Debuting at the Chicago auto show this week, the 2016 Kia Rio receives some minor cosmetic and trim level updates. Meanwhile, the five-door hatchback loses its six-speed manual option for the new model year.
The 2016 Kia Rio shows off new front and rear fascias on both the sedan and hatchback versions. At first glance, it can be hard to notice a difference between the new and old model, but look carefully to see redesigned front valances on both models, complete with three horizontal slats for a taller appearance. Also, the fog lights have been repositioned inward for a more aggressive look. Two new color options — Urban Blue and Digital Yellow — are available for 2016.
Kia also promises a quieter ride thanks to high-density foam in the A- and B-pillars to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness. Inside the cabin, the Rio is outfitted with a new piano black center console surround covering the audio system and nearby controls.
The Rio continues to offer the same LX, EX, and SX trims as before, but with a few equipment changes. Most notably, a Designer Package is now available on the EX trim, bringing unique black cloth and gray leatherette as well as gray stitching on the seats, steering wheel, shifter, and console armrest. An Eco Package now includes Kia’s updated UVO eServices Telematics system with backup camera.
Carrying over for the 2016 model year is the same 1.6-liter inline-four engine good for 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. But while the six-speed manual remains as the standard transmission choice on the sedan model, buyers will no longer be able to get a Rio hatchback with a stick shift. The sole transmission option on the five-door is a six-speed automatic.
Following their debuts in Chicago, the Rio sedan and five-door model will hit dealerships sometime during the first quarter of this year.