The smallest vehicles in the Kia lineup, the Rio and Rio5 continue to make a large impact with their standard features, roomy interior, impressive fuel economy and safety features. Not to be outdone by its bigger siblings in the Kia lineup, the sub-compacts are award-winners many times over, including having the 2010 Rio named a 2010 Consumer Guide Automotive "Recommended Vehicle" and both the Rio and Rio5 named to the "Most Fuel-Efficient Cars for the Buck" list by Forbes.com for the 2009 model year.
Refreshed in 2010, Kia's design-led transformation stretches through the entire 2011 model year lineup as the 2011 Rio and Rio5 models now sport a substantially revised exterior and equally impressive interior styling. New for 2011 is the addition of hands-free Bluetooth®1 wireless technology connectivity as an option to further assist consumers against distracted driving.
Fun-to-Drive Fuel Sipper
Available in two eye-catching body styles, the Rio sedan is offered in base, LX and SX trims while the Rio5 offers LX and SX versions. All trims feature a 1.6-liter DOHC four-cylinder CVVT engine, which produces a spritely 110 horsepower at 107 pound-feet of torque. Equipped with either the standard five-speed manual transmission (base model only) or optional electronically controlled four-speed automatic (LX and SX), the 2011 model year Rio and Rio5 overpower the likes of segment competitors Chevrolet Aveo, Toyota Yaris and newcomer MAZDA22.
In addition to tremendous value, the 2011 Rio and Rio5 also offer outstanding fuel efficiency – a key purchase decision for the environmentally conscious consumer in today's economy. When paired with the manual transmission, the spirited four-cylinder produces an estimated 28/34 mpg (city/highway), while the same engine, when mated to the automatic, outputs an impressive estimated 27/36 mpg3 in the sedan and 27/35 mpg3 in the five-door. Also available on LX and SX trims is the EcoMinder™ fuel efficiency monitor, an added benefit in tracking real-time fuel economy.
An independent front suspension featuring MacPherson struts, coil springs and a stabilizer bar combined with a semi-independent suspension help provide responsive handling for various driving situations. The available engine-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system (LX and SX models) adds balanced control to create a smooth, comfortable ride for the short trip or the long haul.
Easy on the Eyes and Pockets
With five trims to choose from, the 2011 Rio model line offers style flexibility for the fun and value-minded consumer. Pricing starts at a competitive $12,2954 for the base model, which is equipped with 14-inch wheels and 175/70R14 tires. Body-color bumpers, outside mirrors, door handles and body-side moldings matched with black-bezel headlights give the sub-compact a sleek, attractive profile.
The LX trim for both the sedan (starting at $14,9954) and hatchback (starting at $15,0954) add 185/65R14 tires with the option of upgrading to 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels paired with 195/55R15 tires. Another available option is dual power heated body-color outside mirrors with integrated turn signals.
Consumers wanting even more can opt for the sporty stunner SX model, which starts at $16,0954 for the Rio sedan and $16,3954 for the Rio5. Standard for this trim are beefier 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels with 205/45R16 tires. In addition to the LX features are standard front fog lights, a bright exhaust finisher and a body-color rear spoiler for an athletic finishing touch.
Versatile Interior Offers Features Galore
The attractive exterior opens its doors to reveal an interior high on both appeal and function. Full cloth trim, eight-way adjustable driver's seat with a fold-down armrest, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 system equipped with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio with three months of complimentary service5, a rear window defroster and a 12-volt power outlet are standard features in every Rio model. Also standard on all trims are USB and auxiliary input jacks found in the center console. Intelligent use of space also is evident in the form of numerous storage areas, a center stack tray and a mesh seatback pocket on the passenger seat.
Moving from the base model to the LX trim offers additional standard conveniences such as air conditioning, 60/40-split folding rear seats, rear adjustable headrests and dual 12-volt power outlets. The available Value Package adds cruise control, power windows, power door locks with keyless remote, tweeter speakers, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls and Bluetooth wireless technology. These Value Package options are standard features on SX models, which also are equipped with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, metal-finish trim pieces, metal pedals with rubberized inserts and red-stitched dark gray sport seats and door trim.
The Rio and Rio5 may be classified as sub-compacts, but the space afforded to passengers and cargo is surprisingly more than vehicles in larger classes. Its 98.4-inch wheelbase and 57.9-inch height is comparable to segment competitors, yet through smart design the Rio line-up provides 92.2 cubic feet of passenger volume, which is more room than larger sedans such as the 2011 Honda Civic and 2010 Toyota Corolla6.
Trunk space also is generous with the Rio sedan, offering a deep and spacious 11.9 cubic feet while the Rio5 offers 15.8 cubic feet of rear storage. In LX and SX models, when the standard 60/40-split fold-flat rear seats are folded, cargo volume in the five-door increases to 49.6 cubic feet.
Impressive List of Safety Features
Following Kia's core philosophy of building safe vehicles, the 2011 Rio and Rio5 prove safety does not have to be sacrificed for size. The Rio line offers an impressive list of standard safety technology, including: dual front advanced airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags7, front active headrests, side-impact door beams, an impact absorbing steering column, front and rear crumple zones, front and rear three-point seatbelts, front active headrests, front seatbelt pretensioners, Lower Anchors & Tethers for Children (LATCH) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
The 2011 Rio and Rio5 are covered by Kia's warranty program, which offers which offers consumer protection at an exceptional value. Included in this program are a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the vehicle coverage.