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Kia Rio Review

The 2015 Kia Rio ranks 9 out of 42 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Kia Rio, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Kia Rio is ranked:

Critics like the 2015 Kia Rio's spry engine, generous warranty, and well-made interior in its higher trims, but some complain the car’s ride is too stiff. 

Test drivers say acceleration delivered by the 2015 Kia Rio's four-cylinder engine is excellent for a subcompact car. The base Rio comes with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional. The Rio's fuel economy is good for the class at an EPA-estimated 27/37 mpg city/highway with either transmission. Reviewers write that the Rio SX has the sportiest handling in the model lineup, though rivals like the Ford Fiesta are a bit more agile. They also report that the SX model has a harsh ride and recommend getting a Rio LX or EX if you want a more comfortable driving experience.

The base 2015 Kia Rio LX's interior is somewhat drab, according to reviewers. They say the higher-trim EX and SX models' cabins are among the best in the class because they are constructed with better materials and have many convenience features. Some test drivers say the rear seat is sufficiently spacious for the class, but others feel it's cramped. The Rio is available as a sedan or hatchback, and the Rio hatchback’s cargo area is quite large for the class with the rear seats folded. The 2015 Kia Rio comes standard with satellite radio and a USB port. Available features include leather upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof, cruise control, power windows and door locks, keyless entry, push-button start, navigation, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and Kia’s UVO infotainment system. According to test drivers, the Rio’s audio and climate controls are easy to use, as are its available infotainment and navigation systems.

  • "If you're looking for a small and inexpensive sedan or hatchback that is efficient, practical and offers long-term peace of mind thanks to a stellar warranty, put the Rio on your shopping list." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2015 Kia Rio is a solid pick for a small sedan or hatchback. It's not quite as refined as some class-leading rivals, but it might still win you over with its inviting cabin, strong engine performance and excellent value." -- Edmunds
  • "Where most subcompacts look like bargain-basement rental cars, the Rio and Rio5 show off a bold and sporty appearance. And they are loaded with standard and available features, offer horsepower and fuel economy near the top of their class, and come with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty at no charge." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "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." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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Other Cars to Consider

Test drivers say the Ford Fiesta is one of the sharpest-handling cars in the class, and it earns praise for its composed ride. The Fiesta’s attractive cabin design also appeals to critics.

The Chevrolet Sonic’s agility and peppy turbocharged engine make it one of the more enjoyable cars to drive in the class, according to auto writers. They also like its spacious rear seats, ample cargo space and long list of available features.

Compare the Rio, Fiesta and Sonic »

Details: 2015 Kia Rio

The 2015 Kia Rio is available in sedan and hatchback body styles and comes in LX, EX and SX trims. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission are standard, and a six-speed automatic is available. The Rio hasn’t been fully redesigned since 2012, and since it sees no major changes for 2015, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 Kia Rio specs »

Review Last Updated: 4/9/15

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