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2017 Kia Rio Review

By Matt Zimmerman


Updated on


2017 Kia Rio

It has been a long trail into the past when the hatchbacks and compact sedans became common. The present day market leaders of the small cars are merely by chance the market leaders. The economic slump and the ongoing famine in some parts of the world make them take a lead role in the automobile manufacturing. While wonder creation is destined to some. The Kia ranks among them. Alongside it is even ranked amid the top 10 small car manufacturing companies of the world.

The Kia Rio, yet another small car, was introduced in Y2K. Actually, it was the replacement of the Ford Festiva rebadged as Kia Pride. Along with that it even succeeded the Kia Avella. Pride and Avella were even the small-sized consumer friendly cars. Due to the rise in the competition that inaugurated with the new millennium, it was essential to launch a new car. Ultimately Kia introduced Rio. It was introduced in the market in the autumn of the year 2000.

The first generation was titled differently for each market. For the North American market, it was called Rio Cinco and Rio RX-V and for Chile, it became Rio Look. In 2005, Rio entered its second generation. Here it was marketed as New Pride, Rio-5, Sephia Sport and Rio Xcite. While presently, besides Rio, it is even called K2, Rio R and Pride.

The Fourth Generation Kia Rio has been introduced for the model year 2018. It will be launched in the market by the second half of 2017.

The base price of the Rio (5-door hatchback) is $15,495 with the LX, EX and SX as its trim level. While the sedan is priced at $14,165 with LX and EX as its trim levels.


1.1 – 1.6 L6 – speed manual

4 & 6 – speed automatic

74 – 138 hp112 – 162 lb – ft
0 – 62 MPHTop SpeedBody StyleMPG
8.1s107 mphHatchback


27 city/ 36 highway


Hood of 2017 Kia Rio

The Kia Rio has a variety of gasoline and diesel engines. Well, the North American market gets the 1.6 L inline-4 GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine as standard. The powertrain is rated at 138 hp making 123 lb – ft of torque. This performance line is mated with the 6 – speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. However, a 6 – speed manual is available for the Kia Rio LX sedan.

While, the rest of the world gets the 1.1, 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6 L engines.  The base engine is the 1.2 L inline-4 Kappa gasoline engine. This drivetrain is capable of making 76 hp at 82 lb – ft of torque. Then comes the 1.4 L Gamma inline-4 engine, which is rated at 109 hp with 101 lb – ft of torque.

Finally, we move on to the diesel displacements. The first in line is the 1.1 3-cylinder turbo diesel engine which can make 74 hp of power rated at 112 lb – ft of torque. And at the end, we meet the 1.4 L diesel engine which can make 74 hp of power rated at 162 lb – ft of torque.

Well, you really can’t expect a massive performing instincts in this car. But for the driving enthusiasts, Kia has introduced the Rio GT. It’s a hot hatch with an increased performance level. The Rio GT get the turbocharged 1.6 L inline-4 engine, which makes 201 hp @ 195 lb – ft of torque. On top of that, it takes less than 7.5 seconds to launch from 0 to 62 mph. But it has not been launched yet.

The fuel mileage of the Kia Rio is quite excellent. It delivers 30 mpg (North America) and up to 38 mpg (rest of the markets) as a combined fuel mileage.


2017 Kia Rio Exterior

To be honestly speaking, the Kia Rio hatchback looks more charming than the sedan. While the sedan looks like a trunk attached to the hatchback. The sedan gives a pretty grumpy look. On the other hand, the hatchbacks have the Kia’s Signature Tiger Nose grille. Further, they even have an improvised front bumper design with a sporty rear design.

The base sedan gets the 15-inch steel wheels with a wheel cover while the upper trim has the 15-inch alloy wheels. When it comes to the hatchback, the base and mid-level get the same 15-incher steel and alloy wheels. While the highest trim (SX) has the 17-inch alloy wheels with wider tires.

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Interior of 2017 Kia Rio

A pretty basic interior design is available in the base models of the Kia Rio. The LX trim level gets the manual windows and door lock, a tilt steering wheel and cloth seats. The mid-level trim has everything that is not available in the base model. Further it even has 6-speaker audio system. Refinements are available in the upper trim level. Like the leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift level, aluminum pedals and soft-touch accent trim.

There isn’t too much space in Kia Rio. But still 4 passengers including the driver can sit in this car. But don’t try to fit in the 5th guy. The sedans offer 13.7 cubic feet of space in the trunk. While in the hatchbacks, on folding the 2nd row you get 47.1 cubic feet of space for cargo. And with the rear seats up there is only 12.3 cubic feet of space.

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Features of 2017 car

The base models get the obsolete radio and music player. Although this product is not obsolete. But cars does not even have it commonly nowadays. The mid-level trim gets the 4.3-inch infotainment system. And it just acts as an audio system. While the upper trim has the 7-inch infotainment system with navigation, voice recognition and SiriusXM® multimedia.

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2017 car Safety

A consumer level car needs to follow some strict safety standards. Well, it’s pretty good on Kia that it makes all the safety equipment available in every trim level of Rio. The Rio has ample amount of passive safety articles. It has plenty of airbags, anti-lock braking system, LATCH and rear child locks.

In the column of the active safety, the Rio features stability management, electronic brake force distribution, hill start assist and some other features. Indeed, it’s a pretty safe car to drive.


Chevrolet Sonic

The Chevrolet Sonic is sound, strong, attractive and comfortable. Luckily, it is the closest competitor of the Kia Rio. And frankly speaking, Rio really ranks lower than Sonic.

The Kia Rio is low price, safe and economical (in terms of fuel mileage). If you are looking to save some fueling budget, then Kia Rio could do for you.




About Matt Zimmerman

Matt is no stranger to the automotive world, writing about cars since 2008 as a contributor for several huge automotive websites such as Car and Driver, AutoEvolution, Motor1, CarAdvice or MotorTrend. A true fan of everything with wheels, his garage includes a dozen of different cars, including an old BMW M3 and a Tesla Model S. Learn more about GCB's Editorial Process.

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