Pros: Decent power for a subcompact car; surprisingly pleasant in highway driving; impressive front-seat passenger space for the class
Cons: Disappointing fuel economy for the class; cramped rear-seat space; rear seatbacks don’t fold completely flat in hatchback model
CG Says: Kia’s subcompact car comes as a 4-door sedan and 4-door hatchback called the Rio 5-Door. Both body styles get subtle aerodynamic enhancements and a revised leather-wrapped steering wheel for 2014. The Rio represents itself well in a class that’s filled with great choices. Where some of the competition shines in a particular area and trails in another, the Rio doesn’t really stand out so much as it does a good job at most things. Good power for the class, a comfortable ride, fine practicality, and handsome looks inside and out are some of the qualities of this well-rounded package. Our biggest disappointment is the so-so fuel economy we’ve seen in our testing. Despite the recent downward revision to its EPA scores, we still had a hard time reaching even the city estimate.