Kelley Blue Book
We’re impressed by the completely revamped Kia Rio. Both the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback sport sleeker looks, an “eager” new engine, a “lavish” new interior, and “enough tech-savvy features to make others in its class jealous.” For the hatch, there’s even a considerably lower price tag. Sure, the Rio isn’t quite as athletic as a Mazda or the new Ford Fiesta. But it’s still “a shockingly good surprise” to find features this nice at a price this low.
We saw and drove the redesigned hatchback last summer, and appreciated “its handsome, understated looks.” Happily, the handling of the just-released sedan proves to be equally “sporty and crisp.” This is still an economy car—power windows are unavailable on the base model, and you get tire sealant instead of a spare tire. Still, the Rio now rates as “one of the more refined” offerings in its segment.
A typical subcompact is distinguished from its rivals by its weakest feature. “Rio’s main virtue,” by contrast, “is an absence of vice.” Passenger space is relatively generous, and highway fuel economy touches 40 mpg, yet the car feels “peppy and satisfying,” not sluggish. Better still, it feels like a vehicle “priced a lot higher than the Rio’s mid-teens.”