The Kia Rio is a close relative of the Hyundai Accent; the two use the same structure and share most mechanical components. A 137-horsepower 1.6-liter inline-four motivates the front wheels. Most Rios will be equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, although a six-speed manual is available if a buyer is willing to make some compromises. The EPA gives fuel economy estimates of 27 miles per gallon city, 36 highway, and 31 combined for a Rio with the automatic, while a Rio with the manual gearbox or a Rio EX with the optional Eco package scores similar 27 city, 36 highway, and 31 combined estimates.
The Rio is available as either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. Either body style is available in base LX or midgrade EX trim levels – a relatively upscale SX level is also available on the hatch. The base model LX sedan starts at $15,050 (all prices listed here include an $895 delivery fee). The LX hatchback includes an automatic transmission – a $1,230 option on the sedan – in its $16,390 asking price. The LX is a rather basic set of wheels; air conditioning is standard but power locks and windows are reserved for an optional $800 package.
The EX offers a more competitive level of equipment, including those power locks and windows along with cruise control and a few convenience features – MSRP is $18,650 for the sedan and $18,800 for the hatchback. An efficiency-enhancing Eco package is available for the EX, as is a Designer package which includes interior trim upgrades. Both models feature a touchscreen-controlled infotainment system and a rearview camera.
The Rio SX hatchback aims to be something of a pocket luxury car. The SX's $21,800 sticker price includes a number of upscale features such as:
- A seven-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, which now includes navigation.
- Heated leather front seats.
- 17-inch alloy wheels and a retuned suspension.
- A sunroof.
- Power-folding side mirrors.