2014 Kia Rio Review
2014 Kia Rio Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Stylish inside and out
- ample standard and optional features
- high-quality interior materials on EX and SX
- long warranty
- strong acceleration
- feels bigger than it is.
- Lacks the ride/handling sophistication of rivals
- noisy cabin.
Aside from a few minor changes to improve aerodynamics under the vehicle and revisions to the key fob and the leather-wrapped steering wheel, the 2014 Kia Rio is unchanged.
The 2014 Kia Rio is a solid pick for a small sedan or hatchback. It doesn't ride or handle as well as class-leading rivals but it should win you over with its inviting cabin, strong engine performance and excellent value.
Gone are the days when subcompact cars like the 2014 Kia Rio represented basic, cheap transportation and nothing more. On the contrary, these small sedans and hatchbacks can now satisfy a range of needs and wants. They're great in big cities where garages are small (or nonexistent) and parking space is limited, and just as useful on long trips where their modest fuel consumption leaves a little more money in your pocket. Within this class, the Rio stands out for its handsome styling, impressive equipment list and energetic acceleration.
Perhaps you never expected a subcompact car to wow you with its upscale ambience or spirited performance, but this entry-level Kia delivers in more ways than one. Inside, the Rio is well trimmed, with nice-quality surfaces and a livable level of standard equipment, even in the base model. When you start adding on options like a keyless ignition, leather upholstery and a voice control interface, the Rio really begins to take on a premium vibe. It's also a roomy car, especially if you choose the hatchback. On the move, the Rio feels quick for a subcompact, and it's fully capable of keeping up in expressway traffic.
If there's a reason not to put your money on the 2014 Kia Rio, it's the car's lack of ride and handling sophistication. The ride is busy and can be downright uncomfortable over broken pavement, and that, combined with excessive tire and wind noise, can be annoying on longer drives. Handling is competent but not a bit sporty, so if entertainment value is a priority, the Rio may disappoint you there as well.
Although we think most shoppers will easily overlook these drawbacks, there are plenty of excellent alternatives in this class. The 2014 Ford Fiesta is one of our favorite subcompacts thanks to its impressive fuel economy, refined ride and sporty driving dynamics. It also offers interior build and materials quality on par with the Rio. The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic blends solid acceleration, comfort and similar feature content, plus it's also more fun to drive than the Kia. Although most subcompact cars return respectable fuel economy, if you're a hypermiler on a mission you may want to consider the pricier 2014 Toyota Prius C, which earns a 50 mpg combined rating. Another solid option is the Rio's mechanical twin, the 2014 Hyundai Accent, which provides similarly strong value.
All of these cars are fine choices, but if you're drawn to the 2014 Kia Rio's styling and amenities, you'll likely be content with the rest of the package.
Performance & mpg
The 2014 Kia Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the LX, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional on the LX and standard on the other trim levels.
In Edmunds testing, the Kia Rio SX hatchback went from zero to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, while an SX sedan reached 60 in 9.4 seconds -- about a second quicker than the class average in either case.
Fuel economy is average for the class, with the Rio earning an EPA estimated 31 mpg combined (27 city/37 highway) with both the manual and automatic transmission. With the aid of their automatic stop-start feature, Rio EX models with the Eco package and all SX models earn a 31 mpg combined (28 mpg city/37 mpg highway) estimate, while combined and highway mileage estimates are identical.
Every 2014 Kia Rio comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is optional on the EX and standard on the SX.
In government crash testing, the Rio received four out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for frontal protection and five stars for side protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Rio received the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal offset and roof strength tests. In the side impact test, it received a second-highest rating of "Acceptable." In that agency's small-overlap frontal offset test, the Rio scored a second-lowest "Marginal" rating. The Rio's seat/head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Rio SX hatchback came to a stop from 60 mph in just 119 feet, while the SX sedan needed 124 feet. Both are better than average numbers for the class.
As we've only tested SX versions of the Kia Rio, these impressions pertain mostly to that trim, which provides larger wheels and tires, and firmer suspension tuning than the LX and EX models. The Rio SX is competent around turns, but it's definitely not the best handling car in this class. In addition, the Kia's ride is choppy bordering on harsh, depending on the condition of the pavement. If a softer ride is important to you, the EX is likely a better bet. If you're looking for a small car that feels a little more sophisticated in the way it rides and handles, the Sonic and Fiesta are worth a test-drive.
Meanwhile, the 2014 Kia Rio's 1.6-liter four-cylinder is one of the more powerful engines in this class, and overall, acceleration is impressive for a subcompact. The engine gets a bit noisy during hard acceleration, and that, along with considerable amounts of wind and tire noise (with the SX's 17-inch wheels and tires), keeps the cabin from feeling serene.
The Kia Rio's cabin boasts a restrained yet stylish design, with a European flavor. The materials quality is nothing special in the base LX, but the added soft-touch surfaces, armrest cushioning and tasteful metallic accents found in the upper trims make the Rio's cabin one of the finest in the subcompact segment. We highly encourage you to go that extra mile to get an EX or SX, especially since they come with a truly impressive amount of equipment.
The climate and audio controls are easy to use, while the available Uvo voice-activated electronics interface is another nice bonus. Although we've found its voice recognition abilities aren't quite to the level of Ford's Sync interface (both Uvo and Sync are Microsoft-based), its accompanying touchscreen interfaces are more user-friendly than most. Note that equipping the navigation system (via the Premium package) deletes the Uvo interface. Although the nav system has voice controls of its own, it doesn't include all of Uvo's audio system commands.
