With all the fuss going on in the car market with German models being recalled because of major problems and employees being sent to prison for fiddling the emissions, it is rather nice to look east and see there is at least honesty in motoring.

Japanese cars are renowned for their reliability and holding up their hands if anything goes wrong with their products. Right behind them and probably on par these days is Korea with their excellent models.

Basking in the limelight is Kia with an excellent range of cars of which the best seller is the supermini Rio, of which 475,000 were built last year and which accounted for one sixth of their sales.

The latest model is the fourth generation and which is the biggest to date. In the UK there are 10 models in the line-up which are based on four engines, three gearboxes and four trim levels.

Prices vary from £12,000 to £18,000 and even the cheapest of the range is pretty well equipped. On top of that it is affordable, cheap to run and comes with the seven year guarantee which makes Kia unique in the industry.

The strong point is the economy and all the engines are capable of doing more than 60 miles to the gallon. Go for the diesel and you can get 80mpg.

I drove the 1.0-litre T-GDI eco petrol and that came in at just over £15,000. It was both punchy and quiet and returned more than 60 miles to the gallon.

At first I was disappointed in not getting a six speed gearbox but after a while I hardly noticed the difference, just occasionally trying to change into a non existent sixth gear.

It was easy to drive with light, smooth controls and either round town or on a long drive it was immense fun.

The car is well finished with excellent build quality and as I have said many times before when Kia update their models they just get better and better with their quality improving every time one of their cars is produced.

There’s plenty of space in the back for a couple of adults with plenty of leg room. The boot is reasonable with 325 litres of room. The rear seats split 60/40 to give you more storage space.

On the safety front all Rios also have Hill Assist Control to prevent the car from rolling backwards when setting off on steep inclines and most of the models to get radar and camera controlled Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition.

This means that at speeds between five mph and 50mph the Rio will come to a complete stop, avoiding collisions with other vehicles and more importantly with people.

Higher grade Rios come loaded with all the latest tech, including TomTom satnav, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. KIA Connected Services are accessed via a seven inch touchscreen giving live traffic updates, weather reports, speed camera locations and local point-of-interest searches.

Watch out you people who produce Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi and BMW. You are tending to sit on your laurels.