2021 Kia Rio

MSRP range: $16,050 - $16,690
(2)
MSRP$17,045
Edmunds suggests you pay$16,442

What Should I Pay
4 for sale near you

2021 Kia Rio Review

  • Sporty handling makes it entertaining to drive
  • Solid build quality for such a price-conscious car
  • Long warranty coverage
  • Standard equipment is a bit bare-bones
  • No telescoping steering wheel available
  • Sedan has subpar cargo space
  • Restyled front and rear bodywork
  • New 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Part of the fourth Rio generation introduced for 2018

The Kia Rio is a survivor. Most subcompact sedans this size have long since been discontinued — even the Toyota Yaris that earned our top-rated ranking in 2020 got the boot — but the Rio has been in production since it debuted for the 2001 model year. Just sing along to the lyrics of Destiny's Child's Survivor as you drive along in your Rio: I'm a survivor/I'm not going to give up/I'm not going to stop/I'm going to work harder.

This small car has remained popular over the years for its inexpensive base price, high fuel economy and long warranty. For 2021, the Rio gets new styling on its front and rear bumpers plus a standard 8-inch touchscreen to make it more enticing. There's also wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you no longer have to use a USB cord to activate these smartphone connection systems.

Remaining rivals on the market include the Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa and Mitsubishi Mirage G4. The Rio is a solid pick here and delivers on everything we expect for an entry-level sedan or hatchback.

Which Rio does Edmunds recommend?

Our pick is the loaded S trim due to its relative low cost and impressive value. We would also add the S Technology package for its comprehensive set of driver safety aids.
See the best deals on the RioBased on quotes shared by shoppers like you

Kia Rio models

The 2021 Kia Rio can be equipped as a four-door sedan or a hatchback, which Kia calls the 5-Door. The sedan is available in two trim levels: the base LX and the S. The 5-Door is only sold in S trim. All Rios are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (120 horsepower, 112 lb-ft of torque) mated to a continuously variable transmission. All Rios are front-wheel-drive.

LX
The standard Rio keeps costs low but includes these necessities as standard:

  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • 15-inch steel wheels
  • Adjustable tilting steering wheel
  • 3.5-inch driver information display
  • 8-inch center touchscreen
  • Air conditioning
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Front USB port
  • Cloth seats
  • Height-adjustable driver's seat
  • Four-speaker stereo system

S
A more fully equipped model comes with:

  • Remote keyless entry
  • Cruise control
  • Sliding center armrest
  • Rear USB port
  • 60/40-split folding rear seat

S Technology package
This jam-packed collection of optional features for the S trim drastically increases available technology and safety equipment with:

  • LED headlights
  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • Push-button start
  • 4.2-inch driver information display
  • Automatic climate control
  • Upgraded stereo system
  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the Rio back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Lane following assist (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
  • Driver attention warning (issues an alert if sensors determine you are becoming fatigued)
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Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Kia Rio.

Average user rating: 5.0 stars
2 total reviews
5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • handling & steering
  • comfort
  • warranty
  • climate control
  • interior
  • transmission
  • maintenance & parts
  • value
  • fuel efficiency
  • dashboard
  • engine
  • driving experience
  • appearance
  • technology
  • infotainment system

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, Peppy Hatchback!
Saif A.,
S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
These cars are indeed a dying breed. Everyone wants an SUV or a sports car, so the hatchback segment has been shrinking in America. In Europe its a different story, hatchbacks are everywhere...but I don't live in Italy, I live in L.A. so here are my thoughts. The Hatchback version is the one you want. The sedan is a smaller, uglier Forte, so avoid it. The power is average for the segment, and so is the comfort. If you're looking at this car for superior driving dynamics, or superior speed, keep looking; this isn't the car for you. The legroom is fantastic (I'm 6 foot 4) and so are the simple a/c and temp controls. The hidden gem here is the touchscreen and WIRELESS Apple Car Play/Android Auto. Thats standard with the car. The hatchback is tiny and you can park anywhere in L.A. with it. The seats fold down if you need to shlep a bunch of gear around. Can't beat the 5 year 60k mile bumper to bumper warranty; 100k drivetrain. That makes me feel good knowing if something goes wrong, Im covered for years. I think its the best bang for the buck out there. Oh yeah, its one of the few new cars available for under $20k. I love it.
5/5 stars, So happy with my Kia Rio!
Ciccia,
S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
The care is pretty well equipped for such a small vehicle, and it's great on gas mileage. I have a back issue, and with a cushion, I'm fine. It doesn't have a very powerful engine, but steers and responds well. AC is great. As a conveniently-priced car for running around town, it's perfect...just what I wanted as I sized-down...and it's cute! Very pleased with my purchase.


Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$16,050
MPG & Fuel
33 City / 41 Hwy / 36 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 11.9 gal. capacity
Seating
5 seats
Drivetrain
Type: front wheel drive
Transmission: Continuously variable-speed automatic
Engine
Inline 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 120 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque: 112 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Basic Warranty
5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 172.6 in. / Height: 57.1 in.
Overall Width with Mirrors: N/A
Overall Width without Mirrors: 67.9 in.
Curb Weight: 2767 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 13.7 cu.ft.

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Safety

Our experts’ favorite Rio safety features:

Forward Collision Warning
Warns you if a front collision is imminent. Available only on the S trim level.
Rearview Camera
Helps the driver navigate into tight parking spots and avoid collisions when backing out of spots in crowded parking lots.
Automatic Emergency Braking
When the system is paired with forward collision warning, it can automatically engage the brakes if the driver doesn't react in time.

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Good
Roof Strength Test
Good
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good



Kia Rio vs. the competition

2021 Kia Rio

2021 Kia Rio

2021 Hyundai Accent

2021 Hyundai Accent

Kia Rio vs. Hyundai Accent

The Rio and the Hyundai Accent are corporate cousins, meaning they share a lot of similarities under the skin. They have the same powertrain, engine figures and estimated fuel economy. But the Accent leans more toward comfort, with a smooth ride and rather snazzy interior that feels well-built. It still, however, sports the same looks from its 2018 redesign.

Compare Kia Rio & Hyundai Accent features 

Kia Rio vs. Nissan Versa

If it's space you seek, the Versa is a great option. It has a larger trunk than the Rio and a sizable back seat. The Versa's standard set of advanced safety features is also impressive. Neither vehicle is a standout for acceleration, but the Rio does feel a little sportier to drive.

Compare Kia Rio & Nissan Versa features 

Kia Rio vs. Mitsubishi Mirage G4

It doesn't get more basic than a Mirage. There aren't many features or creature comforts inside the cabin, and the engine is both very slow and unpleasant to the ear. However, the Mirage has the highest-rated fuel economy of the group and new style for 2021. The Rio is the better car; the Mirage is the budget choice.

Compare Kia Rio & Mitsubishi Mirage G4 features 

FAQ

Is the Kia Rio a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Rio both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Kia Rio fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Rio gets an EPA-estimated 36 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Rio has 13.7 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Kia Rio. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Kia Rio?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Kia Rio:

  • Restyled front and rear bodywork
  • New 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Part of the fourth Rio generation introduced for 2018
Learn more

Is the Kia Rio reliable?

To determine whether the Kia Rio is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Rio. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Rio's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Kia Rio a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Kia Rio is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Rio is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Kia Rio?

The least-expensive 2021 Kia Rio is the 2021 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $16,050.

Other versions include:

  • S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $16,690
  • LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $16,050
Learn more

What are the different models of Kia Rio?

If you're interested in the Kia Rio, the next question is, which Rio model is right for you? Rio variants include S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT), and LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT). For a full list of Rio models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Kia Rio

2021 Kia Rio Overview

The 2021 Kia Rio is offered in the following submodels: Rio Hatchback, Rio Sedan. Available styles include S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT), LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT), and S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT). Kia Rio models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 120 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Kia Rio comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The 2021 Kia Rio comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 Kia Rio?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Kia Rio and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Rio 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Rio.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Kia Rio and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Rio featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Kia Rio?

2021 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $17,045. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) is trending $603 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $603 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $16,442.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) is 3.5% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 4 2021 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia Rio S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Kia Rio S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $17,685. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia Rio S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) is trending $597 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $597 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $17,088.

The average savings for the 2021 Kia Rio S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) is 3.4% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 20 2021 Kia Rio S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Kia Rios are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Kia Rio for sale near. There are currently 46 new 2021 Rios listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $17,200 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Kia Rio. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $1,778 on a used or CPO 2021 Rio available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Kia Rios you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Kia for sale - 2 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $15,520.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 Kia Rio?

2021 Kia Rio S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
36 compined MPG,
33 city MPG/41 highway MPG

2021 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
36 compined MPG,
33 city MPG/41 highway MPG

2021 Kia Rio S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
36 compined MPG,
33 city MPG/41 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG36
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Drive Trainfront wheel drive
Displacement1.6 L
Passenger Volume103.6 cu.ft.
Wheelbase101.6 in.
Length172.6 in.
WidthN/A
Height57.1 in.
Curb Weight2767 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Kia Rio?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Kia lease specials