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#5

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $13,900 - $18,090
Invoice: $13,646 - $17,278
MPG: 27 City / 37 Hwy
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Kia Rio Interior

The 2014 Kia Rio’s cabin receives high marks from reviewers for its simple, sleek design. They say the materials in the base trim are adequate, but they prefer the padded surfaces found in higher trims, saying they make the Rio a standout in the class. Test drivers say the Rio’s audio, climate and touch-screen controls are straightforward and easy to master. They’re also impressed with the number of features available in the Rio.

  • “The Rio incorporates a ‘3-tunnel’ instrument panel with wraparound dash design that is simple and user-friendly." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “The Kia Rio's cabin boasts a restrained yet stylish design that evokes German cars. The materials quality is nothing special in the base LX, but the added soft-touch surfaces, armrest cushioning and tasteful metallic accents found in the upper trims make the Rio's cabin one of the finest in the subcompact segment. We highly encourage you to go that extra mile to get an EX or SX, especially since they come with a truly impressive amount of equipment.” -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "Interior is an attractive combination of hard plastics and strategically placed soft-touch surfaces. Overall, the cabin presents well for the class with simple, tasteful detailing. The available leather-wrapped steering wheel feels good to the touch." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "There are more soft touch materials in the cabin than most in the segment, and seats are very supportive, some thought them on the hard side, but all could agree that the seat fabric looks cheap." -- Motor Week (2012)

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Seating

The Kia Rio comes standard with a tilt steering wheel. Optional upgrades include leather-trimmed seats and heated front seats. Auto writers say the front seats are supportive, there’s plenty of head- and legroom for tall drivers and the optional telescoping steering column makes it easy to find a comfortable position. There’s adequate space in the back seat, they add, which is rare praise for a subcompact car.

  • "Even bigger folk should be comfortable up front. Good headroom for six footers, and the long seat travel allows for ample legroom. The seats are lightly bolstered and comfortable. An available tilt-and-telescope steering wheel helps fine tune driving position." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The Rio also scores in the areas of space and comfort. Even tall drivers should be comfortable behind the available tilt-and-telescoping wheel, while the backseat offers a competitive amount of space. Count this as another subcompact that doesn't feel all that subcompact." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "As for comfort, we found the Rio's seats to be fairly supportive, and only minimal road noise could be detected inside the cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "Nicely bolstered front seats upholstered with cloth nicer than the econocar norm provided daylong comfort for this jetlagged driver." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)

Interior 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 a telescoping steering wheel, navigation, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, push-button start and Kia’s UVO infotainment system.

Most reviewers say the Rio’s audio and climate controls are clearly labeled and easy to use, as is the touch screen in the optional infotainment system. They also note that the Rio offers a good amount of features compared to rivals.

See full 2014 Rio features and specs »

  • "Aesthetics aside, what really sets the 2014 Kia Rio apart from the competition is its impressive list of standard and available features." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Interior materials are nice for the segment and the center stack with the touchscreen and large buttons are very easy to use." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "Simple, straight forward controls are well marked and easy to use. The radio is mounted high on the dash and the climate controls a bit low, but both are easy to use with a combination of buttons and knobs. The gauges are clearly marked and easy to read." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The climate and audio controls are easy to use, while the available Uvo voice-activated electronics interface is another nice bonus. Although we've found its voice recognition abilities aren't quite to the level of Ford's Sync, its accompanying touchscreen interfaces are more user-friendly than the buttons and screens found in Ford's Fiesta and Focus." -- Edmunds (2013)  

Cargo

The 2014 Kia Rio sedan offers 13.7 cubic feet of trunk space, while hatchback models offer 15 cubic feet with the back seats in use and 49.8 cubic feet when they are folded. Reviewers agree that both sedan and hatchback models have a generous amount of cargo space for the class. They’re also impressed with the amount of storage areas inside the cabin for odds and ends.

  • "When it comes time to carry cargo as well as passengers, the sedan has a generous 13.7-cubic-foot trunk. For maximum stuff-hauling potential, though, you'll want to consider the hatchback, which measures about 50 cubic feet with the seats down." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "They fold almost completely flat on our hatchback (we have yet to sample a sedan), creating one of the larger rear holds in the segment. However, the relatively small hatch opening and high bottom ledge will limit its ability to swallow bulky items." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
  • "There are bottle holders on all four doors, but only the fronts also have storage pockets. There's a nice open bin in front of the shifter, and it's placed under two 12V sockets and the auxiliary and USB ports. A large glovebox, console bin, and small open cubby next to the radio provide additional storage." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
Review Last Updated: 5/15/14

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