2016 kia rio Model Overview
New for 2016
The 2016 Kia Rio gains revised front and rear fascia, two new exterior colors, and an improved UVO eServices telematics system.
The 2016 Kia Rio is a front-drive subcompact car that slots under the Forte compact car and is available as a sedan or four-door hatchback.
All 2016 Kia Rios are powered by a 1.6-liter I-4 with 128 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. The sedan is available with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission while the hatchback is only available with the latter. Fuel economy is class competitive at 27/38 mpg city/highway for the manual and 27/37 mpg with the automatic. EX models with the Eco package are rated at 28/37 mpg due to the addition of an engine start/stop system to improve fuel economy.
Despite its small footprint, the 2016 Rio offers plenty of room for four passengers while the sedan’s trunk can hold up to 13.7 cubic feet of cargo. The hatchback offers more versatility, with 15 cubic feet behind the split-folding rear seats and a generous 49.8 cubic feet when the second row is down.
Standard safety features include full-length side curtain airbags, dual advanced front airbags, and front side airbags. The NHTSA gave the 2016 Kia Rio a four-star overall safety score (out of a possible five stars) but noted that there are safety concerns in the event the car gets hit from the side.
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
Standard on the base LX model are 60/40 split-folding rear seats, cloth upholstery, and a four –speaker sound system. Bluetooth connectivity is optional in the LX trim as are power windows, and remote keyless entry. Stepping up to the EX trim adds Bluetooth, a soft-touch dash (except with the Eco package), tilt and telescopic steering wheel, and cruise control. A rearview camera and auto on/off headlights are optional. The Eco Package adds an Eco badge and an engine start/stop system for improved fuel economy.
Range-topping SX models add a host of convenience and styling features as standard including auto on/off headlights, rearview camera, navigation, leather upholstery, heated front seats, paddle shifters for the automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips, and a power sunroof.
What We Think
While it represents good value, the 2016 Kia Rio falters because of its lack of refinement and unimpressive driving dynamics. In a comparison test that also included the Hyundai Accent, Suzuki Swift, Mazda2, Honda Fit, Chevrolet Sonic, and Toyota Yaris, the Rio placed seventh because of its wobbly and jarring ride on the highway, thrashy drivetrain, and overly intrusive traction control system. The car’s fit and finish, particularly in the base LX trim, is poor and was regarded as the “cheapest interior by a mile” by one the judges. In a 2012 First Test review, we also noted that the Rio was burdened with the typical subcompact downsides such as hard seats and excessive tire squeal when throwing it into corners enthusiastically.
The Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent share the same platform architecture.
- Good fuel economy
- Available as a sedan and hatchback
- Available power-folding side-view mirrors
You Won’t Like:
- Cheaply built interior on the base model
- Sloppy driving dynamics
- Noisy interior