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2019 Kia Rio Overview

Last year, Kia gave its Rio subcompact car a full redesign, improving the vehicle in every way. As the model is still fresh, there are no changes for 2019.

Kia offers one powertrain in the Rio, in the form of a 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is rated at 28 mpg city, 37 highway, and 32 combined. Those figures are matched or exceeded by cars a couple of class-sizes larger, including Kia’s own Optima sedan.

The base model includes a 5-inch touchscreen with satellite radio, Bluetooth, power heated mirrors, steel wheels with wheel covers, power windows, a 4-speaker audio system, and USB connectivity. The nicer S trim adds niceties like a larger 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two extra speakers, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, keyless entry, and cruise control. The available S Technology Package bundles LED headlights, telematics services, and a nicer instrument cluster.

Every Rio gets a full suite of airbags and the requisite reversing camera. From there, the only optional equipment comes with the S Technology Package, in the form of forward-collision warning and forward-collision-avoidance assist. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control are absent from the menu, but that’s pretty normal within the subcompact sedan class. However, the Rio still managed to score a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2018.

The Kia Rio is a basic car, competing with other subcompact sedans like the Ford Fiesta, Chevy Sonic, and Honda Fit. However, it’s one with a decent spread of options, handsome styling, and a class-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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