THE 2016 Kia Rio was in run-out mode at the time of Australia’s Best Cars testing but it still mounts a strong argument when all the buying, ownership and driving aspects are carefully weighed up. The entry-level Rio S delivers good value for money with a low purchase price, better than average running repair costs, respectable fuel economy and the reassurance of Kia’s lengthy seven-year warranty. In design and function, Rio has one of the more spacious cabins in the class, the seats are comfortable, and well-placed controls add to the driving ease. Rounding out the package is a five-star ANCAP safety rating, achieved with six airbags and a braking system that includes ABS, EBD and BA. While Rio’s on-road ability is not quite class-leading, it has all the city-friendly nimbleness you want to tackle the daily commute. The S model gets a smaller-capacity 1.4-litre engine and a four-speed automatic rather than the more powerful 1.6-litre with a six-speed auto found in the higher-priced versions. The 1.4-litre’s performance is solid but there is not much in reserve for steep hills or rapid passing.