Used 2011 Kia Rio Sedan

Used Rio for sale
List Price Estimate:$2,211 - $3,578
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Affordable price tag
  • attractive interior
  • generous warranty.
  • Disappointing crash-test results
  • bland styling
  • pokey automatic transmission
  • desirable features cost extra.

As far as small economy cars go, there are better choices than the 2011 Kia Rio.

Vehicle overview

When shopping for an economical car, it's important to make the distinction between an inexpensive car and one that represents a bargain. An inexpensive choice simply means the vehicle is modestly priced. A bargain, on the other hand, represents a car that delivers more for the same amount of money. The 2011 Kia Rio falls into the inexpensive category, as it isn't quite a bargain.

You get what you pay for with a Kia Rio. As an entry-level sedan or four-door hatchback, the Rio is understandably short on features, but even in this cost-conscious category it will likely leave buyers wanting. The base model Rio lacks power steering, antilock brakes, air-conditioning and power accessories -- items that are increasingly standard in this segment. The Rio is also a disappointment when it comes to crash-test scores, which could be of particular interest to parents when considering a first car for teenagers.

On the plus side, the 2011 Kia Rio delivers respectable fuel economy and a warranty that spans 10 years or 100,000 miles. However, we recommend that you check out the competition before committing. The new 2011 Ford Fiesta ranks near the top of our list, delivering energetic performance along with a decent list of standard and optional features. The 2011 Honda Fit is another great choice due to its versatile cargo configurations. We'd also consider a 2011 Nissan Versa, which edges the Rio thanks to greater comfort. With a redesigned Rio lurking on the horizon, we'd think twice about the current model, especially when you consider the strides that Kia has been making with its latest versions of other models.

2011 Kia Rio models

The 2011 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 base sedan includes 14-inch steel wheels, power mirrors, a tilt steering wheel, cloth upholstery and a four-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary/USB audio input jacks and satellite radio.

The LX adds power steering, antilock brakes, air-conditioning and 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks. The top-of-the-line SX model adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, power windows, remote keyless entry, cruise control, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth and two additional speakers. An optional Value package is available on the LX and adds many of the SX's features. Also available on the LX are 15-inch alloy wheels.

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2011 Highlights

For the 2011 Kia Rio, the manual transmission is now available only on the base sedan. All other Rios now have the four-speed automatic as standard.

Performance & mpg

The 2011 Kia Rio and Rio5 are powered by a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 110 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. The base model receives a standard five-speed manual transmission while the LX and SX trims get a four-speed automatic.

Performance takes a backseat to economy, as a Rio 5 we tested accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a leisurely 11.5 seconds. On the plus side, the Rio returns favorable fuel economy. With a manual transmission, the EPA estimates mileage at 28 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 31 mpg in combined driving. The automatic is rated at 27/36/30 mpg.


The 2011 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.

The Kia Rio has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) resulted in four stars (out of a possible 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.


While the 2011 Kia Rio's 1.6-liter engine is rather noisy at higher rpm, it does provide a decent amount of pep. Operating the base Rio's manual transmission is enjoyable, thanks to a smooth clutch and precise shifter action. The automatic isn't nearly as lively, but gearchanges are smooth and relatively quick. The Rio's handling is solid and predictable, aided by surprisingly precise steering. The effect of driving over potholes and other road imperfections is quite unforgiving on passengers, but otherwise the ride quality is decent, with a relatively quiet highway ride.


Among economy cars, the 2011 Kia Rio boasts one of the nicer interiors available. The cabin is attractively designed, utilizing decent-quality material, legible gauges and easy-to-use controls. Front seat passengers enjoy an abundance of head- and legroom but seat comfort fades after about an hour behind the wheel. Also disappointing is the lack of an enclosed center console box for storing small items out of sight.

