2011 Rio New Car Test Drive
The Kia Rio is a fuel-efficient subcompact with a roomy cabin and agile handling. The Rio comes in a four-door sedan and a Rio5 five-door hatchback. The Rio and Rio5 are roomy cars, particularly when you consider their tidy exteriors. The hatchback offers lots of cargo space. The Rio offers agile handling, particularly the top models with their upgraded wheels and tires.
For 2010, Rio and Rio5 receive extensive exterior appearance changes, including full body-color bumpers, a redesign of the grille, black bezel headlamps, body-color side moldings, and an exposed exhaust tip. These changes give the Rio line a more upscale look. The sportier SX models get fog lamps and a body-color rear spoiler.
Inside, 2010 Kia Rio models with automatic transmissions are equipped with a an EcoMinder indicator light, which illuminates when the vehicle is operating at optimum fuel efficiency, thus helping drivers save on gas. 2010 Rio LX and SX trims levels offer the availability of Bluetooth, automatic cruise control, and side mirrors with integrated turn signals. Anti-lock brakes (ABS), with four-wheel discs, are standard on all 2010 Kia Rio LX and SX models.
The Rio comes standard with six airbags, a safety feature normally associated with expensive luxury cars, not subcompacts.
The Kia Rio gets an EPA-rated City/Highway 28/34 miles per gallon with the five-speed manual transmission and 27/36 mpg with the four-speed automatic. All models are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder, a sophisticated, modern engine, with dual overhead camshafts and variable valve timing; it's rated at 110 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque.
The Rio competes against the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Chevrolet Aveo, and Hyundai Accent. These smaller, efficient subcompacts offer terrific fuel economy with little loss of interior space when compared to the larger compact cars such as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
The Kia Rio comes in sedan and hatchback versions, and in base, LX and SX trim levels. The hatchback models are called Rio5.
The Kia Rio sedan ($11,695) comes with a manual transmission, wind-up windows, and manual door locks. Tires are 175/70R14 on 14-inch steel rims. There's no air conditioning or power steering. It comes with a sporty mesh fabric on the seats, an eight-way adjustable driver's seat with a fold-down armrest, tachometer, rear defroster, dual 12V power outlets and a convenient shopping bag hook on the back of the front passenger seat. Carpeted floor mats ($95) and a rear spoiler ($300) are the only options.
The Rio LX sedan ($13,795) comes with air conditioning, power steering, tilt steering column, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. Tires upgrade to P185/65R14 with full wheel covers; P195/55R15 tires on alloy wheels are optional ($285). The LX sedan comes with the manual or an automatic transmission ($14,695). A Value Package ($600) includes power windows, power door locks with keyless remote, power heated outside mirrors, tweeter speakers, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
The Rio5 LX hatchback ($13,895) is equipped the same way and is also available with the automatic ($14,795).
The Rio SX sedan ($14,895) and Rio5 SX hatchback ($15,195) upgrade to P205/45R16 tires on alloy wheels, fog lights, upgraded cloth seat inserts, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, metal-finish interior trim, metal pedals, and a spoiler. The Rio SX sedan ($15,795) and Rio5 SX ($16,095) are also available with the automatic. In addition, SX models are available with the same options as the LX.
Safety features for all models include front seatbelt pretensioners along with six airbags: Dual frontal, front seat side-impact and full-coverage side-impact curtain. Anti-lock brakes with rear discs are standard on the LX and SX trim levels of both the Rio and Rio5.