Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?
As I mentioned, the cost of entry for the automatic Rio S is $17,490. With the $520 ‘Signal Red’ paint, the as-tested for this car comes to $18,010.
In the base-model stakes, every dollar is going to count, so consider you can have Honda’s entry-level Jazz VTi with an automatic for $16,990, the Mazda2 Neo auto at $16,990 and the Suzuki Swift GL Navigator auto at $17,990.
So, the Rio S is more expensive than two of those very appealing options, but multimedia inclusions are one of the Rio’s strong points. You get easily one of the best looking and functioning 7.0-inch multimedia touchscreens at this end of the market. It has a sensible design, a responsive touch interface, big-chunky shortcut buttons, supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity.
There’s also an excellent reversing camera and rear parking sensors, but that’s about where the good equipment comes to an end. You do get the expected inclusions at this price; halogen headlamps, hard-wearing cloth interior trim, dorky-looking 15-inch steel wheels and auto headlamps.
Missing is cruise control - available on all three of those competitors - alloy wheels and sat nav (both standard on the Swift) and, most importantly, AEB which is standard on the Mazda2. More on that in the ‘safety’ section, though.
In terms of value, the Rio S would be in strong contention if it were $1000 cheaper, but could use the addition of AEB, alloy wheels, or at least cruise control to justify its current price-point.