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2021 Kia Rio: Preview, Pricing, Release Date

Joel Patel
Automotive Editor - January 5, 2021

Model Preview

When the Kia Rio arrived in 2018, it featured a more aggressive design that gave the tiny car an edge in the subcompact class. To keep the subcompact car fresh, Kia is giving the 2021 Rio more standard convenience features, a larger touchscreen, and a refreshed design.

On the outside, the 2021 Kia Rio wears updated front and rear bumpers, as well as available 15-inch alloy wheels. With Kia set to continue offering the 2021 Rio in both sedan and hatchback body styles, the changes affect both models. The changes don’t drastically alter the way the Rio looks, as the subcompact continues to wear Kia’s tiger-nose grille, wraparound headlights, and simplistic styling at the back. The hatchback is the curvier of the two vehicles, with a bulbous rear end.

The interior of the 2021 Kia Rio will continue to look like the current model’s. The subcompact vehicle will have a simple dashboard with large dials for the HVAC system, a four-pronged steering wheel, clear sightlines, and durable plastics. While the Rio may not have a striking design, its interior is simple to use and gives the vehicle a spacious feeling for the segment.

Kia will give the 2021 model year some extra features. An 8-inch touchscreen will be standard, bringing wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Bluetooth and a USB port are also expected to be standard. A newly available technology package will bring automatic climate control, LED headlights, keyless entry, and push-button start.


Kia Rio

Both the 2021 Rio sedan and hatchback will be powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Power is rated at 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission and routes power to the front wheels.

The current Rio comes with a rearview camera as its only standard safety feature. That won’t change for the 2021 model year, as forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, high-beam assist, and driver attention warning will be optional.

Pricing & Release Date

The 2021 Kia Rio will go on sale before the end of 2020.

Pricing for the sedan model will start at $17,015 and go up to $17,655 including destination. The Rio hatchback will only be available in one trim with pricing starting at $17,955.

The subcompact Rio will compete against the Chevrolet Sonic, Toyota Yaris, and Nissan Versa.

Learn more about the current Rio on sale now »

Pictured: 2021 Kia Rio

2020 Model Available

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