2019 Kia Rio Hatchback

2019 MODEL
$16,490

7.8

Overall Rating

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2019 Kia Rio Hatchback Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


CARHP Editorial Updated on: November 13, 2019


Kia Rio is a different car in the subcompact segment. Unlike other competitors, it doesn’t let go of its quality standards for reducing the sticker price. Kia Rio is affordable transportation. Its compact size makes it easy to maneuver in the city. It is packed with goodies like cruise control, Apple Carplay and Android Auto and manual climate control.

2019 Kia Rio is equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 130 horsepower. Considering a curb weight of around 2700 lbs., the Rio doesn’t feel lethargic in town. The current engine was introduced in 2018. This engine has lower hp than the 2017 model’s 138 hp output. This results in better drivability at lower engine speeds.

See detailed review »

Pros

Intuitive touchscreen infotainment system

Logical dashboard layout

Better fit and finish than the competitors

Great handling for a subcompact

Cons

No manual transmission on offer

Rear seats can feel cramped

Engine sounds coarse at high speed

What's New?

Kia Rio underwent a generational change in 2018

No major changes for 2019


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$16490

bodystyle

4dr Hatchback

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

97 cu.in.

horsepower

130 hp @ 6300 rpm

torque

119 lbs.-ft @ 4850 rpm

transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

front independent suspension

suspension rear

Semi-independent rear torsion beam suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

59.8/60

dimensions

wheelbase

101.6 in.

length

160 in.

width

67.9 in.

height

57.1 in.

curb weight

2714 lbs.

ground clearance

5.5 in.

capacity

passenger volume

89.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

32.8 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

9.4 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

28/32/37 mpg

highway range

440.3 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr. / 100000 mi.

powertrain warranty

120 months. / 100000

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

5 yr. / 60000 mi.


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 Kia Rio Hatchback in Aurora Black color  2019 Kia Rio Hatchback in Clear White color  2019 Kia Rio Hatchback in Agate Gray Metallic color  2019 Kia Rio Hatchback in Silky Silver color
Aurora Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Engine And Performance

7.5

Interior

8.0

7.8

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Kia Rio Hatchback S

S

power
130 hp @ 6300 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$16,490


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $16,490 MSRP (28/32/37) 130 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6 L, I-4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.8

Overall Rating


The subcompact segment has some stiff competition, the Kia Rio competes with Honda Fit, Chevrolet Sonic, and Nissan Versa Note. Kia offers a well-built cabin and the Rio looks upscale even for a subcompact. The Kia Rio presents itself as a strong contender in the subcompact segment. If you are in for a budget car, Rio should be high on your list.


 

7.5/10
Engine and Performance

 
 

8.0/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 

2019 Kia Rio Hatchback Features

The Kia Rio hatchback is available in a single trim configuration only. It is available in S trim which offers features like 7-inch touchscreen infotainment, cloth upholstery and cruise control as standard. There is an optional Technology package that costs $800 and brings in much-needed safety features like Forward Collision Warning and Avoidance Assistance and a 3.5-inch cluster display for the driver. Kia Rio with its 5-year basic warranty and 10-year powertrain warranty is a serious contender for both new and used cars.

Trims

S

MSRP (FWD)

$16,400

Features

UVO eServices w/ 7" Touch-Screen Display

 

6 Speakers

 

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

 

Tricot & Woven Cloth Seat Trim

 

6-Way Adjustable Driver's Seat

 

60/40 Split-Folding Rear Seat

 

Cruise Control w/ Steering-Wheel-Mounted Buttons

We Recommend

Kia Rio hatchback is available in a single trim configuration only. The hatchback offers more utility with its larger cargo space (17.4 cu-ft.) and more leg room for the rear passengers. We would recommend buyers to add the optional Technology Package which brings in LED headlights and safety features.

2019 Kia Rio Hatchback Engine and Performance

7.5/10

A low curb weight keeps the Rio from feeling too sluggish with its modest power output and helps it achieve a reasonable 32 mpg combined according to the EPA. The automatic responds quickly, but considerable throttle is needed to keep up with fast-moving traffic. Quick, well-weighted steering helps the Rio feel surprisingly athletic for a small car, although its modest tires run out of steam when pressed.- TheCarConnection

Engine and Transmission

Kia Rio is equipped with a 1.6-liter inline-four engine that produces 130 horsepower. The power is channeled to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. This transmission also lets you shift gear manually but it is better to leave the shifting duties to the computer.

