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2019 Kia Rio
MSRP Range: $15,390 - $16,190

  • Sporty handling makes it entertaining to drive
  • Solid build quality for such a price-conscious car
  • Long warranty coverage for peace of mind
  • Standard equipment is a bit bare-bones
  • No telescoping steering wheel available
  • Sedan has subpar cargo space
What's new
  • Top-level EX trim has been discontinued
  • Revised feature availability for remaining LX and S trims
  • Part of the fourth Rio generation introduced for 2018
Select a trim

Which Rio does Edmunds recommend?

With the EX trim gone, we recommend the now top-of-the-line S. For a small price increase over the base LX, you get desirable features such as a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, keyless entry and cruise control. The S also makes available the optional Technology package, which comes with LED headlights, forward collision warning and assist, and Kia's Uvo telematics system.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.7 / 10

As the price of new vehicles continues to climb, the subcompact market remains a bastion of affordability. It's also, at times, a bastion of mediocrity. But you only need to look at the 2019 Kia Rio to find a reasonably priced car that's also enjoyable to drive.

Redesigned just last year, the Rio differentiates itself from its competition with mature styling and a sophisticated and compliant ride. Even with the standard automatic transmission and relatively small 1.6-liter engine, the Rio doesn't come across as underpowered or buzzy at highway speeds. Inside, the Rio continues to impress. It's free of gimmicky styling and clutter, and it has easy-to-use controls and a solid feel to the cabin.

The Rio does lack a bit when it comes to space. There's not a whole lot of rear-seat room, and trunk space is average at best. But if either of those shortcomings isn't terribly important, the 2019 Kia Rio will impress you with its excellent warranty, generous feature content and fairly low price, even when it's fully equipped.

Kia Rio models

The 2019 Kia Rio is a subcompact car available either as a sedan or a hatchback (Kia calls it the 5-Door). The sedan has a choice of two trim levels, LX and S, while the hatchback is only sold in S trim. The once top-of-the-line EX has been discontinued for 2019.

The LX comes standard with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (130 horsepower, 119 lb-ft of torque) and a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels. Also standard are 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, power and heated exterior mirrors, air conditioning, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver's seat, a rearview camera, a 5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a four-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

The S adds remote keyless entry with a trunk opener, a 7-inch touchscreen display, a six-speaker stereo, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, an additional USB port, cruise control, a center console with a sliding armrest, and a 60/40-split folding rear seats with adjustable headrests.

The Technology package is available once the S trim has been selected and offers LED headlights, forward collision warning and emergency braking, Kia's Uvo eServices communications, and an upgraded driver information display.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Kia Rio EX (1.6L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2018, Kia has discontinued the EX trim. In terms of features, it was equivalent to this year's S trim with the Technology package.


Overall7.7 / 10


The Rio delivers more sophisticated handling than its competitors and some welcome steering feedback. The economy-oriented tires and strained-sounding engine keep it from being truly fun to drive. Even though performance is average, the car feels better on the road than competitors.


Our as-tested 0-60 mph time of 9.1 seconds is average for this segment, and that's also the best description for this powertrain. The throttle response is linear, and the Rio feels zippy enough around town but runs out of grunt quickly. When pushed, the engine is noisy and sounds strained.


The brakes feel solid and responsive and are easy to modulate. Under hard braking the car tracks straight, but the brakes are let down by the economy-oriented tires. In our testing the Rio stopped from 60 mph in 126 feet, which isn't bad for the class, but it feels as if the Rio could do better.


The steering effort is relatively light and builds naturally. There's even some welcome feedback from the front wheels, which sets the Rio apart from most competitors. But it is a bit darty, so you wind up making more corrections during turns and even while driving straight.


There's a lot of body roll on initial turn-in, but the Rio settles and feels controlled through most of its range. Handling is predictable, but the economy tires protest loudly and understeer shows up early. Still, the car's predictability and steering feel are confidence-inspiring.


The shifts are smooth, but the six-speed automatic has its work cut out for it. Unlike some CVT automatic-fettled competitors, it has to shift frequently. It will hold gears but upshift when you let off the throttle. Although revs are matched for smoother downshifts, they aren't executed particularly quickly.


The manually adjustable seats are firm but supportive. The climate controls are straightforward, and the system is more than up to the task of regulating the temp in the cabin. The Rio is quieter than many rivals, and the ride is more refined, if a bit firmer than subcompact buyers are accustomed to.

Seat comfort

The seats are firm but well-formed and supportive with some bolstering. The lack of lumbar adjustment makes the seat a little less comfortable on longer drives. The headrest is aggressively forward, but it has enough vertical adjustability that most drivers will be able to work around it.

Ride comfort

The Rio's best trick is smoothing out smaller road imperfections that make most cars in this class feel busy. The suspension feels sophisticated, but this is a firmer ride than most. And while it takes the edges off bigger bumps, it's buttoned-down and you definitely feel more of the road.

