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2015 Kia Rio

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/24/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Kia Rio is unchanged, aside from no longer offering Silverstone Beige exterior color.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Kia Rio is a subcompact car sold in three trim levels and available in sedan or four-door hatchback body styles.


The 2015 Kia Rio's only engine is a 1.6-liter I-4 rated at 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque that's mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Fuel economy is OK for the class at 27/37 mpg city/highway for all models. An available Eco Package for the EX grade improves gas mileage to 28/37 mpg.

Performance is not the 2015 Rio's strongest point, with little grip and an intrusive traction control system. Ride quality is also unimpressive, with a "wobbly, jarring ride, especially on the highway." Refinement is also lacking with extensive outside noise entering the cabin.

Space for passengers and cargo is ample particularly in the hatchback. Material quality, however, is mixed with many hard plastics mixed with some soft-touch materials on higher trim levels. Kia's user-friendly infotainment system is also available along with navigation, leather upholstery, rearview camera, and an upgraded audio system.

The 2015 Kia Rio has a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars)

What We Think

Low price, good fuel economy, and a long list of tech and convenience options are what make the 2015 Rio stand out. Starting at $14,815 (including destination), it offers good value for the money especially when the spacious interior and excellent UVO infotainment system is taken into account. However, the low price also means sacrificing good driving dynamics and build quality. During a 2012 Comparison Test of subcompact hatchbacks, the lower-trim Rio finished last place due to a jarring ride, noisy interior, and a cabin swathed in cheap plastics.

You'll Like

  • Low starting price
  • Decent fuel economy
  • User-friendly infotainment system

You Won't Like

  • Sloppy driving dynamics
  • Jarring ride
  • Cheap and noisy interior

Key Competitors

  • Honda Fit
  • Nissan Versa/Versa Note
  • Hyundai Accent
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Chevrolet Sonic


1 star


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