Around the town, the motor has enough gusto for driving but it struggles at highway speed. As the revs increase, so does the coarseness of engine noise which filters into the cabin. This motor doesn't like to be worked too hard. Having said that, nowhere does the Rio feel underpowered especially around town. 

Models

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Hyundai Veloster

Nissan Versa Note

MSRP

$16,400

$16,190

$19,420

$19,500

$15,650

Engine

1.6L I4

1.5L I4

1.4L Turbocharged I4

2.0L I4

1.6l I4

Transmission

6-speed automatic

CVT

6-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

CVT

Horsepower

130@6300

130@6600

138@4900

147@6200

109 @ 6,000

Torque

119@4850

114@4600

148@1850

132@4500

107 @ 4,400

The Rio hatchback is fairly equipped to be a commuter and when compared to the competition it offers similar power specifications. In this comparison, the Hyundai Veloster produced the most power due to larger engine displacement (2.0-liter). The  Honda Fit and the Nissan Versa Note are offered with a CVT transmission which might take the fun out of driving. 

Acceleration

The Rio hatchback with its 1.6-liter engine finishes the naught to sixty runs in 8.2 seconds. The quarter-mile is passed in 16.7 seconds. Not many people are going to run drag races in a Rio but for its nimble size and a low curb weight (2714 lbs.), the Rio performs well.

2019 Kia Rio is capable of tackling in-city driving modestly. When it comes to highway driving, you need to plan your overtaking maneuvers well. You will also need to floor the gas pedal, a few more times than you would actually like.

Models

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Hyundai Veloster

Nissan Versa Note

0-60 MPH

8.5 seconds

8.2 seconds

8.2 seconds

8.2 seconds

9.9 seconds

Quarter mile

16.7 seconds

16.4 seconds

N/A

16.4 seconds

17.6 seconds

Engine

1.6L I4

1.5L I4

1.4L I4

2.0L I4

1.6L I4

Emission (Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

5.5

4.9

N/A N/A N/A

Most of the cars in this comparison achieve their zero to sixty mph run in the sub-9-second window. Honda Fit, Chevy Sonic, and Hyundai Veloster tie for the first place with their 8.2-second naught to sixty runs. The Nissan Versa is the slowest to 60MPH at 9.9 seconds. This can be attributed to its low power figures. 

Ride and Handling

Kia Rio is not a fancy car and there is no long list of standard features but for a budget car, but the Rio drives surprisingly well. The steering offers a decent response, it doesn't come off as vague at any time. The driving position is comfortable and all around visibility is good. Maneuvering the Rio is no task, it is nimble and responds well to your inputs. Ride quality is acceptable for a subcompact and your passengers will be comfortable. The cmpact design and small size of the vehicle make it very easy to maneuver around town. Even parking in a tight spot is not a big deal. 

Braking

The Kia Rio is equipped with ventilated disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. The brakes are decent and offer a good bite. 2019 Kia Rio decelerates from 70 mph to a standstill within 182 feet. These numbers are good for a subcompact.

Model

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Hyundai Veloster

Nissan Versa Note

Brake Front (in.)

11

10.3

N/A

11

10

Brake Rear (in.)

8

7.9

N/A

10.3

8

Curb Weight (lbs.)

2714

2568

2819

2899

2474

70-0 MPH (ft.)

182

179

168

N/A

188

The Honda Fit has the best in comparison stopping power, Honda Fit takes 179 feet to stop from a similar speed. Fit weighs lighter than the Rio and this is also a reason for scoring well on the braking test.

2019 Kia Rio Hatchback Fuel Economy

These small engines may lack power but they offer good fuel economy. 2019 Kia Rio offers a combined fuel economy of 32 miles to the gallon. If we consider the competition, Rio's fuel economy is lower than its counterparts. Honda Fit and Nissan Versa Note are more frugal due to their smaller engines.

Model

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Hyundai Veloster

Nissan Versa Note

MPG (city)

28

33

26

27

31

MPG (highway)

37

40

34

34

39

MPG (combined)

32

36

29

30

34

The Honda Fit is the most efficient in this bunch returning up to 33 miles to the gallon in the city and 40 miles to the gallon on the highway which indeed is very impressive. The Versa Note also returns pretty decent numbers in terms of miles per gallon but it also the least powerful vehicle in this group. The Chevy Sonic Hatchback is the worst in terms of fuel economy. 