Noise & vibration

Outside of engine noise, the Rio is quiet around town. In most road conditions, road and tire noise sounds more distant than in competitors. But wind noise is noticeable on the freeway, and some conditions bring the tire noise up. Even when cruising, you can still hear the engine.

Climate control

The Rio uses a simple three-dial system that's easy to read and understand. It's capable of blowing very cold and very warm, so it should keep up with any climate. The rear defrosters are a bit slow, but otherwise this is a super-functional basic climate system.


The solidly built interior looks more mature and upscale than those of rivals. The range of driving position adjustability gives the feel of a larger sedan. Still, the back seat is cramped, and entry can be tricky. The excellent touchscreen interface and straightforward controls are a pleasure.

Ease of use

The buttons are clearly labeled, and the controls are easy to find. We especially like the dedicated hard buttons for infotainment features and menus that let you bypass navigating the touchscreen system. That said, this is a well-thought-out touchscreen interface that outclasses competitors.

Getting in/getting out

The Rio's relatively low roof means you have to duck a bit even to get in the front. Limited rear-seat head- and kneeroom combined with a small rear door opening force some adults to contort in the back seat. It's nearly impossible to enter in tight spaces where the door can't be opened wide.

Driving position

The Rio has a lower, more sophisticated midsize-car seating position compared to the very upright position in most subcompacts. There's plenty of seat adjustment both forward and back and for height, and the steering wheel telescopes quite far, which taller drivers will appreciate.


The front seat offers good head- and kneeroom, and it feels pretty open. The rear seat is tight in almost every dimension, with less kneeroom and toe room behind taller drivers than something like the Honda Fit. Rear headroom is similarly tight.


The roof pillars are thick all around, but they are positioned in front so they don't create problematic blind spots. The good side mirrors help with the side view. Rear visibility is quite good, but the beefy rear roof pillars create a big blind spot when you're looking over your shoulder.


Plastics abound, but they're handled well: Many are textured, and they all feel solidly built. This interior isn't hollow or tinny, and the overall design makes it look mature, especially for this class.


A decently sized trunk with a wide, flat floor and quite a few interior storage options for small items make the Kia a practical little car. It can't really touch the class-leading Honda Fit, but its strengths lie elsewhere.

Small-item storage

Again, the Honda Fit is king in this category, but the Rio incorporates several cubbies in the center console, a small armrest box, a good-size glovebox, and door pockets that can hold water bottles in both the front and rear. You shouldn't have any trouble finding places to stash your stuff.

Cargo space

The 13.7-cubic-foot sedan trunk is average, but Kia worked hard to create a wide, flat load floor so it's very usable. The seats fold down for longer items. The hatchback's 32.8 cubic feet (with the seats folded) can't touch space in the Honda Fit, but in practice it's quite accommodating.

Child safety seat accommodation

The LATCH points are clearly marked, but they are stuck between the cushions. They're close to the surface, so you don't have to dig around to find them, but they're still not as easy to get at compared to those in cars with ports or flaps.


The Kia's technology is well-thought-out, with an excellent touchscreen infotainment system, a surprisingly good stereo and competent voice controls. Still, competitors offer more active safety features and driver aids across more of their range.

Audio & navigation

Kia figured drivers would rather use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto than pay for a nav subscription, so nav isn't available. Audio quality is better than most of the class, with good clarity and depth but not much bass response. You can specify which sources the mode button will cycle through.

Smartphone integration

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay work smoothly and come standard on the S trim level. For the base LX, you'll have to get by with just Bluetooth. Our test Rio came with two USB ports (the rear port is charge-only) as well as a 12-volt outlet and auxiliary jack up front.

Driver aids

The forward collision warning system is unobtrusive and returned no false alarms in our time with the car. We also appreciated the animated guidelines in the rearview camera. That said, a few competitors offer more active safety features and driver aids.

Voice control

The range of controls is relatively limited, but they work well with minimal misunderstandings when changing radio stations or dialing phone numbers. There are guides on-screen and voice prompts, and you can switch to shorter voice prompts once you get the hang of the system.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2019 Kia Rio.

5 star reviews: 78%
4 star reviews: 11%
3 star reviews: 11%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 4.7 stars based on 9 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • fuel efficiency
  • road noise
  • ride quality
  • appearance
  • handling & steering
  • interior
  • technology
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • acceleration
  • comfort
  • value
  • spaciousness
  • driving experience
  • lights

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, New Kia Lover!
Beth R,
LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

My 2019 Kia Rio LX is my first Kia and I adore it. It’s so fun to drive; it feels surprisingly sporty and nimble and the steering is a dream. The interior looks much more expensive than you might expect and the seating is very comfortable. The headroom in the back is much better than similarly-sized cars. I love the backup camera (and that it came standard!) and the touchscreen which is very easy to use. Best of all, the gas mileage is phenomenal! I’ve been getting at minimum 40 mpg with a mix of city and highway driving (up to 55 mpg with pure highway driving!!). I may be a Kia owner for life now thanks to this car. Just as a fun fact, the car I had before this was a BMW 328.... EDIT: Over a year later, I still adore this car. I’ve had no issues with it and I still enjoy driving it a lot! Kia has definitely won me over.

