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Learn More About the Kia Rio

July 17th, 2013

car ratingWith a MSRP of $13,800, the Kia Rio is a popular subcompact car that can be found in our small five-door hatchback segment. Overall, this car’s rating is 3.6 out of 5, determined by our anonymous consumer car review panel. Out of the eight subcompact cars found in this segment, the Kia Rio came in second place in its car rating.

When it was first released in the U.S. in 2000, several car experts and enthusiasts stated that this car’s rating was merely mediocre.  Though many loved the affordability of the Kia Rio, some coined it as “pretty forgettable,” as stated by Edmunds.com. Through the years, the Kia Rio has gotten many improvements and is currently in its third generation. “Completely redesigned for 2012, the third-generation Kia Rio represents a large leap forward in terms of refinement and available luxury features,” Edmunds reported.

Currently, this subcompact car can be purchased as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. Our consumer car reviewers test drove and ranked the hatchback version. The Kia Rio comes in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX. While the EX and SX come with a six-speed automatic, the standard model of the LX has a six-speed manual transmission.

Because of its small size and affordability, there are many reasons folks enjoy this subcompact car. Another reason to love the Kia Rio is because it was awarded the US EPA Smartway Certification Mark, which is “given to the cleanest, most fuel-efficient vehicles, based on their greenhouse gas and air pollution scores,” according to Kia’s website.  The Kia Rio gets 30 mph in the city and 40 on the highway.

“… the Kia Rio is a front runner in the economy car segment,” Edmunds wrote.

This car’s rating was ‘Average’ for exterior appearance, cargo area and front seat comfort, according to our consumer car review panel. Unfortunately, our car ratingpanel gave the Kia Rio a ‘Below Average’ rating for visibility and rear seat comfort. The small side mirrors, high height of the instrument panel and limited rear passenger visibility contributed to the limited visibility of the Kia Rio. Additionally, this car’s rating suffered because of the difficulty of entering and exiting the vehicle, stiff rear seat, and tight leg and foot room within the back seat area.

On a positive note, this subcompact car was given an ‘Above Average’ score for interior appearance and storage as well as value for the money. Though our consumer car review panel didn’t love the quality of the seating material, everything else within the interior appearance of the Kia Rio was well liked. As far as the interior controls, the Kia Rio won ‘Best in Segment,’ and was reported to have a “high-quality look and feel” on the sound controls and the testers enjoyed the various controls throughout the vehicle.

If you’re looking to purchase a small five-door hatchback, check out our comparison tool to evaluate which is the right vehicle for you. Our consumer car review panel assessed eight varieties of small five-door hatchbacks, and our tool will allow you to view how features were ranked in each vehicle.