New Car Quick Quote
The Kia Rio's early years—following a 2001 introduction—were marred by unreliability, cheap materials and poor construction. And while a 2006 redesign brought a noticeable improvement in quality and dependability, powertrain choices still lagged behind the competition.
The Korean-built subcompact truly hit its stride in 2012. The third-generation Rio, available as a sedan or hatchback, quickly earned a reputation as one of the most affordable and well-constructed cars in its class. It's no wonder that the Rio has become a popular alternative to Japanese and American rivals.
Kia fully redesigned the Rio in 2012. The revisions on the exterior were dramatic, pushing the compact Rio closer to its higher-end competitors. The cabin also received a nice refresh that included the use of more upscale materials and fewer hard plastics. Kia also pushed the standard 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine to new heights, squeezing out 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque -- a 28-horsepower and 16-pound-foot gain. A six-speed manual transmission was standard and a six-speed automatic was optional.
The second-generation Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The LX trim adds power steering, air conditioning, and a CD player on top of the Base features. The SX trim adds a few aesthetic touches such as alloy wheels and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Rio is also available in hatchback form, called the Rio5.