2017 Kia Rio
- Ample standard and optional features
- Long warranty coverage for peace of mind
- engine provides relatively quick acceleration
- Roomy seating for a subcompact
- Base LX's non-telescoping steering wheel
- Lacks the ride and handling sophistication of rivals
2017 Kia Rio pricingin Ashburn, VA
Edmunds' Expert Review
With the 2017 Kia Rio, you're getting a straightforward subcompact sedan and four-door hatchback. It's a car that's going to get you from point A to point B without issue. But there are some elements that help improve its appeal. The Rio offers more than just the basics by virtue of its stylish design, roomy backseat and long warranty coverage. Factor in the Rio's affordable pricing, and you've got yourself a pretty appealing package.
Every Rio comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower. It's one of the more powerful engines in this class, and it gives the car respectably quick acceleration for a subcompact. Fuel economy is a bit less impressive at a maximum of 31 mpg in mixed driving, according to the EPA, but it's good enough to keep your fuel bills low. Our primary complaint is that the Rio lacks the suspension refinement found in some rivals, and its ride and handling characteristics suffer as a result.
If you'd like to check out the Rio's competitors, we'd suggest the sportier Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris iA. We're also fond of the well-rounded Chevrolet Sonic and the versatile Honda Fit hatchback. Even measured against these eminently likable models, however, the 2017 Kia Rio is a solid choice if you're looking to simplify your driving experience.
The 2017 Kia Rio comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, a hill start assist system, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Additionally, a rearview camera is available on the EX model and standard on the SX.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Rio SX came to a halt from 60 mph in 124 feet, which is an average distance for this class of car.
Both the Rio sedan and hatchback received a four-star rating (out of a possible five) for overall crash protection in government crash tests, with four stars for front-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Kia Rio sedan its top rating of Good in the moderate-overlap front-impact crash test, roof strength test and head restraint/seat (whiplash protection) tests. In side-impact crash testing, the Rio received the IIHS' second-highest rating of Acceptable. In the small-overlap front-impact test, the Rio scored the second-worst rating of Marginal.
trim levels & features
The subcompact 2017 Kia Rio is available as either a sedan or a four-door hatchback. The sedan is offered in LX and EX trim levels, while the hatchback can be had in LX, EX and SX trims.
Standard features on the entry-level LX include 15-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, heated power mirrors, a rear spoiler (hatchback only), air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a tilt-only steering wheel, a trip computer, a cargo area cover (hatchback only), and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio input jack.
An available Power option package adds keyless entry and power windows and door locks. Opting for the Power package requires sedan buyers to order the optional automatic transmission, which brings with it Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. (Hatchbacks come standard with both the automatic transmission and Bluetooth.)
The Kia Rio EX starts with the Power package items and adds 15-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a chrome grille surround, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, map lights, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, a soft-touch dash, padded armrests on the front doors, a sliding center console armrest and storage area, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker audio system.
Choosing the Rio EX's optional Eco package results in the loss of that model's standard 15-inch alloy wheels, foglights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, soft-touch dash, map lights and vanity mirrors. Instead, it adds a fuel-saving automatic engine stop-start system, automatic headlights, a rearview camera and Kia's Uvo 7-inch touchscreen interface. The EX's Designer package includes two-tone black and gray cloth and leather seating with gray accent stitching on the seats, steering wheel, shift knob and armrest plus automatic headlights, a rearview camera and an upgraded audio system with a 4.3-inch touchscreen.
The top-of-the-line SX (hatchback only) includes the Rio EX's standard equipment and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a sunroof, automatic headlights, LED taillights, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a navigation system, a rearview camera, an upgraded gauge cluster, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and the Uvo infotainment system.
The 2017 Kia Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that sends 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. The LX sedan gets a six-speed manual transmission as standard; a six-speed automatic is an option. All other Rio models come with the automatic as standard. In Edmunds testing, a Rio SX went from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, which is a bit quicker than average time for a subcompact.
EPA fuel economy estimates vary a bit depending on which Rio you get, but expect to get 31 mpg combined (27 city/36 highway) from an EX with the Eco package. This is average fuel economy for the segment, but some competitors are even thriftier.
Out on the road, the 2017 Kia Rio SX has a less than smooth ride quality mainly due to the larger wheels and firmer sport-tuned suspension. If a more comfort-oriented ride is what you're after, we'd recommend comparing the SX to the EX model to see which you prefer. If, on the other hand, responsive handling is a priority, we think you'll find the SX to be a better bet.
Step on the gas and the 138-hp four-cylinder, which is one of the more powerful engines in this segment, delivers quick-enough acceleration. It's not going to knock your socks off, but for typical driving duty, it's powerful enough. The engine can get noisy at high rpm, such as when you're quickly accelerating to get up to highway speeds.
