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.