Powertrain updates grab the spotlight for the 2020 Kia Rio. It's now more efficient and less powerful, while the Rio gains further value with newly standard 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Kia Rio remains focused on the cost-conscientious crowd who prefer a larger interior and won’t sacrifice a good ride.
Choosing Your Kia Rio
There are two Kia Rio trims: LX and S. Pricing starts at $16,675 including destination for the LX sedan and only climbs to $17,315 for the S. The S variant is also available as a five-door hatchback for $300 more.
The Kia Rio is powered by an all-new 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a continuously variable transmission and earns an EPA-estimated 33 miles per gallon city, 41 mpg highway, and 36 combined.
Though the new engine shares the same displacement as last year’s, it's been thoroughly updated and, unusually, generates less power. Last year's 1.6-liter engine generated 130 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque.
However, the new engine is more efficient, which buyers will appreciate. Last year's model only achieved 28/37/32 mpg (city/highway/combined).
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Rio’s larger exterior size, though still compact, allows for a relatively spacious interior regardless of door count that can handle five people. The shared 101.6-inch long wheelbase helps allow for 33.5 inches of rear legroom.
The Rio sedan's trunk offers 13.7 cubic feet of cargo space, while the hatchback has 17.4 with the rear seat up and 32.8 with it folded.
The Kia Rio lacks any standard active safety features. On the S, the Technology Package ($800) includes automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning. However, last year's model was an IIHS Top Safety Pick, which should carry over when the 2020 model is tested.
A 7-inch infotainment touchscreen is newly standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and a USB port. The S trim adds a second-row USB port, while the available Technolgy Package includes satellite radio and Kia's UVO telematics services.
The Rio LX is aptly equipped considering its low price. It's held back by 15-inch steel wheels and a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat. Body-colored door handles, heated side mirrors, and tinted glass are nice touches.
The Rio S includes many of the convenience features that one might expect in a 2020 model, such as cruise control, a split-folding rear seat, and remote keyless entry.
The S Technology Package ($800) includes the safety and infotainment upgrades mentioned above, LED headlights and positioning lights, an upgraded driver information display, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The limited safety features on the 2020 Kia Rio may cause customers to shy away. However, the S trim with the optional package presents a strong value with few reminders of its low cost.