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

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Kia Rio Sedan.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
2011 Kia rio - 100,000 miles later
4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
To be honest, if I were as knowledgeable about cars back when I bought it as I am now, I probably would have gotten something different. But all in all, this car is amazing. The inside: My version, the LX, came with bluetooth support allowing me to connect my phone and call people without ever having to touch my phone. All you need to do is press a button on the wheel and say "Call (whoever you're calling)," it'll say back the name it heard and ask for verification. For some reason however, some people claim they can hear me just as well as if I had the phone to my ear, and others say it sounds like I'm in a wind tunnel. The seats are plain looking, but surprisingly comfortable. My girlfriend has never been able to sleep in a car during a road trip- even overnight- until we went on a road trip in the Rio. The back seats are fairly average, though there isn't much space, however, three of my friends who are grown adult men were able to squeeze into the back, and didn't have many complaints. Driving: Driving this car is surprisingly fun. It has a very tight turning angle and can make a u-turn in places other cars can't. It can take curves well at high speeds(with proper grip and good tires). Acceleration leaves something to be desired, but considering it's a 110HP engine designed to sip gas and give you 38MPG, it feels just right. Travelling noise gets gradually worse as the car gets higher in miles. When I originally bought it, it was very quiet. Now there's a lot of wind noise and the engine isn't as quiet as it used to be(still very quiet though). The engine: The number one complaint I've seen about this car in terms of the engine, is the ignition coils going out. The owners manual states that the spark plugs should be changed around 36000 miles. Most people don't change the oil in their car, let alone change the spark plugs or even do required maintenance. Unfortunately, I was one of those people around the 40,000 mile mark. My engine began to shake horribly and flashed the CEL. I had it towed to the Kia dealership(For free! Because Kia's roadside assistance for the first 60,000 miles), and they told me the spark plugs went out and it took the ignition coils out with it. They told me it was bad gas, and told me to only use Shell gas. Do not believe this. This was because the factory spark plugs don't last past 36,000(which is average for spark plugs, not a bad thing). They replaced the ignition coils for free because they were under warranty, but charged me $150 to replace the spark plugs. This is the ONLY thing I have had go wrong with the engine that wasn't somebody else's fault. Otherwise the Rio's inline-4 is reliable, and very easy to work on. Replacing the spark plugs cost me only $20 and about 20 minutes of time. It has 3 accessory belts, which is annoying, but they aren't hard to change and are relatively inexpensive. Overall: This car would make a wonderful starter car, and while it may not be the flashiest or the fastest car in the world, you can pick up a 2011 Rio for relatively cheap which makes it a perfect car for a first time driver, or a second car used to take on trips thanks to it's amazing fuel efficiency.
4.88 out of 5 stars
SX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 4A)
Overall the 2011 Kia Rio has been a terrific car. I bought it for better gas milage and the warranty, which I'm hoping not to have to use. The steering is tight, lots of control and plenty of pick up and go. Ride is smooth, a little road noise, but not bad.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Love it!
SX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 4A)
Bought the Rio for my daughter and she has nothing but nice things to say. The sx handles great when I drive it. Tight and very responsive. Avg 30mpg with city/hwy mix. Definitely a great first car or someone looking for a good little compact.
5 out of 5 stars
Safe Little Car
4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this car used with 12k miles on it in Feb. 2012 when I downsized from a Jeep. It was exactly what I was hoping for. It got great gas mileage (30+ on long trips) and was dependable with minimum maintenance. I only had one issue with it, which was with the spark plugs. I didn't read the maintenance guide and didn't get these replaced. So around 40k miles, the car turned on the check engine light and started shaking in idle. Got a tune up, but 6 months later it happened again. Took it to the dealership where they said Kias need Kia parts. So that was all fixed and there were no other issues, up to 58k when the car was deemed totaled in a wreck. The most important things I need in a car are reliability and safety. This car was in 2 major wrecks. Once when I was pregnant with my daughter and someone turned in front of me so that I smashed the front of my car in. The second, someone slammed into the side of the car. The side my now 2 year old was on. We were both completely okay both times even when the car was totaled for the second accident. Now, I'm looking for another car with more space but with the same reliability and safety I found in this Kia.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2011 Kia Rio

Used 2011 Kia Rio Sedan Overview

The Used 2011 Kia Rio Sedan is offered in the following styles: LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), and SX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 4A). Pre-owned Kia Rio Sedan models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 110 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2011 Kia Rio Sedan comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual. The Used 2011 Kia Rio Sedan 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's a good price on a Used 2011 Kia Rio Sedan?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2011 Kia Rio Sedans are available in my area?

Used 2011 Kia Rio Sedan Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Kia Rio Sedan.

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Can't find a used 2011 Kia Rio Rio Sedan you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Rio for sale - 9 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $14,045.

Find a used Kia for sale - 5 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $25,368.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Rio for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $17,709.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 4 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $16,546.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 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.

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