The Rio scores well in the areas of space and comfort. Even tall drivers should be comfortable behind the tilt-and-telescoping wheel (EX and SX models), while the backseat offers a competitive amount of space. Count this as another subcompact that doesn't feel all that subcompact. When it comes time to carry cargo, the sedan has a generous 13.7-cubic-foot trunk, while the hatchback has 14.9 cubic feet -- a small luggage hold for this class. For maximum hauling potential, though, the hatchback is still a good bet, since folding the rear seats opens up 49.8 cubic feet of capacity, a good number for this class. Notably, the rear seats fold completely flat in all Kia Rios.
2014 Kia Rio models
The 2014 Kia Rio is a five-passenger, subcompact car available as a four-door sedan and a four-door hatchback. Trim levels are LX, EX and SX.
The base LX comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, heated power mirrors, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a trip computer and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. If you have the automatic transmission for the LX, the available Power package adds power windows, power locks and keyless entry.
The EX trim level includes the above equipment and adds cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, upgraded cloth upholstery, a sliding front armrest, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system. The Convenience package adds 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, power-folding mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, map lights, upgraded interior materials, a rearview camera, a small touchscreen interface, Bluetooth audio connectivity and the Uvo voice control interface. To that you can add the Eco package, which equips an automatic stop-start system that shuts down the engine when stopped to save fuel.
The SX trim level includes the Convenience and Eco package items, plus 17-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, LED running lights and taillights, dual exhaust tips and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The optional Premium package adds a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a navigation system and a larger touchscreen interface. A stand-alone option for all trim levels is an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2014 Kia Rio.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.63 out of 5 stars
2013 Kia Rio Ex
2013 Kia Rio EX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A)
I am currently driving a 2013 Kia Rio in Michigan. Handles great in the snow with the traction control on (read favorite features). Very nice design, but when buying the ex model it did not come with cruise (can be added). I have been driving this car since the beginning of December 2012, just went over 1100 miles and am happy with my choice. Gas mileage does fluctuate a little bit but … have had the Eco on while driving on the highway and have actually averaged around 40+ MPG. Just remember, if you're nice to your car, it will be nice to you. This is my first brand new car and am really happy. Currently leasing for a 39 month lease and wouldn't have done anything different. Love my Kia Rio :)
5 out of 5 stars
Great Little Car
Dan Ferguson, 05/02/2016
2013 Kia Rio LX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A)
I love this car. My wife and I bought it about 1 year ago used and it has not given us any trouble. Had 21000 K miles on it when we bought it and we've now got 37000 K miles now. Will be giving this to our daughter, though as she just finished med school and needs a reliable little car where she lives. Shipping it to her today. Got the LX package and it didn't have a few items that … I added. For one thing, it had no cruise control, but there's an OEM change that you can do through your steering wheel to add it. Works like a charm. Would not hesitate to buy again.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Very Happy So Far
2013 Kia Rio LX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A)
I bought my Rio LX hatchback a little over a month ago. I have the 6 speed automatic, and just about nothing else as far as extras. I am not into fluff on cars, but this one is nicely equipped and has all the amenities that one needs in a basic daily driver. The little 1.6 liter engine is spirited off the line (slows down a little bit after that), and gives me decent numbers. I drive in … a lot of heavy, stop and start, traffic, and I get about 26-28 mpg overall. Highway mileage hovers around 40....this is without the active ECO button engaged (turns the car into a slug).
4 out of 5 stars
No sense to spend more
2014 Kia Rio LX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6M)
These are a great little value and all a person needs for the average commute. Most of us drive from A to B for errands and transportation anyway and how can you beat a great running car with low insurance rates and a 10 year warranty to boot. The only negative thing I have to say is that Hyundai/Kia found a way to get another $150 profit by omitting a spare tire and jack so get your … dealer to either include one or sell it to you at cost. They're going to try to convince you that the roadside assistance they give you makes up for it but I can tell you I have sat on the side of the road for hours waiting for these people to show and then many times they can't resolve the issue anyway.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2014 Kia Rio, so we've included reviews for other years of the Rio since its last redesign.
2014 Rio Highlights
- Combined MPG
- 31 MPG
- Cost to Drive
- 5 seats
- front wheel drive
- Engine Type
- 5 years / 60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat4 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover11.6%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestAcceptable
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
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More about the 2014 Kia Rio
Used 2014 Kia Rio Overview
The Used 2014 Kia Rio is offered in the following submodels: Rio Hatchback, Rio Sedan. Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6M), LX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6M), SX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A), and SX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A). Pre-owned Kia Rio models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 138 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2014 Kia Rio comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2014 Kia Rio?
Price comparisons for Used 2014 Kia Rio trim styles:
- The Used 2014 Kia Rio LX is priced between $12,590 and$16,998 with odometer readings between 10020 and95314 miles.
- The Used 2014 Kia Rio EX is priced between $12,990 and$14,990 with odometer readings between 22460 and91392 miles.
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 2014 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) 2014 Kia Rio for sale near. There are currently 9 used and CPO 2014 Rios listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,590 and mileage as low as 10020 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned 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 Used 2014 Kia Rio.
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Should I lease or buy a 2014 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
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