Volkswagen Polo liftback or Kia Rio: which is better

Comparative test – “Kia Rio and Volkswagen Polo did not agree on USB”.

Last year, for well-known reasons, it is customary to berate, although for the segment B + it was surprisingly fruitful. As if on command, Hyundai Solaris and Skoda Rapid were updated. Restyled Kia Rio and Volkswagen Polo which survived a change of generations were not left in vain.

For confrontation we have involved two-pedal versions with well-known atmospheric petrol engines in volume of 1,6 liters. The Polo has MPI engine with capacity of 110 h.p. against 123 h.p. Rio. In the arsenal of front-wheel drive cars there are six-band torque convertible automatics. Only Kia has come to us in definitely fancy, though not maximum configuration Style for 1 074 900 rubles, whereas Volkswagen with price 1 314 000 rubles answers with top configuration Exclusive, added with “Comfort” and “Safety” packages. So, we ask you to consider the difference of 239,100 rubles beforehand.

The B+ segment in Russia today is the zone of special attention where the most demanded models rule. It is a sort of a blade of the market knife, on a sharp edge of which all the most best should be. In this class it is well seen who is worth what in reality. The winner is the one whose technology is as accessible as possible. Let this accessibility is expressed by the sum more than one million rubles.

Hello, general!

Externally, Rio always looked more advantageous than related Solaris. It always had more European severity that helped to look on the same wave with strong good Polo. However, the present generations of both models Polo and Rio, as they say, have gone a little bit mad. “German has put on its nose “grandfather’s glasses” – head optics from Jetta that made it look like a stunted general who has reached up to 5 meters forty. Whereas it is the other way round with the “Korean”: the car with once very well balanced appearance today has seized up in a fit of quasi-sportsmanship.

New complex-configured headlights of Rio are half the trouble. In our case the contrast stings when running lights are constructed on the basis of light-emitting diodes which shine with white light while other illumination is still smeared with yellow “halogens”. This discrepancy is “cured”, alas, only with Premium kitting with full LED optics.

We shall remind you that we have the version Style where Crystal White (body color) is decorated by red inserts. But why so many triangles in front and superfluous heavy decor behind? Strange niches for “fog lights”, false massive muffler spigots and the like? In this sense, though dwarfed, but general Polo with homogeneous powerful light of headlights looks more expensive and preferable. So does the rear. While you admire Polo’s LED lights, the “stern” Rio is embarrassed by pseudo-pipes of the muffler, which real pipe is hidden somewhere below and to the left. It is like a painted hearth in the fairy tale about Pinocchio.

The second row of Kia Rio is almost unchanged – although the backrest folds down in the 60/40 ratio, but there is still no armrest. Sitting behind me (with the height of 1.75 m) I bend my knees at 90 degrees – there is no place to stretch my legs. A taller person will have to sit sideways. The good thing is that the anatomy of the sofa seats and the comfort level allow it.

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It was warm.

But both automobiles feel as if they get smart in the interior. It is not so easy to get in Rio for a corpulent person, especially in powerful winter clothes: one should get down because of thinking how not to catch the threshold with pants. But the seat still holds firmly, not leaving without attention neither a lower back, nor a shoulder belt. Dense fabric upholstery of seats is not slippery, stitched in red. The same stitching is on leather of a steering wheel and a selector of a transmission. Bright red molding was badly impressed on the forward panel – the signs of the version Style everywhere. But the right elbow literally hangs; an armrest will appear only in the next configuration Prestige.

Nevertheless, as a whole I liked the interior of Rio. It is constructive; everything is clear and easy to find, despite a fair amount of buttons. Simplicity of control disposes the block of the climate – control which work impresses with efficiency: the interior is heated up quickly in frosty weather. Even the “windshield”, electric heating of which is available in a package “Warm options” only for three of seven complete sets is heated with usual air on glass without efforts.

