2014 Kia Rio Review

March 24, 2014
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You don’t have to get a hard-to-pay car if just need a good one something to get around in. The economical 2014 Kia Rio sedan or hatchback deserves to be in your shopping list because of its agreeable price tag, pleasant ride quality and satisfying rosters of standard and optional features. Of course, there are better cars around, but the Rio is still worth a look.

NEW FOR THE 2014 RIO

  • water temperature gauge
  • revised smart key fob
  • new leather-wrapped steering wheel

UNDER THE HOOD

The 2014 Kia Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.

The 2014 Rio can manage 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on highways. With the Eco package, it can run 28/37 mpg.

ON THE ROAD

The 2014 Rio is sluggish, as usual. But the handling and ride are impressive for its price and size. The 1.6-liter four isn’t noisy, especially in the LX and EX models which have 15-inch wheels. This largely contributes to the quiet ride passengers can enjoy. The Rio is also stable and comfortable even if its cornering ability is average.

Both the manual and automatic transmissions available manage power well as it gets to the wheels. Steering is not really communicative, though, but it handles well for an inexpensive small car. Physically sportier Rio SX has better steering feel.

INSIDE THE 2014 RIO

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Inside and out, the Rio looks like more of a European car than Korean. It isn’t as stylish as most of the modern sedans or hatchbacks today, but at least, it doesn’t look pretentious or trying-hard to look like one. Interior design is simple but neat. The controls do not look complicated.

The Rio’s cabin is less spacious than many of the vehicles in the class, but because of the Euro-ish design, it’s still a pleasant place to be. The front seats provide enough space and comfort for long travels. The rear seat, though, are more cramped than some of the Rio’s rivals. The cargo space is acceptable at 15 cubic-feet, which expands up to 49.8 cubic feet when the rear seat is folded down.

KEY FEATURES

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The 2014 Kia Rio sedan and hatchback come in three trim levels namely, LX, EX and SX.

The Rio LX is standard with cloth seats, 15-inch steel wheels, 60/40 folding rear seat, heated power side mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, rear wiper (hatchback), and AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with USB/auxiliary jacks and satellite radio. Keyless entry and power windows and locks are optional.

The EX trim level equips the Rio with premium cloth upholstery, power windows and locks, tweeters, keyless entry, cruise control and Bluetooth. It is eligible for the Convenience Package which includes UVO system, alloy wheels, front fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, touchscreen monitor, automatic headlights, and rearview camera.

The SX model gets soft-touch dash pad, sport suspension, automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, rearview camera, fog lights, UVO system, and LED taillights. The Premium Package is optional. It adds leather seats, navigation system, heated front seats, power sunroof, and smart key with push-button start.

Photo credit: kia.com

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