Advertisement

Why ads?
Go

2014 Kia Rio Review

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more. See what you should pay

Buy used | Trade-in/Sell

2014 Kia Rio Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.5

Although it romps on the roads with more established subcompacts such as the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Chevy Sonic, the Kia Rio sedan and its 5-door friend, the Rio 5, outmaneuver them all with an unbeatable combination of price, features, power, fuel economy and warranty. One look at the Rio tells the viewer this is no Toyota Yaris. Looking more like a mini Sportage or Optima, the Rio is stylish both inside and out, plus it offers up features usually reserved for more expensive models. Its fuel-efficient 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine uses gasoline direct-injection technology that helps the Rio to attain excellent fuel economy while delivering class-leading horsepower.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're on a tight budget, you don't have to settle for a bare-bones car. The 2014 Kia Rio comes nicely equipped for around $16,000 and has the best warranty in the industry.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a small car with a big interior, the 2014 Kia Rio isn't as accommodating as a Honda Fit or Nissan Versa. The Chevy Sonic offers a sporty feel, while the Versa Note takes top honors in the fuel-economy category.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 6.5
  • 5.3
  • 6.5
  • 6.6
  • 7.3
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#4

out of 7

Fuel Economy

#3

out of 7

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

7.9 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Kia Rio Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

The 2014 Kia Rio and Rio 5 receive only minor enhancements this year. Additional plastic shielding under the car helps improve aerodynamics, while interior upgrades include a new water-temperature gauge. A redesigned Smart Key fob includes a folding key for added convenience.

Driving the Rio
2014 Kia Rio Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions We spent most of our time running the 2014 Kia Rio over long highway expanses. Not usually the best environment for testing an economy car, the Rio surprised us with...

... its peppy acceleration, stable ride and quiet interior. The Rio's steering feel is nicely weighted and the car never felt as if it wanted to wander from our lane, even when big 18-wheelers blew past. The 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine is a willing participant once you move the tachometer needle past 3500 rpm, a fact true for almost all the Rio's competitors save for the turbocharged Chevy Sonic. In comparison, we found the Rio's handling fairly agile, but not as dialed-in as the Ford Fiesta or Mazda2. However, a comparably equipped Fiesta costs more than Rio, and the Mazda2 looks downright Spartan in comparison.

IDLE STOP-AND-GO (ISG) TECHNOLOGY
Idle stop-and-go technology simply shuts down the engine when the car comes to a stop and then immediately restarts when the accelerator pedal is depressed. The idea is to save fuel that would otherwise be wasted while idling.

ONBOARD NAVIGATION
Good luck finding a base-model, factory-installed navigation unit as good as this one, if you can find one at all in most of the Rio's competitors.

2014 Kia Rio Details
2014 Kia Rio Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Aesthetics aside, what really sets the 2014 Kia Rio apart from the competition is its impressive list of standard and available features. The Rio incorporates a "3-tunnel" instrument panel with wraparound dash design that is simple and user-friendly. Some of the more notable available features include Bluetooth, a 7-inch navigation system with a rearview camera, push-button start, a UVO ("your voice" in Kia-speak) voice-activated infotainment system and leather seating surfaces.

Exterior
2014 Kia Rio photo

Our time with the 2014 Kia Rio was limited to the 5-door variant, which shares the same features and mechanical details with its 4-door sibling. Kia's design engineers wedged the Rio's edges, sloped its shoulder lines and sculpted a look using design elements from its Optima and Sportage brethren. The 2014 Rio incorporates Kia's signature grille flanked by slanted headlights and a large air dam. The base Rio sits on 15-inch steel wheels or alloys, but stepping to the up-level SX brings more stylish 17-inch alloys. All things said, it looks like the product of some serious Optima and Sportage canoodling.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 Kia Rio LX comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission (a 6-speed automatic is available), air conditioning, a radio with auxiliary/USB input, steering-wheel audio controls and four speakers and that's about it. Power windows and door locks are optional. Stepping up to the EX and SX trims includes the power accessories and adds many other features: cruise control, UVO audio and rearview camera, AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM audio, Bluetooth, power door locks, power windows and other visual and convenience upgrades to the interior and exterior.