In my case, when the old smartphone does not support the mobile application Android Auto, which connects to the car only via Bluetooth, 8-inch screen multimedia system is suitable only for managing the radio stations and media. (However, Volkswagen’s multimedia functionality is almost the same. In other words, it turns out that the navigation for the versions in test configurations is with its own forces). Rio has a rear view camera with dynamic markings. It is a pity that it is covered with snow. And there is only one USB port, so you will have to recharge gadgets with two 12-volt outlets. But the buttons of several warm options – heating of front seats and a steering wheel. And they work perfectly! The steering wheel, for example, is heated all round.

The German question In Polo the receiving socket under a cord with a plug Type-C is called USB port. It is difficult to imagine more impractical solution, especially as there are four such sockets in the cabin! And each of them requires a personal connector to connect the usual flash drive Type-A or the usual wire to recharge your smartphone/tablet with the traditional Type-A plug.

USB here.

The current Polo, having denied vanity, has taken the best from a model from its sister brand. Namely, after Skoda Rapid, the sedan became a liftback. The new configuration has allowed adding some useful centimeters to the wheelbase. Through the fifth door is now much more convenient to place bulky cargo in the trunk. The rear “wiper” turned out to be not superfluous, even if it is an additional option.

It seems that it is more comfortable to sit down in Polo, less you have to bend your back, although you can get your trousers dirty on the threshold here too. Boarding and ergonomics of the driver’s seat are partly reminiscent of Rio, if it had an armrest between the seats. Due to the tsunami dashboard (only for the top version Exclusive) the “German” makes an impression of more modern car. However, not the fact that it is the advantage. The electronic dashboard does not read well at first sight. A curious “chip” is the tachometer scale, each figure of which at the moment of passing by this virtual arrow increases approximately in one and a half time. The speedometer, alas, does not show such cartoons.

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If to understand, the new Polo has many advantages. It is not only a huge trunk with facilitated access, trimming on a decent level and a hatch in the back of the second row sofa for long goods. There is also convenience of boarding and a huge glove box, where not simply gloves, but hockey gloves can be easily put. And an armrest of the second row, covering already mentioned hatch – Rio does not have such even in top. At last, there is more space for legs on the second row in Polo. And the top configuration Exclusive is originally richer – the button of start of the engine, presence of a cruise control and back sensors of parking. There is even a heated windshield. A rear view camera with an excellent resolution is hidden from dirt under the emblem of the brand. But… All this all at once collapsed when it was found out that it is impossible to charge the smartphone in the car through a usual USB cable. Requires an adapter!

Prices and values The most affordable Polo today will cost 907,900 rubles, and the upper limit of its price is at 1,411,100 rubles (for 1.4 TSI version in the top configuration Exclusive with a full set of options). The price corridor on Rio is more modest: from 859,900 to 1,214,900 roubles.

Stability here, too.

After a restyling, though, the characters of the cars have remained virtually unchanged. Kia confidently takes off: automatic, thanks to close friendship with a 1,6-liter engine, allows not only vigorously outrunning neighbors in stream, but also quite comfortably, without jerks and lags, to squirm in traffic jams. Perhaps, it is still possible to consider this pair the most successful tandem in a class. It is a pity that the noise isolation still leaves much to be desired – at high revolutions the engine is well audible, as well as noise of rubber.

Atmospheric Volkswagen also has kept its basic values. But this news is more likely from the category of negative. Everything can be forgiven for the way the 1.4 TSI and DSG-7 combination drives in the most expensive modification of the model (more expensive than our version by 48,000 roubles). However, the 110 hp “atmospheric engine” does not cooperate better with an automatic gearbox. Acceleration dynamics is weaker than in the competitor, besides for sensible acceleration one has to press the gas pedal to the floor, and here one needs not only a habit, but also low sensitivity to the noise from under the hood.

