2017 Kia Rio Review

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2017 Kia Rio Overview

The 2017 Kia Rio carries over from last year with only minor changes. The LX trim is now available in Signal Red and Aurora Black, while the Digital Yellow paint color and SX trim have been discontinued entirely. The Rio remains a small and economical sedan with fantastic fuel economy that frugal buyers will appreciate.

The Rio is offered in base LX trim or the more well-equipped EX, both featuring a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine good for 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. The LX comes with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, while the EX is available only with the automatic. Fuel economy is excellent no matter the transmission—the manual offers an estimated 27 mpg city, 36 highway, and 31 combined, while the automatic gets 27, 36, and 30—which makes filling up affordable regardless of gas prices.

The base Rio LX trim is outfitted with standard 15-inch steel wheels, intermittent windshield wipers, a tilt steering column, air conditioning, and dual 12-volt power outlets. The audio system comes with AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities, Sirius satellite radio, 4 speakers, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and USB and Aux input jacks. Seating surfaces are woven cloth, with a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat to accommodate cargo longer than the 13.7-cubic-foot trunk.

The EX comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, and a chrome grille surround for a sportier look. Interior enhancements include a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, knit-cloth seats, a soft-touch dash pad, padded front-door armrests, and a center console with a sliding armrest and storage compartment. Black and gray cloth with gray stitching and leatherette trim can be added, as well as gray stitching on the steering wheel, shift knob, and armrest.

Safety features on the Rio include antilock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control, vehicle-stability management, hill-start assist, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and multiple airbags. The UVO2 infotainment system, available as an option on the EX trim, adds a reversing camera.

The Rio LX starts at $14,165 with the manual transmission and $15,395 with the automatic. Pricing for the EX trim begins at $17,755, keeping even the most well-equipped Rio south of the $20,000 mark. Options packages are equally reasonable and include a $750 Designer package with upgraded seating and audio, a $800 Power package, and a $600 Eco package with idle stop-and-go and the UVO2 infotainment system. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, efficient compact sedan with an attractive design and affordable options packages, the Rio is worth a test drive.

Updated

Nicole Wakelin's passion for cars started on the day she went for a ride in a bright red Ferrari as a teenager. She writes reviews and covers everything cars for CarGurus, The Boston Globe, BestRide, and Be Car Chic and blogs all things geek over at TotalFanGirl.

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