Inside, the 2017 Kia Rio offers a roomy cabin. Up front, most drivers should be able to find a comfortable position thanks to the height-adjustable seat and the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel that's standard on EX and SX models. Rear seat occupants will enjoy accommodations that are pretty spacious compared to some subcompacts.
From a design standpoint, the interior is far from flashy. The EX and SX models do feature good-quality materials, however, including upgraded cloth upholstery and soft-touch trim. As you'd expect from a car whose calling card is simplicity, gauges and controls are straightforward and easy to see and use.
When it comes to cargo room, the sedan offers a good-sized trunk with 13.7 cubic feet of space that can be expanded by way of the 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks. The hatchback offers a decent 15 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and a useful 49.8 cubic feet with those seatbacks folded down.
2017 Kia Rio video
TRAVIS LANGNESS: I'm editor Travis Langness, and this is an Edmunds Expert Rundown of the 2017 Kia Rio. [MUSIC PLAYING] If you're looking for a subcompact sedan that won't break the bank and doesn't feel like a penalty box, you're looking in the right place. The 2017 Kia Rio is a roomy, four-door subcompact that comes as a sedan or as a hatchback. It gets lots of standard equipment relative to its price. And while it may feel a little bit basic, it doesn't feel like a disappointment when you drive it. The ride quality is a bit stiff, especially on the SX model with the sporty suspension. But you get responsive handling as a trade-off, so it might be worth it in the long run. The Rio also has good standard warranty coverage, and relatively quick acceleration for the segment. Both are pluses if you're on a budget. The Rio's interior isn't exactly plush, but it does have some nice soft-touch materials on the upper trim levels, and the fit and finish is high quality. [MUSIC PLAYING] The seats up front are a bit flat, without much bolstering, but they're comfortable enough for daily commutes and the occasional road trip. And the cabin controls are laid out in a straightforward manner that's pretty easy to learn. [MUSIC PLAYING] We also like the Kia Rio's optional 7-inch touchscreen with Kia UVO technology. It's got crisp graphics and easy-to-use controls. For the 2017 Kia Rio, the bottom line is that it's got a lot of value, lots of standard and available features, and for a class that's got some pretty humdrum vehicles, it's a likeable option. We also recommend checking out the Honda Fit and the Ford Fiesta. For more reviews and Edmunds Expert Rundowns, click the link to subscribe.
2017 Kia Rio Expert Rundown Review
Looking for a subcompact sedan or hatchback that doesn't feel like a penalty box? The 2017 Kia Rio might be the car for you. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
Features & Specs
Budget-conscious consumers shopping in the crowded subcompact market segment would do well to add the 2017 Kia Rio to their must-drive list. With a low price point, attractive styling, roomy interior and decent performance, the Rio offers solid value per dollar. And like many of its class rivals, Kia's entry-level model has expanded in both size and available features, proving that you don't necessarily have to sacrifice comfort in the name of economy.
Having undergone a significant exterior and interior refresh last year — which gave it restyled front and rear ends, new options and a standard six-speed automatic transmission in the hatchback version — the Rio is largely unchanged for 2017. The SX trim level has been dropped for the sedan, and Digital Yellow is now off the list of color choices.
Under the hood, the only powerplant remains a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. In the LX sedan it comes mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, with a six-speed automatic as an option. All other models include the automatic as standard equipment.
Fuel economy for the Rio equipped with the manual gearbox is EPA rated at 31 mpg combined (27 city/36 highway). Choosing the automatic transmission drops the rating just a bit to 30 mpg (still 27 city/36 highway).
On the road, the SX trim level displays responsive handling courtesy of a sport-oriented suspension, while the EX excels at a more comfortable ride, so buyers might want to arrange some test-drives before making a decision. Acceleration is a strong suit, thanks to one of the peppiest engines in the class, although high revs tend to amp up the noise level.
The Rio's interior, while not exactly plush in standard trim, is nicely designed, logically laid out and constructed of good-quality materials. There's plenty of room for both front- and rear-seat occupants, and cargo space, already fairly generous, can be expanded by folding the 60/40-split rear seatbacks. Optional packages and accessories allow buyers to add an impressive array of comfort and convenience features, including such luxuries as heated leather seats, navigation and a premium infotainment system.
The Rio is available as either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback, with the sedan offered in LX and EX trim levels and the hatchback in LX, EX and SX trims. The base LX models come with all the necessary equipment to keep you comfortable on the road, although drivers will need to make do with roll-up windows and rather basic amenities. The EX and SX trims provide considerably more features and are definitely worth a look for those seeking a bit more comfort and technology. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Kia Rio that best meets your needs.
2017 Kia Rio Overview
The 2017 Kia Rio is offered in the following submodels: , . Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6M), LX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A), SX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A), EX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A), and EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A).
What do people think of the 2017 Kia Rio?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Kia Rio and all its trim types. 0 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 2017 Rio.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Kia Rio and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 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.
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