Automatic transmission, very quickly “climbing up”, leaves the car without confident traction too early. You are forced to switch into a sport mode, stomp the pedal more, and in response you receive absurd sharp jerk only at the very bottom of pedal stroke. And unpleasant noise. In a word, to lead on road without superfluous emotional expenses by an atmospheric Polo does not leave. Buy with turbo engine

Test drive of Volkswagen Polo liftback 2021: photo, video

It is still possible to find defects in smoothness of motion in both cars. But the advantage is for Rio, which seems to digest the marriage of broken roads more successfully. Polo meets sharp bumps with noticeably more nervous reaction of suspension. In any case, we do not recommend to drive these cars off qualitative asphalt. You may get pleasure behind a rudder only on a twisting, but flat road, where you will be able to estimate excellent steerability and successful adjustments of steering of both cars.

Instead of a summary

The conclusions are simple. Kia Rio is bought more often simply because it is cheaper than its competitor, losing to it by far not in all disciplines. Thus, from positions of dynamics and driving comfort, in our opinion, the Rio is ahead. In this case, the current Volkswagen Polo, even with an atmospheric motor feels like a more expensive and practical car, it has more options, a little more spacious in the cabin, and in terms of luggage capacity to compare the liftback with a sedan and it makes no sense at all – at least 530 liters vs. 480 in favor of Polo.

All it is accurately reflected in the price-lists, which, alas, becomes more and more painful to study with time. What to choose as a result? Here everyone is free to decide for himself. Personally I would rather take Polo, but not from this comparative test, but in 1.4 TSI with DSG. Technical problems are in the past for the most part, but behind a wheel you will feel yourself a man.

Polo or Rio (a lot of letters)))

It would seem that I took a brand new Rio (Prestige package with manual transmission) and the mileage has already exceeded 20000. Drove almost every day, and winter and summer, and on drifts and mud, and the city and the highway. I believe that it is possible to draw some conclusions and inferences. And it would be desirable to do it in comparison with my previous Polo (2013, also with manual transmission, but a little bit poorer equipment) on which I have driven for 5.5 years. I should say at once that I do not pretend to be an expert, I express my purely subjective, but honest opinion.

Appearance. Exterior and interior. I think that the exterior of the Rio 4 is quite successful, both the overall silhouette, and individual parts of the exterior. I liked the car long before the purchase. It looks more interesting than Rio of previous generation. Although for taste and color there is no comrades. Interior is also not devoid of some appeal, especially in higher configurations. Climate control and multimedia are convenient and functional, everything in its place. In Polo everything is somehow simpler, both the appearance and the interior. Polo reminds very much flattened from sides Jetta. The assembly of Polo is not pleased. Somewhere the rubbers on the windows are not neatly inserted, the gaps in the doors and trunk are larger, it’s a trifle, but not pleasant. The interior of Polo is, in principle, all the same comfortable, but it is very dull. Frankly speaking, I’m tired of timeless classics. According to senses the interior in Rio is a little bit bigger, there is not such sensation of cramp as in Polo. When I first drove Rio 4 I had an impression that I was in a higher class car. Of course, the configuration “prestige” has played not the least role here. Six-speed gearbox, climate control, rear view camera, automatic light, turn signal indicators in mirrors, soft armrests, tweeters, graphics on display and dashboard, apple CarPlay, winter package. Hopefully the last generation Polo is as good as stuffed. By the way, about the winter package. Very useful and handy thing. I experience winter with Rio much more comfortable. I wish my Polo had this joy. Polo in winter took a very long time to warm up. At idle in general you could wait forever, you had to help the car with the gas pedal. The front seats are definitely better in Rio. Not to say that they are very good, just that I haven’t met such a garbage, as in Polo. I drove several times to visit my family in the neighboring region (8 hours behind the wheel), I could hardly get out of Polo, my back and butt hurt. I also drove the same way in Rio, there was no such extreme. I always wanted to sit lower on the Polo, but the seat was in the lowest position. I had to move and adjust the seat all the time. I read somewhere that the car owners solve this problem by installing a seat from Fabia, I also had in mind, but did not get the hands. The trunk is a little bit bigger in Rio, but there is no fundamental difference. On Polo I changed the trunk lock under warranty, the problem of many first-generation Polo (ceased to close in cold weather). As for noise – shitty noise, both in Rio and Polo. Only in Rio stronger noise from the road, and the Polo from the engine. At speed in Rio a little quieter. I have not put the crankcase protection neither on Polo, nor on Rio, I do not see the need. Where you really need it, they put it at the factory. The stock headlights of Rio shine moderately, even with lenses. But this is on a dry road. Driving in rainy weather behind some lorry and that’s it, you’re blind. Get up and wipe. It’s no better on the Polo, though. On the Polo as lamps burn out – I put more powerful halogen (the effect is very small), in Rio so far nothing has burned out. I am not going to cheat with diodes and xenon, road users need to be respected. I strongly discourage amateurish “dodgers” who put uncertified Chinese stuff from ali and go to experiment on the public roads. Regulate such a light, at the very least, you need to use specialized equipment, and not on the fence. It is a traffic safety issue. It’s not like sticking a spoiler on the trunk.

