KIA’S best-selling car globally is now offering more size and space, has had a makeover to emphasis its styling and includes in its armoury an engine that provides the perfect match.

This fourth-generation version offers not only fuel economy as impressive as 80.7mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 92g/km but also comes with advanced connectivity features for the first time and a new suspension set-up that Kia claims offers a more “grown-up” driving experience.

Known within Kia as “a little Titan”, the Rio has been overshadowed in the UK sales charts by the Sportage SUV and cee’d hatchback. It sits between the cee’d and the impish Picanto in terms of size and price.

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Key to its new drive for sales will be the 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol engine offered in the Rio for the first time and heading a seven-strong powertrain line-up. A three-cylinder unit, It is available with outputs of either 99 or 118bhp.

The 99bhp version tested here is a little cracker, delivering average fuel consumption of 62.8mpg and emitting a mere 102g/km of CO2.

What’s more, it’s no slouch, hitting 60mph from standstill in an impressive 10.3 seconds. The more powerful version achieves an acceleration time of 9.8 seconds and emits 107g/km.

Go for the smaller unit and you will not be disappointed.

These turbocharged engines are joined by revised versions of Kia’s 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines and two versions of its 1.4-litre CRDi turbodiesel.

Badged in the familiar 1, 2 and 3 grades, there’s a surprisingly high specification even with the entry--level version. You will struggle to find the same level of equipment on any similarly-priced entry-level car.

Grade 1 delivers air conditioning, front electric windows, remote locking, heated door mirrors, a 3.8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, automatic light control and LED daytime running lamps, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, four speakers, hill start assist and 60/40 split rear seats.

Step up to Grade 2 and you get 15-inch alloy wheels rather than steel wheels, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear lever, DAB radio (which really ought to be a standard fit), a five-inch colour display screen, six-speaker audio, reversing camera and parking sensors, USB charging points front and rear, cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.

If you want further bells and whistles, then Grade 3 offers 16-inch alloys, automatic air conditioning, faux leather upholstery, seven-inch touchscreen navigation, heated front seats and steering wheel, rain0sensing front wipers, privacy glass and phone connectivity.

Kia has not skimped on giving the Rio not only the most spacious cabin in its class but also a much better ambience and more practicality.

For instance, there’s improved legroom alongside good head and shoulder room in the rear, an increased boot capacity from 288 to 325 litres, thinner C-pillars for better visibility, the aforementioned touchscreens, improved dashboard and more interior storage.

It might not be much bigger then its predecessor – 15mm longer with a 10mm longer wheelbase – and the height has been reduced by a mere 10mm, but the end result is a more modern appearance, particularly with the wider and more slender grille, stretched bonnet and chrome surrounds.

Now available only as a five-door, the Rio has also been made quieter thanks to a series of measures but what engine noise does enter the cabin is now more sporty sounding thanks to some clever engineering.

The next step for Rio may well be a crossover version. For now, it is a much-improved car that demands your consideration if you are looking for a small hatchback.