beebs

2021 Kia Rio

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
6 photos

Kia Rio highlights

Customer rating

Pros

  • Good fuel economy
  • Standard wireless smartphone connectivity
  • Strong warranty

Cons

  • Meager acceleration
  • Ho-hum trunk space (sedan)
  • Base trim lacks active driver-assist features

Mileage (EPA estimate)

33 city, 41 highway, 36 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

6 photos
Price
Year
Mileage

The Kia Rio is bargain transportation with a tech twist

The 2021 Kia Rio is one of the least expensive avenues to new car ownership. Despite its bargain price, the Rio boasts a smooth ride, an attractive cabin with adult-friendly space, and some surprising tech touches. This includes an eight-inch Uvo infotainment screen that’s standard on all 2021 models, with wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. That wire-free smartphone feature is often optional on a number of vehicles costing thousands more than the Rio sedan and hatchback.

Every Rio comes with a 120-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission. Fuel mileage is strong, with an EPA-estimated 41 mpg highway average. Acceleration is leisurely, however. To be fair, tire-smoking speed isn’t something car shoppers are looking for at this price point. Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.

The hatchback has a slightly roomier cargo hold than the sedan, in case load-lugging ranks high on your list of priorities.

All Kia Rio years

2021 Kia Rio trims

Curious how Kia Rio trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities

LX:

  • 120-hp, 112-lb-ft of torque 1.6L
  • Rear Defroster
  • Cloth Seats
  • Power Mirrors
  • Traction Control
  • Side Airbags
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Rear View Camera
  • Automatic Transmission

S:

Kia Rio photos

5 reasons to buy the 2021 Kia Rio

What We Like

Good value: The Kia Rio faces less competition as automakers turn attention away from subcompact sedans and hatches to pint-size SUVs. With this in mind, the value-conscious Rio undercuts many of these pricier sport-ute rivals by thousands of dollars.

Upgraded technology: That wireless smartphone connectivity and a user-friendly touchscreen are standard on the 2021 Rio is excellent news. Shoppers often have to look much higher on the price ladder to find wireless smartphone connectivity even offered as an option, so in our eyes Kia has scored a real coup by making it standard.

Cabin refinement: Just as appreciated is the grown-up look and feel of the cabin. It's basic but attractive, and all the controls are easy to operate. Even though the Rio is a budget-conscious choice, it stays on the right side of being inexpensive without feeling cheap.

What Needs Improvement

Plan passing maneuvers: There is only so much you can ask of the Rio’s 120-horsepower four-cylinder engine. In town it’s peppy enough. At highway speed, well, you’ll need to steer clear of the passing lane.

Shop with your budget in mind

Getting pre-qualified lets you shop with personalized monthly payments, and it doesn't impact your credit score.Get Pre-qualified

Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

4
Excellent

RepairPal gave the Kia Rio an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Kia Rio 10th out of 27 among Subcompact Cars.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Kia Rio

Kia Rio features and specs

S 2WD 4D Sedan

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control
  • Alloy Wheels
  • Cloth Seats

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size

1.6L

Horsepower

120

Torque (ft-lbs)

112

Engine type

Gas

Fuel capacity

11.9

Wheelbase

101.6"

Overall length

172.6"

Width

67.9"

Height

57.1"

Leg room

F 42.1"/R 33.5"

Head room

F 38.9"/R 37.4"

Front tires

P185/65TR15

Rear tires

P185/65TR15

Seating capacity

5

Transmission

Automatic

2021 Kia Rio FAQ

Research other vehicles



* Price excludes taxes, title, registration, and fees. Applicable transfer fees are due in advance of vehicle delivery and are separate from sales transactions.

We hope you found this information helpful. This content is intended to inform and is not meant to indicate that a particular vehicle is currently available or recommended for you.​

Unless otherwise noted, information related to featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.​

We make every effort to provide accurate information, but please verify before purchasing.