in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $13,900 - $18,090
Invoice: $13,646 - $17,278
MPG: 27 City / 37 Hwy
Get local dealer price quotes:

Kia Rio Review

The 2014 Kia Rio ranks 7 out of 40 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 2014 Kia Rio is ranked:

A peppy engine, roomy cabin and lots of available features make the 2014 Kia Rio a worthy competitor in a crowded field, test drivers say. It also has one of the longest warranties in the class.

All 2014 Rio models have a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower. Reviewers say the engine has plenty of power for city and highway driving. The standard six-speed manual makes good use of the engine’s power, they say, and the available automatic shifts briskly. The Rio gets an EPA-estimated 27/37 mpg city/highway with either transmission, which is good for the class. Overall, automotive writers are impressed with the Rio’s quiet, composed ride and accurate steering. It handles corners well with little body lean, they add. Sport-tuned SX models are notably more nimble, but offer a firmer ride, they say.

Auto writers like the Kia Rio’s stylish, understated cabin design and say the padded materials in higher trims are particularly nice. They also appreciate the amount of legroom in the front and say the seats are pleasingly supportive. There’s a decent amount of room in the back too, they add, which is a big compliment for a subcompact car. Both sedan and hatchback Rio models have a good amount of cargo space for the class and test drivers are impressed with the Rio’s long list of available features. The Rio comes standard with a four-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary inputs and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Optional features include navigation, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and Kia’s UVO infotainment system. Test drivers report that the Rio’s audio and climate controls have an intuitive layout and are easy to master.

  • "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
  • "Although it romps on the roads with more established subcompacts such as the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Chevy Sonic, the Kia Rio sedan and its 5-door friend, the Rio 5, outmaneuver them all with an unbeatable combination of price, features, power, fuel economy and warranty." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "I love this Kia Rio SX as a cheap small car for daily driving needs. They come well-equipped, even at this price, and the clutch and shifter combination is perfect for easy or medium speed driving." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "The 2013 Kia 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." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

See More Photos »

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers say the Ford Fiesta is one of the top performers in the class. They say it offers exceptional handling and a smooth and comfortable ride. Though the Fiesta offers fewer standard features than the Rio, test drivers are impressed with the upscale feel of the Fiesta’s cabin.

Reviewers say that the Chevrolet Sonic’s cabin is roomy and that both sedan and hatchback models have plenty of cargo space. The Sonic also comes standard with Bluetooth, which costs extra in the Rio.

Compare the Rio, Fiesta and Sonic »

Details: 2014 Kia Rio

The Kia Rio has front-wheel drive and is available as a sedan or hatchback. It comes in three trims: LX, EX and SX. All models have the same four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is available. The Rio has seen few major changes since it was redesigned for the 2012 model year, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 to 2014 model years.

See full 2014 Kia Rio specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/15/14

Next Steps: Kia Rio