2010 Kia Rio Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Kia Rio Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Kia Rio Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 110 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 28/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Kia Rio

  • While the 2010 Kia Rio is attractively priced, there are a few other subcompacts we recommend more highly.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Affordable price tag, excellent fuel economy, attractive interior, 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.

  • Cons

    Disappointing crash test results, bland styling, pokey performance with automatic transmission, many desirable features either cost extra or aren't offered.

  • What's New for 2010

    The 2010 Kia Rio gets a few styling tweaks. Depending on the trim, you'll find a new grille, black bezel headlamps, full body-color bumpers, outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, foglamps and a rear spoiler. Notable new features include cruise control and Bluetooth.

Gas Mileage


  • 28
  • cty
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

My experience with my kia

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Rio

I bought this car about a month ago. Everything is fine but it has a very weird squeaky noise with the rear brakes. I've taken it to different places and nobody knows whats going on with it. The car is cheap and is no luxury at all. Everything inside is very simple. Is a little bit small, but i dont care about it because i use it to commute. Fuel economy is OK. Car is very quiet on both streets and highway. Tires are a bit small. I think that what you get for the money is fair.I like my car. I just wish We could find out whats going on with the brakes.

Needs better gear ratio

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Rio

It gets perfect gas mileage as long as you do not get on the interstate-run 4000 rpm in 5th gear @ 80 mph-runs 3000 rpm in 5th gear @ 50 mph-needs 6 gears or different ratio for top end- accelerates fast through 1st and 2nd car is very quiet

Great affordable commuter vehicle

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Rio

I bought this car a month ago and so far my experience with it has been great. I am a commuting college student so I was looking for something that was affordable and had good gas mileage. As far as performance goes I haven't had any problems with acceleration and it handles fairly well. The interior of the vehicle is nice looking and doesn't feel cheap. One of my favorite features is the stereo system. I had installed an aftermarket system in my previous vehicle and was thinking of doing the same with this car. After listening to it though I think I have changed my mind because it sounds great for a factory system. Also, the AUX and USB inputs are great for MP3 players.

Kia rio 2009 lx

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Rio

I just bought a new 2009 Kia Rio LX. I love the look and feel of this vehicle and for the size I believe it is a great buy. I am a little dissapointed with the mpg and I believe it should be getting well over 30 for how small of a vehicle it is. I believe that to be the only flaw in this vehicle. It drives well and looks sharp.

Ok, for what it is.

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Rio

I can find not fault with the build quality. Thinngs shut and reveal gaps are very exact. The motor in 5th gear turns much higher than I would envision for the torque and horsepower required. Needs a 6th gear.

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Kia Rio

I'm so happy with my kia rio, I love it roomy, quite, and great gas saver


Full 2010 Kia Rio Review

What's New for 2010

The 2010 Kia Rio gets a few styling tweaks. Depending on the trim, you'll find a new grille, black bezel headlamps, full body-color bumpers, outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, foglamps and a rear spoiler. Notable new features include cruise control and Bluetooth.


With the 2010 Kia Rio, the appeal lies mainly in the numbers. Here's a car with an MSRP that starts around $12,000, a fuel economy rating of up to 36 mpg highway and a powertrain warranty that'll keep you covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. There's a lot to like right there, though in reality the Rio ends up being a little less than the sum of its parts.

Entry-level Rios, which include the Rio sedan and the Rio5 hatchback wagon, are relatively spartan affairs, with many of the features most buyers now consider must-haves -- such as air-conditioning, power windows/locks and keyless entry -- either optional or not offered at all. Spring for a loaded version of the top SX trim level, however, and you'll get a car with enough niceties to make you feel like your decision to downsize wasn't really that big a sacrifice.

The 2010 Kia Rio also drives adequately, with performance and interior comfort that are more than acceptable for everyday driving. The Rio does have one glaring weakness, though, namely its mixed safety ratings. At times it can also come off as low-buck, whereas rivals such as the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa deliver a more satisfying experience via greater comfort and performance. We'd recommend going with either of those two models, but if price is your main concern, the 2010 Rio is probably worth a look.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Kia Rio subcompact comes in two body styles, a four-door sedan and a four-door hatchback known as the Rio5. The Rio sedan is offered in three trim levels: the affordable base model, the better-equipped LX and the sporty SX. The Rio5 wagon is available in the LX and SX trims only. The standard features list for the entry-level sedan is pretty skimpy and includes 14-inch steel wheels, power mirrors, a rear defroster, cloth upholstery and a CD/MP3 stereo with four speakers and satellite radio.

The LX isn't exactly loaded, but it does come with a few more of the features you'd expect in a new car including power steering, air-conditioning, 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks, a tilt steering wheel, Bluetooth and auxiliary/USB audio input jacks. The top-of-the-line SX model adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and metallic interior trim. Much of the SX's extra equipment can be added to the LX via the LX's Value package.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Kia Rio and Rio5 are powered by a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine that puts out 110 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a four-speed automatic is available as an option on LX and SX models.

Either way, the Rio's performance can best be described as leisurely. In our tests, a Rio5 SX fitted with the automatic transmission turned in a pokey 0-60-mph time of 11.5 seconds.

There's one bright note here, however, and that's this powertrain's great EPA fuel economy estimates. The Rio is rated at 28 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 27/36/30 mpg for the automatic.


The 2010 Kia Rio comes standard with side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Antilock brakes are standard on the Rio LX and SX models. Stability control isn't offered.

In government crash tests, the Rio earned four stars (out of five) for driver protection and five stars for passenger protection in frontal impacts. For side impacts, the Rio earned four stars for front-seat occupants and three stars for rear seat passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Rio a score of "Acceptable" (the second highest of four) in frontal-offset crashes and a score of "Poor" (the lowest possible) in its side-impact test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Rio's cabin is pleasant enough for a car in this price range, with an attractive design featuring good quality materials, legible gauges and simple controls. Front seat passengers enjoy generous head- and legroom, but our testers found that seat comfort faded after about an hour behind the wheel. The presence of a fold-down armrest for the driver is a plus, but the lack of an enclosed center console box for storing small items out of sight is disappointing.

The Rio sedan offers a good-sized trunk with 11.9 cubic feet of cargo room. The Rio5 is much better equipped for schlepping duties, however, with a generous 49.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded down.

Driving Impressions

The 2010 Kia Rio's 1.6-liter engine gets noisy at high rpm but provides decent punch, especially with the manual transmission. Precise action and a smooth clutch make shifting the manual gearbox enjoyable. Rios with the automatic aren't as peppy, although gearchanges are smooth and relatively quick.

Despite a fair amount of body roll, the Rio's handling feels solid and predictable, a quality enhanced by the unexpectedly precise steering. The ride quality is generally decent, but potholes and other major pavement flaws get transmitted directly to the occupants. The cabin also is relatively quiet, even when cruising on the freeway.


Talk About The 2010 Rio

2010 Kia Rio Discussions See all Started By

I'm happy with 34.2 mpg in that kind of driving; it's about 10% better than my traded 2010 Sentra with CVT, and only 2 hp less in the Rio. The Rio is a peppier car, more fun to drive than the Sentra ...

"The changes affect 13 models from the 2011 through 2013 model years, including seven Hyundais and six Kias. Window stickers will have to be changed on some versions of Hyundai's Elantra, Sonata ...

good as well. My other vehicle is a 2006 Kia Rio5 which I purchased new and it will be replaced by the upcoming 2012 Kia Rio5 as soon as they are launched. Funny how you arrived at your conclusion...

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