Kia's entry-level model isn't what it used to be, and that's a good thing. Today's Rio is light years ahead of its predecessors in just about every measure, especially features and interior quality. Perhaps most important to shoppers in this segment, the Rio is still a clear bargain.
What's New for 2015
The Rio carries into the new year unchanged.
Choosing Your Kia Rio
Available as a four-door sedan or hatchback, the Rio is one of the more spacious subcompacts on the market, with enough room for five passengers and a standard split-folding rear seat for enhanced versatility. Offering nearly 50 cubic-feet of cargo space, the hatchback is an economical alternative to a small wagon.
Every model receives a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine good for 138 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, although most Rios on dealer lots are equipped with an available six-speed automatic. Expect about 31 mpg in combined driving with either transmission.
Both body styles are available in three trim levels:
All models can get an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an integrated compass and garage door opener. Otherwise, individual options are limited to the usual dealer-installed accessories.
The LX is really for buyers seeking the lowest price possible, not that there's anything wrong with that. The EX is going to be much more enjoyable to live with on a daily basis. If you want a mini luxury car, the SX is the way to go, but note that its firmer ride isn't for everyone.