5 out of 5 stars, The little engine that could
The little engine that could,
S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

This small European design car is great! This is my first kia and I would recommend this feisty car to anyone who wants to save on gas and get in small spaces. I get 35 mpg and that's city. It handles great and is a quiet ride. The tech lay out is good, I wish it had a CD player..I'm older and have a lot if cd.

5 out of 5 stars, Shannon,Deep sea blue 2019 Rio s
S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

Got 13 k miles now and still Loving the Rio wouldn't trade it for anything, use the sport mode for even better driving experience. Gas mileage is awesome and car seats are comfortable. Mine has the tech package which has the forward collision warning and emergency braking which is an option on the s trim. But it's worth the 800 dollars price those safety features are hard to get on a cheap car like this , I didn't see many of them that had the tech package it was new option for 2019. The tech package also has the white led headlights and satelite radio and upgrated instrument cluster. But overall I really like the car no complaints, I do recommend getting the s because the lx doesn't have the armrest or keyless entry alarm or cruise control or folding rear seat. I plan on paying it off in couple years and keeping it.

5 out of 5 stars, First kia
S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

This is the first time I've had a Kia or even thought about getting one and for the price it was a great choice I got the s model and so far I love it drives smooth the sound is good and the gas mpg at one point I had it up to 40 not bad seeing as the dealership told me it only got 31 mpg

Write a review

See all 9 reviews

Features & Specs

S 4dr Sedan features & specs
S 4dr Sedan
1.6L 4cyl 6A
MPG 28 city / 37 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower130 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all for sale
LX 4dr Sedan features & specs
LX 4dr Sedan
1.6L 4cyl 6A
MPG 28 city / 37 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower130 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all for sale
See all 2019 Kia Rio features & specs


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

Kia Niro vs. the competition

Kia Niro vs. Hyundai Accent

The Rio and the Accent are related and, along with having identical powertrains, they have a lot of technology and mechanical similarities. Styling could very well be the deciding factor here. The Rio's ride and handling are a bit sportier, but the Accent is more relaxed. For seat comfort, we prefer the Rio.

Compare Kia Niro & Hyundai Accent features

Kia Niro vs. Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa is a small car with a remarkably low base price, a relatively huge back seat, a similarly giant trunk and a plush ride quality. What you don't get is an engine with much refinement or power, an engaging driving experience, or an interior with any upmarket aspirations. The Rio is a better bet unless you frequently need to carry tall passengers and their cargo.

Compare Kia Niro & Nissan Versa features

Kia Niro vs. Honda Civic

Although it's larger, the Honda Civic gets about the same fuel economy as the Rio. Of course, you'll appreciate its larger cargo space and roomier interior, but it comes at a price. Most importantly, even at its lowest trim, the Civic is more expensive and not as well-featured as the Rio.

Compare Kia Niro & Honda Civic features
Is the Kia Rio a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2019 Rio both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.7 out of 10. Edmunds’ consumer reviews show that the 2019 Rio gets an average rating of 5 stars out of 5 (based on 9 reviews) You probably care about Kia Rio fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Rio gets an EPA-estimated 32 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 2019 Kia Rio?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 Kia Rio:

  • Top-level EX trim has been discontinued
  • Revised feature availability for remaining LX and S trims
  • 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 5-star average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2019 Kia Rio a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2019 Kia Rio is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2019 Rio and gave it a 7.7 out of 10. Our consumer reviews show that the 2019 Rio gets an average rating of 5 stars out of 5 (based on 9 reviews). Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2019 Rio is a good car for you. Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2019 Kia Rio?

The least-expensive 2019 Kia Rio is the 2019 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $15,390.

Other versions include:

  • S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $16,190
  • LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $15,390
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 6A), and LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A). For a full list of Rio models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2019 Kia Rio

2019 Kia Rio Overview

The 2019 Kia Rio is offered in the following submodels: Rio Hatchback, Rio Sedan. Available styles include S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A), LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A), and S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A).

What do people think of the 2019 Kia Rio?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 Kia Rio and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2019 Rio 4.7 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 2019 Rio.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 Kia Rio and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 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 2019 Kia Rio?
Which 2019 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) 2019 Kia Rio for sale near. There are currently 1 new 2019 Rios listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $17,245 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 2019 Kia Rio.

Can't find a new 2019 Kia Rios you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Kia Rio for sale - 5 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $18,548.

Find a new Kia for sale - 8 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $24,850.

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.

Should I lease or buy a 2019 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