2019 Kia Rio Hatchback Interior

8.0/10

Simplicity is the name of the game inside the Rio, and that's not a slight. In fact, it presents a clean, easy-to-use dashboard with climate and audio controls. There is plenty of hard plastic, but it's nicely textured, and the overall interior appearance is mature and sophisticated for a subcompact.-CarandDriver

Seating and Comfort

The Kia Rio has its share of hard plastics but it doesn't come off as cheap. The interior offers cloth upholstery. Kia has utilized the interior space well and the Rio may be a subcompact but its cabin doesn't feel too small. Like other cars in the segment, the Rio has a low roof. So, you need to duck a bit to get inside the car.

Once inside, the seats offer good support. Front legroom and headroom are good and seats feel comfy and roomy. Rear can be cramped, especially for taller passengers and if you are sitting behind a tall driver than there would be limited leg room. Seating three at the rear would be quiet uncomfortable and would be suited for short commutes. Kia hasn't made compromises to essential elements such as the steering wheel, armrest and the upper part of the dashboard. Unlike many competitors, Rio's cabin is well built and Kia has taken special care that the cabin feels better than other cars in this class.

Models

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Hyundai Veloster

Nissan Versa Note

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

5

Front Headroom

38.9

39.5

38.7

38.1

40.8

Front Shoulder room

54.1

54.8

53.4

56.0

51.7

Front Legroom

42.1

41.4

41.8

42.6

41.3

Rear Headroom

38.0

37.5

38.1

35.9

38.0

Rear Shoulder room

53.3

52.6

53.0

54.3

51.9

Rear Legroom

33.5

39.3

34.6

34.1

38.3

In terms of space, there is not a lot to say to differentiate these cars. All of them offer a similar amount of space both in the front and the back. All three can easily fit 3 in the rear seat for short rides but it might get uncomfortable after a while. 

Infotainment

The overall design of the screen might not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but infotainment system onboard the 2019 Kia Rio hatch is one of the best in the class. The 7’’ screen is vibrant and responsive. The UI only enhances the experience. 

The system is supported by 6 speakers that have good balanced audio output and results in quality surround sound. As for connectivity of your smartphone; if you’re not opting for the base LX trim, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto has got your back. For the base trim, you have to do with just Bluetooth. Satellite navigation is not available in any of the trims and you’ll have to rely on your smartphone to guide you to your destination.

Cargo Capacity

The Rio Hatchback offers 17.4 cu-ft. of cargo space. The space increases to 32.8 cu-ft. when the rear seats are folded down. A standard 60/40 split seat makes it easier to stash longer items while seating a passenger in the back.2019 Kia Rio has ample space for storing small items. The center console, a decently sized glovebox and bottle holders at front and rear.

Model

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Hyundai Veloster

Nissan Versa Note

Cargo Volume (cu-ft.)

17.4

16.6

19.0

19.9

18.8

When compared to other vehicles in the segment, the Rio falls behind the Sonic, Veloster and the Versa Note. The Honda Fit falls behind than the rest with just 16 cubic feet of cargo volume. 

Interior Features

The Kia Rio is offered with a substantial list of features that make commuting a relatively hassle-free affair. Few of these features are:

  • Manual Air Conditioning
  • Interior Air Filtration
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Cruise Control
  • 6 Speakers
  • 60/40 Split-Folding Rear Seats

2019 Kia Rio Hatchback Exterior

The 2019 Rio is available as either a sedan or a hatchback. The two share a purposeful front end, with their wide front grille and swept-back headlights. From the side, the Rio sedan is conventional, while the hatchback's long roof gives it a sportier flair. Both tail ends are tasteful and simple and look a few bucks above their reasonable prices of entry.-TheCarConnection

Dimensions and Weight

The Kia Rio underwent a generational change in 2018. The 2019 Kia Rio represents the fourth generation of the vehicle. When it comes to styling, the Rio is a cut above the rest of the subcompacts with its design elements which have been borrowed from its Stinger big brother. The Rio sports a wide front grille and swept-back headlights that resemble the Stinger. The rear fascia is well done and looks more premium than the competition.

Model

Kia Rio Hatchback

Honda Fit

Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

Hyundai Veloster

Nissan Versa Note

Curb weight (lbs.)

