2019 Kia Rio Walk Around

Reflecting some style of its big brother the Kia Stinger, the Rio’s looks are a notch above other subcompacts. There is a purposeful face with wide grille and sweeping headlamps, and a simple, tasteful rear end. The profile of the sedan is conventional, while the longer roof of the hatchback looks more sporty.


The simple dashboard, wide and with three climate controls, is Audi-like. The touchscreen, like a tablet computer, is mounted high on the dash. The larger infotainment touchscreen is blessed with smartphone compatibility alone, while its software works well and includes smartphone app-based features such as remote start and diagnostics.

Despite the lack of soft-touch trim, the low-sheen look of the cabin is pleasant. There is good storage for small items, with deep door pockets and slots for phones near the USB port in the center console.

The rugged fabric upholstery is either black or gray with a busy design; leather and heating aren’t available, but the manual adjustment offers enough positions for different-sized bodies. The front seats are comfortable, while the room in the rear is better than average: very good for two people.

The trunk of the sedan holds 13 cubic feet, which is good for a subcompact. But the hatchback makes far more sense, with its cargo bay of 17.4 cubic feet that grows to nearly 33 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.

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