IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The Kia Rio delivers better-than-expected comfort, quietness, driving enjoyment, and available features, all at bargain prices.
Rear-seat legroom is stingy, and interior materials are low-buck.
Unlike the similar Hyundai Accent, which comes only as a sedan, the Rio is available in sedan or hatchback body styles.
WHAT IS IT?
The Rio is Kia’s subcompact car; it’s a close relative to the Hyundai Accent, but it has different styling inside and out and different features. Like the Accent, the Rio was redesigned on an all-new, slightly larger platform for 2018, gaining several newly available convenience and safety features. The simple model lineup ascends through LX, S, and EX models in 4-door-sedan or 4-door-hatchback form (Kia calls the latter a “5-Door”). All are powered by a 130-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine; LX models offer a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic; S and EX come only with the automatic. Standard features include keyless entry and starting, air conditioning, heated exterior mirrors, and Bluetooth connectivity. The line-topping EX comes standard with a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, 4-wheel disc brakes, 15-inch alloy wheels, and an upgraded infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality
After its redesign last year, the Kia Rio is carried over with no changes for 2019.
The EPA rates the Rio at 29 mpg city/37 mpg highway with the 6-speed manual transmission and 28/37 with the 6-speed automatic. In Consumer Guide® testing, an EX hatchback averaged 31.3 mpg in 55-percent city driving. All Rios use regular-grade gas.
VALUE IN CLASS
The subcompact car class is mostly about basic, no-frills transportation with a strong focus on initial affordability and fuel economy. The Kia Rio certainly fulfills the affordable and economical part, but it’s got a few more frills—and it’s more entertaining to drive—than you might expect, considering its class and its price. The availability of a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking is a real plus as well.
|BASE PRICE RANGE (2018)||$13,400 – $18,700|
|BODY STYLES||4-Door Sedan, 4-Door Hatchback|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||130-HP, 1.6-Liter 4-Cyl.|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Front-Wheel Drive|
|BUILT IN||South Korea|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||28-37 MPG|
Other Best Buys in this Class