2020 Rio New Car Test Drive
The 2020 Kia Rio is a compact sedan with a comfortable ride, fairly precise handling, an excellent warranty, and for 2020, world-beating economy.
The sedan is just 173 inches long and the Rio hatchback is shorter than that, only 160 inches, but it actually has more room inside.
For 2020 the engine has been re-tuned to increase gas mileage, the trade-off being that it makes less power. The 1.6-liter inline-4 now makes 120 horsepower (down 10 hp) and 112 pound-feet of torque (down 7 lb-ft). It's mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
The EPA rates the Rio at 33 mpg city, 41 highway, 36 combined using regular fuel. That's an increase of 4 mpg over last year, which is a big jump. It's hard to find a non-hybrid car that can match this fuel economy.
The IIHS has rated the Rio a Top Safety Pick, although with only an 'Acceptable'? score in the passenger-side small overlap test that mimics impact with a stationary object or an oncoming car. The optional LED headlights in the Technology package earned a 'Good'? rating.
Automatic emergency braking is bundled with a few other features on an affordable Technology package for the S trim level.
There are just two trim levels of Kia Rio, the LX sedan ($16,675) and S sedan or hatchback ($17,315 for the four-door, and just $300 more for the hatchback).
The LX sedan comes with power features, a 7.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a USB port, Bluetooth, air conditioning, and a few other features not usually seen on cars with a price this low.
The Rio S sedan or hatchback includes keyless entry, a folding rear seat, and an armrest, and it's the gateway to the $800 Technology package that adds upgraded infotainment software, automatic emergency braking, adaptive headlights, and a 3.5-inch display in the instrument cluster.
The Rio is backed by a 5-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty plus up to 10 years of powertrain coverage.