Optional Equipment

Options for the 2014 Kia Rio come in the forms of packages. For example, notable features in the SX Premium Package include push-button start with Smart Key, a navigation system, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and a moonroof. The EX Convenience Package adds 15-inch alloy wheels, power-folding side mirrors, fog lights, rearview camera and the UVO infotainment system. The ECO package includes the ISG (Idle Stop and Go) technology and Active ECO system for optimal fuel-efficient driving

Under the Hood
2014 Kia Rio Engine photo

Regardless of trim, motivation for the 2014 Kia Rio comes from a 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The Rio's gas mileage numbers of 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway are the same regardless of transmission choice. Helping with the fuel savings is the Rio's ISG technology. The acronym stands for "Idle Stop and Go," which is a fuel-saving system that turns off the engine when the car is stopped and seamlessly turns it on again when the brake pedal is released. This eco-smart mechanism is good for approximately one more mpg in the city loop.

1.6-liter inline-4
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
123 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/37 mpg, 28/37 mpg (Eco)

The 2014 Kia Rio LX sedan has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just around $14,600, while the 5-door LX starts a few hundred dollars more. The Rio EX sedan starts around $17,500 and the top-trim SX sells for just a tad over $18,600. The ECO package tacks on $400. Check out the KBB Fair Purchase Price for current real-world pricing of the Kia Rio in your area. As for resale value, we expect the 2014 Kia Rio will retain residuals on par with those of the Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris and Hyundai Accent, but not as well as those of the Honda Fit.

To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, first select a style to see the Fair Purchase Price| Calculate payments for this vehicle

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.

2014 Kia Rio Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 43 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    7.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    7.7/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    8.0/10

I love my Kia Rio!

By on Sunday, June 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great MPG, affordable, sleek car seats"

Cons: "no center console"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I had recently bought a Kia Rio brand new, and after driving it for about 40-50 miles, which by now is about 70, I love this car! It has 37 MPG and honestly the only small gripe about it, is that there is no center armrest, which hurts my elbow as it is used to having something to place it on. There is also more than plenty of room for people in the back and front. The trunk is great because how it is built, if you have something like metal in the back and it hits the side of the car, it won't dent the car's side body. I truly love this car, and Kia's 100,000 mile, 10 year warranty!"

23 people out of 43 found this review helpful

One of my favorite cars of all time.

By on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "inexpensive, roomy, fun to drive, high MPG"

Cons: "road noise."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I enjoy getting 38-48 mpg consistently, and I love the sporty looks. It handles well, and I would love to be more aggressive if not for police. It has more leg room than any car or SUV or van I have owned, and I have had them all. The truck is large, too. The only minor grievance that I have is the road noise. You need to have the right tires to keep it to a minimum. Otherwise, it is my favorite car."

20 people out of 34 found this review helpful

Great Car for someone needed cheap transport

By on Thursday, March 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,600

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Cheap and okay on gas"

Cons: "Cheap and Cheap and Cheap"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I have owned this car for almost two years now, and have had put it through some things a car like this should never be through. Driving through a muddy field not realizing the pumpkin patch was all dirt and it rained the previous night. Driving it hard on a track, and driving it through miles upon miles of gravel roads. For how much this car was bought for brand new, I have to say it's not a bad car, however it's not a great car either. Almost every interior panel rattles, even on the smoothest of roads. Lacks big time in the power department. It does how ever have a good feeling steering wise brakes are sharp and it does okay in the corners. To sum up if you need a cheap new car then go for it, just don't have high expectations. If you can afford to go to a better quality brand then go for it by all means."

11 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Advertisement

Why ads?
Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.