$4,794 - $6,192

2011 Kia Rio Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 Kia Rio was new.


Interior: 7.3

Reviewers consider the Rio’s interior poor, even for this price range. The materials are cheap, the seats aren’t very comfortable for adults and cargo space is limited. The Rio5, which is a hatchback, offers more space, but still falls behind class leaders for overall interior comfort and convenience.

  • "Most cabin surfaces are hard plastic, and padded surfaces are pretty much out of the question. Overall, though, Rio equals some costlier cars for materials and assembly quality." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Rio's cabin, especially in beige, has an airy feel unexpected in this price segment. The materials quality is generally above average." -- Edmunds
  • "The interior design is fairly conservative, though it's well-put-together." -- Cars.com


The Rio can accommodate five passengers, but reviewers recommend that you limit it to four since the rear seat can be a squeeze for adults. The front seats may also be a tight fit for tall adults, who will have a difficult time finding a comfortable driving position, especially with limited seat adjustments and no telescopic steering wheel.

  • "Seat comfort is very good for most body types, although drivers north of 6 feet tall may get fidgety after more than an hour behind the wheel." -- Edmunds
  • "Rear legroom is rather tight when seated behind a tall front passenger. Entry and exit are a strain when the front seats are set far back. Most adults will be fine for short trips only." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Rear head- and foot-room are adequate, but the rear seat is hard, reclines excessively and the center occupant must straddle a tunnel." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

Test drivers say the Rio and Rio5 have easy-to-read gauges and generally like the layout of the dash, but the praise ends there. The Rio’s barebones interior comes with a four-speaker audio system, a USB auxiliary input jack and a tilt steering column. You’ll have to go up a trim to get other basics like air conditioning and power windows and doors. Bluetooth is optional, but only on upper trims.

  • "The gauges are clear, and the large, handy audio and climate controls are angled toward the driver." -- Consumer Guide
  • "A fold-down armrest is standard for the driver, but we'd prefer a more traditional center console box that provides this feature for both front occupants along with handy storage space." -- Edmunds
  • "Feels chintzy in places." -- Car and Driver


The Kia Rio offers 11.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which is unimpressive for the class. However, if you opt for the upper trims, you’ll get 60/40 split-folding rear seats, which increase cargo capacity. Kia does not specify the cargo capacity with the rear seats folded, but it should provide enough space to tote several large suitcases, a cooler and other road trip necessities.

  • "All but the base sedan have split-folding rear seatbacks. The sedan's doesn't lie flat, it rests above the level of the trunk floor, and the opening is cramped. The release is awkwardly placed toward the center of the seats. The trunklid hinges dip into the load area." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Big cargo capacity." -- Car and Driver
  • "Helpful extras include a dashboard slot that can hold a parking pass, plus a hook that can carry a purse." -- Kelley Blue Book

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