2015 Kia Rio Overview

John Diether
Automotive Editor - December 30, 2014

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:


The price leader of the bunch, the bare-bones LX comes with air conditioning, heated power mirrors, 15-inch steel wheels, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and satellite radio. Models equipped with the automatic transmission are eligible for the Power package, which add keyless entry and power windows and locks.


Gains basic amenities most buyers consider essential. The automatic transmission and Power package are standard, as are cruise control, an upgraded cloth interior, Bluetooth phone and two extra speakers for the sound system.

The available Convenience package adds several useful features, including a rearview camera, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, power-folding side mirrors and Kia's UVO infotainment interface. You also get alloy wheels, upgraded interior trim, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. An Eco package with an automatic engine stop-start function increases efficiency by 1 mpg in the city.


Comes standard with the contents of the Convenience package, along with a firmer suspension and 17-inch wheels for tauter handling. Other perks include paddle shifters, LED taillamps and running lights, dual exhaust outlets and metallic pedal trim. Available exclusively on the SX is the Premium package, which takes the Rio into luxury territory with leather upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof, keyless ignition and navigation with real-time traffic data.

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.

CarsDirect Tip

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.

Choose your Kia Rio »

Find Your New Kia Rio On CarsDirect

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