The Kia Rio is the smallest and least expensive vehicle offered from Kia for a crowd on a budget or for parents who are sending their offspring away to college and need to give them a good vehicle to drive without breaking the bank in the process. With excellent fuel efficiency, the Rio adds to the value and because it is part of the Kia family of vehicles it carries in a warranty that makes it worth the small price tag with a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain to make this car very enticing. Competing in a market full of other small vehicles including the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa Note, the Rio shows up competing very well and offering a fantastic value for owners to enjoy.
Offered as both a sedan and hatchback the Kia Rio offers owners the opportunity to choose which body shape is best for them. With a great deal of reliability and fuel efficiency that reaches close to 40 mpg the Rio is a great choice for anyone on a budget. For 2015 the Kia Rio does not gain any notable changes at all, but with that consideration the price tag has not changed either, keeping this one of the greatest values for car shoppers to enjoy.
In general, economy and compact cars are built to perform well in the city, but the Rio will surprise anyone who takes it out on the highway for a long stretch run. The acceleration of this car is very quick and substantial along with a very nice passing ability in highway traffic. The suspension of this car is adequate and offers plenty of confidence as a car that will stay firmly planted on the road. Add to this the steering system which is outstanding for this size vehicle giving great weight balance and shift to make darting in and out of traffic along with some windy road driving very possible and enjoyable.
To give this car its excellent fuel efficiency and peppy acceleration the powertrain found begins with a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine that offers 138 horsepower and 123 lb.-ft. of torque. With three trim levels offered, the base trim is attached to a six-speed manual transmission with the other two trim levels having a six-speed automatic transmission aboard. The fuel efficiency offered shows up at 27 city/37 hwy mpg for the base models and the Eco model with the Idle Stop and Go features shows up with a slightly better fuel efficiency which comes in at 28 city/37 hwy mpg. This is really not much of a boost for the price paid making this option one that might not be worth the additional $1,200 on the price tag.
To give owners the opportunity to have a serious price savings, the base model has an interior that seems more like a throwback to older model interiors with crank windows and a stationary steering wheel. Moving up to higher trims does add the features that are more often found on a majority of vehicles in the market today, making the Rio a vehicle that offers choices for those who want to get a great value for the price paid. The rear seat is small, but offers a 60/40 split folding seat to allow for extra cargo space which can reach up to 50 cubic feet in the five-door hatchback model.
On the outside the Rio is sharp and stylish even though it is a very plain and basic car. The front end offers a bowtie shaped grill with wide-eyed swept back headlights flanking the grill to give a long and appealing look to a smaller vehicle. The hood transfers very smoothly to the roofline in an almost unbroken angle giving the car a wedge-like appearance. The hatchback is actually a foot shorter than the sedan even though the wheelbase is exactly the same. The Rio rides on a set of wide star-spoked wheels that range in size from 15 to 17-inches and the top line SX model offers dual exhaust to improve performance and power folding side mirrors as an intriguing feature.
With three trim levels to choose from the Kia Rio offers a great deal of possibilities for anyone to fully enjoy. The base trim LX model starts out with manual windows, a manual transmission, a tilt-only adjustable steering wheel, air conditioning, a four-speaker stereo with a USB input and a six-way adjustable driver’s seat. The EX model adds power windows and door locks, Bluetooth connectivity, a telescoping steering wheel and cruise control. At the top end, the SX model adds a seven-inch touch screen UVO infotainment system, a rearview camera, a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters and LED positioning lights. This range of features allows Rio shoppers to choose a model that suits their needs and price range.
For the Kia Rio, there are quite a few excellent optional features to choose from in the form of packages. The EX offers a Convenience Package that adds a rearview camera, the UVO infotainment system, power-folding exterior mirrors and an Eco Package that adds the Idle Stop and Go to the powertrain. The Top of the line SX model can add a Premium Package that adds leather seating, heated front seats, a power sunroof and push button starting. The Rio does offer some individual features as well including an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rear spoiler for sedan models.
The pricing for the Kia Rio begin at the base model of either the sedan or hatchback with a price of $14,700. Adding the automatic transmission will increase the price to just below $16,000 and moving up to the mid-level trim of the EX asks for a price of only $17,740, making it very enjoyable for the added features and reasonable price. The top trim Kia Rio SX shows up with a base price just under $19,000 and will reach up to just over $21,000 when fully loaded, making this a very enjoyable and well-priced car that anyone can enjoy driving for a very long time.