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VW Polo Trendline vs Kia Rio S Hatch


VW Polo Trendline and Kia Rio S Hatch go head-to-head in this comparative review.

value

VW Polo Trendline

$19,490

Costing more than the Rio, the Polo Trendline matches it for features like Bluetooth and iPod connectivity with audio streaming, 15-inch alloys, full-size spare, chillable glovebox, daytime driving lights and more besides.

Kia Rio S Hatch

$18,290

The four-speed auto betters the Trendline's price and adds niceties like Bluetooth and iPod connectivity with audio streaming, and steering wheel mounted audio controls, 15-inch alloys and cargo cover.

technology

VW Polo Trendline

It runs a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine making 63kW/132Nm and mated here to a seven-speed auto. It's functional enough but you'll want to spend the few grand extra for the turbo-charged 1.2 TSI. That won our 2010 COTY. Consumption is a reasonable 6.0-6.1L/100km.

Kia Rio S Hatch

Under the Rio's shapely bonnet is a 1.4-litre four-cylinder producing 79kW/135Nm at 4200rpm. This is mated to a slick-shifting six-speed manual as standard, and a four-speed automatic as a cost-option. Fuel consumption is 6.3L/100km for the auto.

design

VW Polo Trendline

The Polo looks more premium than its price suggests. But the interior isn't quite as classy as that in the Rio, although the seats are more supportive. Neither car gets soft-touch plastics, but the Rio manages to look a little classier.

Kia Rio S Hatch

The look is down to former Audi head designer Peter Schreyer and is a stunner from every angle. The inside is well laid out with an easy-to-use dash that looks more premium than the Polo's. This model misses out on the sumptuous soft-touch plastics.

safety

VW Polo Trendline

Gets a five-star ANCAP crash safety rating, runs six airbags and gets things like traction and stability control, electronic diff lock and anti-slip regulation. There are also things like a  visual and audible seatbelt warning for driver and front seat passenger.

Kia Rio S Hatch

Five ANCAP stars. Standards include ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, stability and traction control, day/night rear view mirror, hill-start assist, six airbags, child-proof rear door locks, crash-sensing auto unlock, and more.

driving

VW Polo Trendline

The little Polo makes harder work of the hills than the Rio. Around town it's nippy enough. While the firm ride proves fantastic on the right road, it's a little juddery across most surfaces. It's not quite as good as the Rio, not in this trim, at least.

Kia Rio S Hatch

Ride and handling has been tuned to suit our roads, so it feels like you're in a more expensive car. Steering and brakes are good, too, and the engine, with either the manual or the cost-optional auto, feels more perky than its numbers would suggest.

Verdict

VW Polo Trendline

Kia Rio S Hatch

The Rio is fine-looking, fun to drive, and priced right. Sure, the Polo is good, but you need to spend more to get their 1.2 TSI or settle for a manual. Of the choices here, the Rio is best.