more 40MPG (that is 48MPG in your British gallons..) cars have come out than just the Prius and a few inflated-MPG Honda Hybrids, whereas before... well... you could either get some car with a nice torquey V6, where they'd pull out the stops for MPG and get 30MPG (that's 36 UK MPG), or a little 4-cylinder that they instead tuned and geared strictly for power, so it'd still be far slower than the V6 but also get about 30MPG. (This is why us US'ians had this apparent obsession with V6s and V8s btw... the car companies were supplying 4 cylinders with no mileage advantage over the 6, so why buy it?) But over 75 (US) MPG? Yeah, I'd be interested in that.

  21. darkmage0707077

    "88 Miiiiles per Galloooonnnnn!!"

    I am utterly shocked that they haven't come out with a comercial for this car featuring Back to the Future's Doc Brown recreating the famous opening scene from same with this car. I would almost pay to see it made...

    And if people try to tell me that there's no way Christopher Loyd would do it - or COULD do it - I'll just direct them to this TV commercial from Argentina:

  22. b166er

    A good effort, but I'd rather have a Fiesta Econetic with the 1.6 lump. I just get the feeling that engine would last longer.

    @jungle_jim, or the cnuts that fit the bulbs incorrectly so they're angled into your optic nerve!

    Or the planks that think it's 'cool' to have the front fog lights on, or the tossers that buy 30% brighter bulbs, or the wankers that sell 30% brighter bulbs, or the regulator who thought it would be sensible to sell 30% brighter bulbs, I mean, WTF, sure it's got the same beam pattern, but overall, there are more photons for chrissakes!

    Finally, the selfish, arrogant, bloody-minded knuckle-draggers who use full beam regardless.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Practical horsepower

    I'm not particularly precious about the cars I drive, as long as they drive well, but 0-60 in 15 seconds just doesn't cut it.

    Not that I'm a speed freak, but when I'm sitting on a twisting A road behind an 18 wheeler, and I have /one/ chance in the next 20 miles to overtake - I want to be able to do that safely. And for that, you really need a bit over one hundred horses for a car that size, especially with passengers and a full boot.

    More than that, as others have pointed out a smaller engine has to be worked harder, especially on the roads I drive, which are rarely flat - which would leave me getting little better fuel economy than a 1.8 litre diesel, but without the pulling power when I need it.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Cars are too heavy now

      Used to have a 900kg car with just over 100bhp, now that sort of power is used for a slow super mini.

      Yet that car could do 0-60 in about 8 seconds. With not THAT much power.

      1. annodomini2

        Gearing is longer too for emissions crap!

  24. karl reading

    Well if my french P.O.S didn't need a garage and an hours labour to change the bulbs, nor had an appetite for a bulb a month, then i wouldn't have to drive round for one week plus on one bulb cause I'm waiting for pay day.......

  25. jungle_jim

    lighter cars

    i would love them to re release a few old school cars with modern engines.

    i would PAY for a brand new MK1 escort with the only difference being it had a modern engine up front.

    ok, so aerodynamics would be an issue, but i still reckon the urban MPG would be competitive!

    and off the lights would give lots of stuff a good run for their money!

    i will have to publish my MPG when my ghetto MK2 tina with modernish engine is done (800kg from the factory)

    1. annodomini2

      I agree with the principle, however...

      Its the crash protection legislation that is forcing the cars to get heavier.

      More specifically the pedestrian impact rubbish.

      Most cars going from NCAP 4 to NCAP 5 gained IRO 15-25% weight!

  26. jungle_jim


    it is a shame really....

    i bet the original mini would still sell.

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