Buyer's Guide

2019 Kia Rio
Select a Different Model (3 Available): 5-Door LX Hatchback
Fuel Economy $ 28 / 37 mpg
Safety (IIHS) Best Pick
Horsepower 130@6,300
Torque 119@4,850
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2019 Kia Rio MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Impressive ride quality
  • Terrific fit and finish
  • Tremendous value

Cons

  • Ho-hum exterior styling
  • Lean options list
  • Could use a bit more power

New for 2019

All new for 2018, the Kia Rio lineup undergoes some housekeeping for 2019. The manual transmission found on last year's LX models bites the dust, as does the fancy SX trim with its equally fancy red-toned interior. All five-door models are only available in S trim.

Trim Levels (Interior and Exterior Options)

The Rio is Kia's smallest and least expensive car and is available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatch.

2019 Rio LX: The base Rio comes with 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, heated side mirrors, cloth seats, and an infotainment system with a 5.0-inch screen, four speakers, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

2019 Rio S: Move up to S, and get a front center armrest, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a rear-seat USB charger, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with six speakers, USB charging ports, SiriusXM, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The Kia Rio is front-wheel drive and comes with a 1.6-liter I-4 making 130 hp and 119 lb-ft mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is rated at 28/37 mpg city/highway.

Safety

The 2019 Kia Rio is rated a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, scoring Good (its highest rating) in all categories, except for its passenger-side small overlap crash result, where it scored Average. The Rio received a front crash prevention designation of Superior by the IIHS thanks to its ability to fully avoid collisions both in the 12-mph and 25-mph autobrake tests. Tests were performed on a Rio equipped with the Technology Package, which includes forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

Utility (Cargo Space and Interior Room)

In both four-door and five-door hatch configurations, the Kia Rio offers front/rear legroom of 42.1/33.5 inches, respectively. Cargo space in the four-door measures 13.7 cubic feet, 17.4 in the five-door hatch. In S models, the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split configuration, expanding cargo space to 32.8 inches in the five-door hatch.

Technology

The 2019 Kia Rio LX comes standard with a four-speaker infotainment system with a 5.0-inch screen. S models gain a 7.0-inch touchscreen and six speakers, front and rear USB ports, and SiriusXM radio.

An available Technology Package includes LED headlights, forward collision avoidance systems, and Kia's UVO telematics suite, providing roadside assistance and 911 connectivity, curfew limit and geofencing alerts, and vehicle diagnostics/configuration.

What We Think

Small but mighty: In our First Test of the 2018 Kia Rio, we took a shine to Kia's smallest offering. A well-damped ride created a "driving experience that belies the Rio's low price," and the "interior is a nice place to spend time." The Rio was so memorable, in fact, that it secured a slot in our 2018 Car of the Year testing, where we were "impressed with how much car you get for well less than $20,000." But that price point, as always, requires compromise. In this case, we wished for a "smidge more torque (or a turboed engine)." But that's splitting hairs given the segment. So while it might not be "car of the year, it's a great value and a well-rounded small car."

Key Competitors:

2019 KIA RIO SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl 1.6 Liter Gamma GDI
Transmission Name
Transmission, 6 Speed Automatic with Manual Mode
Trim
5-Door LX Hatchback
Class
Compact Passenger Car
Horsepower
130@6,300
Standard MPG
28/37
Body Style
Hatchback
Drivetrain
FWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
100,000
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
100,000
Full Warranty Miles
60,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
120
Full Warranty Months
60
Roadside Assistance Miles
60,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
60
IIHS Best Pick
1
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
Good
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
Good
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated