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Kia's little city car is monster big on value, writes Ian Mallon

WHAT'S the difference between the Kia Rio and Dublin City Council?

Both have made plans for the Dublin motorist for the next seven years, but only one can do parking.

This week as I considered the 'still sensational' seven-year Kia warranty, I came to thinking what would happen if a car company ran Dublin City Council.

Take the current farce where the council will pay a whopping €35 million over seven years for an outside company to come in and run parking in the city.

Then consider that the council will have to cough up another half-a-million euro a year to make up for the shortfall in revenue.


Basically, it's like having an ability to earn €5 million a year, but you decide to get someone else to do the work and it ends up costing you an extra €5.5 million.

It certainly wouldn't happen in the private secotr, but hey what's public money for if you can't enjoying hooring it down the drain.

At a time when the Justice Minister wants to fly to Poland on the Government jet for €20k, Dublin City Council wants to waste our money on removing cars from the half-empty streets of the large ghost estate that is Dublin.

There is good news for those tormented by parking and seven year plans, however - and that is the perfectly pint-sized Kia Rio.

The firm's warranty is still the best show in town and still surprises me just how well it works for Kia and its excellent fleet of cars -- and I include the Soul in that (honestly).

One of the big winners for the Korean giant will be the Rio, something that I don't often say: 'A beautiful small car.'

My time with the Soul was a surprising time, as I felt a real quality in a small budget-priced car that I've rarely seen before.

And this is a small car.

The entry model is a 1.25 litre petrol LX clocking in with just 83 bhp, while the 1.4 diesel version is a far more sophisticated 89bhp.

One of Kia's selling points for the Rio is the improved stability which brings about a smoother ride -- one of the more noticeable features.

Even at 100kph on the motorway you never quite feel that you're driving such an 'insignificant' carriage.

There is increased cabin and luggage space, surprisingly so for one so petite.

CO2 emissions for the model range start at just 85 g/km (not on sale in Ireland), which places the most environmentally-friendly version of Kia's new model, the Rio EcoDynamics, ahead of all other B-segment vehicles.

The new model is longer, wider and lower and features a wheelbase extended by 70 mm -- greatly enhancing passenger space and cargo capacity.

With an overall height of 1,455 mm, the new Rio has one of the lowest rooflines in Kia's product range, emphasising its purposeful stance.


The cabin is more spacious than its predecessor, enhancing leg and head room both front and rear -- but three adults is a squeeze in the back.

Prices for the Kia Rio begin from €15,295 - that doesn't include DCC parking costs.