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$3,717 - $5,633 $11,695 - $16,095

7.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 7.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 7.1
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2010 Kia Rio Review

The 2010 Kia Rio has high fuel economy ratings, but with few standard features, a cramped interior and low safety scores, other 2010 small cars are better choices.   

Pros & Cons

  • High fuel economy ratings
  • Poor safety ratings
  • Doesn’t have many standard features
  • Cramped front and rear seats

2010 Kia Rio Overview

When it hit the market, the 2010 Kia Rio was one of the most inexpensive cars available, and with fuel economy ratings of up to 27/36 mpg city/highway, choosing the Rio also meant you’d save money at the gas pump. Aside from being budget-friendly, reviewers said that the 2010 Kia Rio doesn’t have much going for it.

The Kia Rio is a subcompact, so neither the sedan or hatchback models are very large, but both have a good amount of cargo space for their class. If you’re tall, the front and rear seats of the Rio may not have enough space for you.

Since it’s a budget car, choosing the Rio means that you won’t get great performance or many standard features. The base Rio’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine isn’t powerful, but it will get the job done if you only plan to use the Rio for around-town commutes. The base Rio comes with a stereo, but it doesn’t have air conditioning or an auxiliary input jack. It also lacks standard anti-lock brakes, which most cars in the class have.

See the full 2010 Kia Rio/Rio5 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you want a commuter car that has more space for cargo and passengers, take a look at the highly-ranked 2009 Hyundai Elantra, which won the 2009 U.S. News Best Compact Car for the Money award. Like the Rio, the Elantra is lacking when it comes to standard interior and safety features, but you can get an Elantra equipped with features like satellite radio, a USB port and electronic stability control.

The 2010 Toyota Yaris, which is available as a sedan or hatchback, is a good alternative to the Kia Rio. The Yaris outshines the Rio with a host of standard safety features and more interior items, like standard air conditioning. Like the Rio, the Yaris doesn’t have a lot of space for rear passengers, but the Yaris sedan’s cargo space is good for its size.

Compare the Rio to the Elantra and Yaris »

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