The 2022 Kia Rio sedan and hatchback wear updated badges with Kia's new corporate logo. An anti-theft vehicle immobilizer is now standard on all models. The current Rio debuted in 2018 and received a refresh last year.
Choosing Your Kia Rio
The Rio compact sedan is offered in two trim levels: LX and S. The LX starts at $17,145 including destination, and the S is priced from $17,785. The Rio hatchback comes in S trim only for $18,085.
Every Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that manages 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels. There's no barebones manual-transmission option, something shoppers may have seen at one point in this price range.
As expected, efficiency is a major selling point. The fuel economy of the Rio is EPA-rated at 22 miles per gallon city, 41 mpg highway, and 36 combined. At this price point, you won't find a higher-performance turbo or a fuel-efficient hybrid.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Rio is a subcompact with decent room for five despite its small footprint. The sedan's trunk can hold 13.7 cubic feet, which is also better than expected. The Rio hatchback provides 17.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, or 32.8 cubic feet with it folded.
The only standard driver assistance feature on the Rio is the federally mandated rearview camera. To get more, buyers must advance to the S trim and select the expansive Technology Package ($1,800), which contains lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams, a following distance indicator, a driver alertness monitor, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Oddly enough, neither blind-spot monitoring nor adaptive cruise control is available on the Rio.
The Rio does much better in this department. Every model gets an eight-inch touchscreen, six speakers, a USB port, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The S trim carries two USB ports.
The LX comes with basics like air conditioning, cloth seats, heated power side mirrors, and power windows and locks. The LX rolls on 16-inch steel wheels with full covers. There are no factory options.
The S adds cruise control, keyless entry, and a split-folding rear seat with adjustable headrests. In addition to its safety upgrades, the Technology Package furnishes LED headlights, satellite radio, a driver info display, automatic climate control, proximity key access, alloy wheels, rear occupant alert, and chrome door handles.
We would avoid the 2022 Kia LX sedan, which is too sparsely equipped for consideration, even for an entry-level vehicle. The S is the real base model in our view, but the Technology Package is still needed to make the Rio feel like a complete car.