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The blinded comrade in desperation can also go into a frontal attack, then in addition to the bulbs you will have to change a lot of things. In Rio I was pleased with the turn signal light, a necessary and well-implemented option. Music in Rio sounds a little more interesting, but I attribute this to the presence in Rio tweeters, in Polo was 4 speakers.

Suspension. Steering. Suspension is stiff in both the Rio and the Polo, but the Polo is stiffer. On the Polo, it’s just tinier. Too bad this stiffness has almost no effect on how the cars hold the road at speed. In windy weather it is better not to accelerate more than 140, it will be not driving, but … something else. Polo painfully reacts to speed bumps, I had to reduce the speed to almost zero. On the bumps the rear suspension rattles. It is quite hard on regular tires in Polo even on 14 disks. I have solved this problem partially by installing higher profile rubber. But it is not the best option for “racers”, the acuteness of driving is lost. What I liked in Polo – for all time of operation of the car (5.5 years) there were no problems with suspension, I had not to change or adjust anything. In this respect Polo has pleased. For Rio I can not say yet, the mileage is not so high, but it is more comfortable to drive in Rio. In the stock Rio was very noisy and stiff regular tires, I replaced almost immediately. In winter I drive a 195/65/15 non-sticky Hakkapelite, quiet, soft, comfortable. Summer went to the Michelin CrossKlimat + 195/60/15, long chose, and for good reason, a great rubber, especially for those who are often off the asphalt. In general, the impression is that Polo does not like bumps, and Rio potholes. Polo has relatively tight and long-walking clutch pedal, which tires much in city traffic jams, but the gearbox lever is very pleased, short stroke, clear shifts. In Rio on the contrary, light, short stroke clutch paired with a long stroke gearbox lever, which is less convenient than in Polo. I can not say nothing about the stupidity of the gas pedal on the first generation Polo, very much annoyed by the delayed response of the car to the pedal. I updated the firmware at the dealer, but nothing has changed. It is impossible to get used to it. I read that chip tuning solves this problem, but I have not checked it myself. At least the Rio has no problems with it. When I bought the Rio, after Polo, I just got high behind the wheel. I didn’t want to get out of the car. I didn’t have that kind of experience in Polo. I got tired driving faster in Polo. But again, this is all very subjective. The clutch pedal, the stupidity of the gas pedal, uncomfortable seats did their dirty work. Probably, the impressions would be completely different, if it had an automatic gearbox and a maximum complete set. As for acceleration dynamics, it is almost the same according to tests and to the senses. I would tell that it is not bad for the cars of this class. The steering in Polo is a little bit sharper and more informative, but I would not say that it is some advantage.

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