2714

2568

2896

2899

2,474

Length(in)

160.0

161.4

159.8

166.9

163.7

Width(in)

67.9

67.0

68.3

70.9

66.7

Height(in)

57.1

60.0

59.7

55.1

60.5

Ground clearance (in)

5.5

4.4

N/A N/A N/A

Wheelbase (in)

101.6

99.6

99.4

104.3

102.4

Track width (in) F/R

59.8/60.0

58.3/58.0

59.4/ 59.4

61.0/ 61.5

58.3/ 58.5

The Rio has one of the larger wheelbase in this comparison at 101.6-inch but at a height of 57.1-inch, the Rio is shorter than most of the subcompacts in the comparison. This results in lesser headroom for rear passengers.

2019 Kia Rio Hatchback Safety

The Kia Rio Hatchback hasn't been crash tested by both the safety agencies (NHTSA and IIHS), yet. We will update this section as soon as the safety tests are conducted.

Safety Features

The Kia Rio is offered with safety features as 4-wheel antilock brakes. A rearview camera is a standard feature.

  • Brake Assist System
  • Traction Control System
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Hill Assist Control
  • 4 Wheel ABS Brakes
  • Airbags ( Driver, Passenger, Front Side & Side Curtain)

2019 Kia Rio Hatchback Competition

Kia Rio vs Honda Fit

Honda Fit is powered by a 1.5-liter engine that produces 130 horsepower. The pricing for the base trim of the Honda Pilot starts at $16,190. Honda Fit scores high on utility. Honda offers a better passenger room and cargo space. It is also offered with Honda's suite of safety features Honda Sensing at the higher trim levels. The Fit aces the Rio with its better fuel economy, utilitarian magic seats and considerably better resale value.

Kia Rio vs Chevrolet Sonic

The Chevrolet Sonic is equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that produces 138 horsepower. Chevy Sonic is easier to drive because of its turbocharged engine. This makes the Sonic a more fun to drive car in a segment where most cars have normally aspirated engines. Chevy Sonic can be had with a six-speed manual or automatic at all trim levels. Sonic loses to the Rio when it comes to interior quality, Rio uses better plastics. The Rio's powertrain is more refined than the Sonic.

Kia Rio vs Nissan Versa Note

Nissan Versa Note is powered by a 109 hp inline-four engine. The pricing for the Versa Note starts at $15,650. The Versa Note is underpowered so be prepared for lackluster acceleration. On the upside, Versa offers excellent mpg numbers. The interior is roomy but lacks the fit and finish which is seen on the Kia Rio. We would recommend you to spend a little more to get something more powerful than the Versa Note.

2019 Kia Rio Hatchback Final Verdict

Kia Rio is powered by a 130 hp inline-four engine. The Rio hatchback is available in a single trim only. The prices for the 2019 Kia Rio start at $16,400. Kia Rio is a well-known nameplate in the subcompact segment. It comes with a massive 10-year warranty for the powertrain.

Kia Rio hatchback is only available with a 6-speed automatic transmission which limits us from pushing the vehicle to its edge. The lack of a manual transmission is evident. The space for front passengers is good but the rear seats might feel cramped for three passengers. 2019 Kia Rio has enough power for city driving but it struggles on the highway.

For a budget car, the Rio checks most of the correct boxes. It has a well laid out cabin, a generous cargo space, relatively better handling and an easy to use infotainment system. Not everyone would be happy to be in Kia Rio but considering the things on offer, actually a lot on offer for the price. Kia Rio should be high on your list if you are looking for a budget car.

FAQs about the 2019 Kia Rio Hatchback

Let's go through some of the most frequently asked questions about the Kia Rio Hatchback. 

Is the Kia Rio Hatchback a good car?

While the Kia Rio cannot be called a "good" car relative to all the other cars out there, it is definitely a good vehicle for the price. It is loud and a little harsh in terms of ride quality but it an amazing commuter. 

Is the Rio Hatchback expensive to maintain?

No, the Kia Rio is one of the cheapest cars to maintain. The average cost over a period of 5 years is around $26,000. This includes taxes, insurance, fuel, etc. 

Is the Kia Rio reliable?

Yes, over the years, the Kia Rio has established itself to be one of the most reliable cars in the market. If you buy a Kia Rio, reliability is not going to be an issue.