The 2011 Kia Rio
is a subcompact economy car that comes in three trim levels: the base sedan, LX sedan, and SX sedan. Equipped by a dual overhead cam 1.6 liter in-line four-cylinder 110 horsepower engine, the Rio provides a four-speed automatic as standard, and a five-speed manual transmission is optional on the base sedan.
Although equipped with plenty of safety equipment, the Rio sedan did not perform well on crash tests. It does achieve above average EPA-rated fuel economy in the 28 mpg city/34 mpg highway range. For a subcompact economy sedan, the price is right when you buy the car, but its total cost of ownership may prove to be less economical.
New for 2011
Since the Kia Rio received a minor update in 2010, which added new styling cues and interior options, not much changed in the 2011 model. Last year, the manual transmission was the standard transmission on all models, but now it's offered on only the base sedan. Bluetooth connectivity is now available, as part of the optional LX Value Package.
Engine: 1.6L I-4
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Body Style: Sedan
Trims: Base Sedan, LX Sedan, SX Sedan
On the Outside
The Rio looks pretty cool but still bland, like most subcompact economy cars. The 2010 refresh did add some sporty touches, such as a new exhaust tip. Standard on the Rio are 14-inch wheels.
From the Inside
Because the Rio is an inexpensive car, features such as air-conditioning, four-speaker audio, and dual power ports are options. In fact, power door locks, rear adjustable armrests, and a 60/40 split rear seat are also optional.
The Kia Rio trots to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds and does the quarter mile in 17.0 seconds at 80.0 mph. The Rio requires 127 feet to stop from 60 mph, but it outperformed more expensive models in the testing. However, the Rio has soft suspension and body roll, which prevent it from being truly sporty.
Standard on the Kia Rio are dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags. Disc/drum brakes are standard on the base Rio, while four-wheel discs with four-channel ABS are standard on the other trim levels.
Rio: 28 mpg city/34 mpg highway
Rio LX, Rio SX: 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway
- Spacious interior
- Great fuel economy
- Low price tag
- Responsive braking
- Unfortunately body roll
- Outdated automatic transmission
- Interior with hard plastics
- Lack of options
For its class, not a bad choice
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- Honda Fit
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