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#29

in 2010 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $6,549 - $8,723
Original MSRP: $11,695 - $16,095
MPG: 28 City / 34 Hwy
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2010 Kia Rio Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Overall, reviewers consider the 2010 Kia Rio’s cabin acceptable but not outstanding. They say that the materials are cheap but adequate for the price, and that the seats are comfortable enough. The hatchback Rio5 gets some extra praise for its cargo space. Still, the Rio falls behind class leaders for overall comfort and convenience.

  • "These are roomy cars. The hatchback offers lots of cargo space." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Most cabin surfaces are hard plastic, and padded surfaces are pretty much out of the question. Overall, though, Rio equals some costlier cars for materials and assembly quality." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Rio's cabin, especially in beige, has an airy feel unexpected in this price segment. The materials quality is generally above average." -- Edmunds

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Front Seat

Reviewers have mixed feelings about the Rio’s front seats. On the one hand, the seats themselves are reasonably comfortable. Still, those who are taller may have a difficult time finding a comfortable driving position, especially since there is no option for a telescoping steering wheel and seat adjustments are restrictive. For more space, take the Nissan Versa for a test drive.

  • "Seat comfort is very good for most body types, although drivers north of 6 feet tall may get fidgety after more than an hour behind the wheel." -- Edmunds
  • "Headroom and legroom are good. The seats are firm and comfortable. Larger drivers may want wider cushions, and tall occupants will want more rearward seat travel. The driver seat adjusts for height and has a fold-down right armrest." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The seats are on the soft side and don't offer the lateral support we'd expect on a sports sedan. Those of us with larger frames, however, will not fault Kia for that, as we can use the extra width." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Front occupants get ample space on supportive and well-cushioned seats." -- Kelley Blue Book

Rear Seats

Even though the Rio can accommodate up to five passengers, reviewers recommend that you limit it to four since the rear seat can be a squeeze. Reviewers also complain that headroom in the backseat is tight for taller passengers and the seat is a bit stiff.

  • "Although five passengers can squeeze into the Rio, longer-legged folks might not be comfortable in the backseat. Rear head- and foot-room are adequate, but the rear seat is hard and reclines excessively, and the center occupant straddles a tunnel." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Rear-seat legroom is better than the numbers suggest, because passengers can place their feet under the front seats thanks to the generous open space below them." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Rear legroom is rather tight when seated behind a tall front passenger. Entry and exit are a strain when the front seats are set far back. Most adults will be fine for short trips only." -- Consumer Guide
  • "In back, headroom is a bit tight for 6-footers, but legroom is fully adequate and the tall bench provides good thigh support." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Test drivers say the Rio and Rio5 have easy-to-read gauges and generally like the layout of the dash, but the praise ends there. The base sedan model has a bare-bones interior that offers a four speaker sound system, but not much else. Power windows and door locks aren’t even available on the base model and are only optional on higher level trims as part of the $600 Power Package. The car doesn’t even offer a telescoping steering column, which can make finding a comfortable driving position difficult. In addition, reviewers say that the cabin materials are low-grade.

For more features, consider the Kia Forte. You may balk at the $2,000 price increase, but doing the math may ease your mind. If you want basic features for the Rio, like power windows and door locks or an air conditioning system, you’ll have to upgrade to the LX trim, which starts around $13,200 -- and then pay an additional $600 for the Power Package, bringing your total price to $13,800. At that price the Forte actually turns out to be less expensive while still offering high-end features like Sirius Satellite Radio, Bluetooth and iPod Connectivity as standard, even on the base model.

  • "The gauges are clear, and the large, handy audio and climate controls are angled toward the driver." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The radio is well positioned in the center stack with large buttons and knobs for changing stations or volume. Below the radio, three big knobs for the climate controls are mounted on a bulge in the center stack that brings them closer to the driver's hands. A chrome Kia logo brightens the center of the steering wheel hub." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "A fold-down armrest is standard for the driver, but we'd prefer a more traditional center console box that provides this feature for both front occupants along with handy storage space." -- Edmunds
  • "Feels chintzy in places" -- Car and Driver

Cargo

The automotive press isn’t thrilled about the Rio sedan’s meager 11.9 cubic feet of cargo space. However, they appreciate the Rio5's expanded cargo volume, which offers 15.8 cubic feet of space with all seats in place and a full 49.6 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. That’s definitely enough to carry several large suitcases, a cooler and other road trip necessities.

  • "All but the base sedan have split-folding rear seatbacks. The sedan's doesn't lie flat, it rests above the level of the trunk floor, and the opening is cramped. The release is awkwardly placed toward the center of the seats. The trunklid hinges dip into the load area." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The sedan's trunk measures 11.9 cubic feet, which is not bad for the class. The Rio5 has a total cargo carrying a capacity of almost 50 cubic feet with the back seats folded down, substantially more than in other hatchbacks in this class.Even with the rear seats up for passengers, the Rio5 has an impressive 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Big cargo capacity" -- Car and Driver
Used car average prices are provided by ClearBook™, a TrueCar™ product