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2014 Kia Rio Review

The 2014 Kia Rio ranks in the top third of its class, thanks to its perky, efficient engine and ample space for passengers and cargo. However, its base model is plagued with low-rent materials and a dearth of features.

Pros & Cons

  • Peppy and efficient
  • Good space for a subcompact car
  • Wealth of easy-to-use tech
  • Ample cargo space
  • Cheap materials in lower trims
  • Power windows and power locks are not standard

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 8.4
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Kia Rio Overview

Is the 2014 Kia Rio a Good Used Car?

If you’re looking for an inexpensive car that doesn’t skimp on engine power, passenger room, or cargo space, the Rio is definitely worth a look. The higher trims have plenty of easy-to-use tech features, a few of which you’ll get in the base trim. However, the base Rio doesn't come standard with power windows and door locks, so you’ll have to look for higher trims to get those features. Also, interior materials consist of cheap, hard plastic in all but the top-level SX trim.

Used 2014 Kia Rio Performance and Interior

With its 138-horsepower four-cylinder engine, the Kia Rio has no problem keeping up with traffic, even on the highway. Despite its peppiness, the Rio returns impressive fuel economy: 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with either the standard six-speed manual transmission or the available six-speed automatic transmission. Though the Rio is not the most agile car in its class, it feels controlled around turns. Ride quality ranges from comfortable in the LX and EX trims to responsive in SX models, which have larger alloy wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. Some may find the SX’s ride too firm, however.

Read more about Rio performance »

The five-seat Rio is available as either a sedan or hatchback. The front seats are spacious even for tall folks, and there’s more rear-seat room in the Rio than most subcompact cars. The Rio has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats and a tether-only connection in the middle seat. Cargo space is good for the class, with a 13.7-cubic-foot trunk in the sedan and 15 cubes in the hatchback that expands to 49.8 when you collapse the split-folding rear seats.

While LX and EX models employ hard plastic trim pieces, the Kia Rio SX boasts soft-touch dash materials. The base model offers all the audio features one might need in a commuter car: a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary jack, and a USB port. However, it lacks the power windows and door locks that the other trims have. Audio and climate controls are straightforward, especially with the available UVO infotainment system. Other available features include Bluetooth, keyless entry, cruise control, navigation, and push-button start.

Read more about Rio interior »

Used 2014 Kia Rio Prices

The Kia Rio LX with a manual transmission has an average price of around $9,000. On the high end, an SX model costs $11,800 on average. These prices depend on the model’s condition, mileage, demand, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 39 Reviews Analyzed

Like all our automotive coverage, this Kia Rio review does not reflect our personal opinions. Rather, we analyze the findings of the automotive press alongside data like total cost of ownership, reliability ratings, and safety scores.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for a decade. Our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from the car companies, and an outside team handles our advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2014 Kia Rio?

J.D. Power gives the 2014 Kia Rio a reliability rating of three out of five, which is average.

Read more about Rio reliability »

How Safe Is the Rio?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2014 Rio four out of five stars overall. The Rio earned mixed scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While it received the highest score of Good in three of the five tests, it scored an Acceptable in the side impact test and a Marginal in the small overlap front test, the latter of which measure occupant protection in the event of a crash with an object like a telephone pole or front corner of another vehicle.

Models with the UVO system feature a rearview camera. Like many subcompact cars, the Kia Rio does not offer active safety equipment.

See Rio safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Rio?

The 2014 Rio is part of the vehicle’s third generation, which includes the 2012 through 2017 model years. To save money, look for an older model, which offers many of the same features as a 2014 model at a lower price.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Rio »

Which Used Kia Rio Is Right for Me?

The 2014 Kia Rio comes in three trim levels: LX, EX, and SX. The Rio EX offers the best value, adding Bluetooth, a telescoping steering wheel, power windows, and power door locks. For even more goodies, look for an SX model. It comes with a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, Kia’s UVO infotainment system, LED taillights, a rearview camera, power-folding side view mirrors, alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and soft-touch dash materials.

For added peace of mind, consider a certified pre-owned vehicle. Kia’s CPO vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty, plus a one-year/12,000-mile Platinum warranty for non-powertrain parts. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Kia certified pre-owned program »

2014 Kia Rio and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Rio or 2014 Ford Fiesta?

Also available as a sedan and hatchback, the sporty Ford Fiesta has sharper handling and a more engaging ride than the Rio. Also, its interior is nicer than the base Rio’s cabin. Still, you’re better off with the Rio, which has a higher reliability rating, roomier rear seats, more cargo space, and standard tech features like satellite radio and a USB port. Also, unlike the Fiesta’s base engine, the Rio’s four-cylinder has sufficient power for daily driving.

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Rio or 2014 Toyota Yaris?

The Toyota Yaris has one of the highest reliability ratings in its class. It is available as either a two-door or four-door hatchback. Like the Rio, it has accommodating seats and standard connectivity options like a USB port and an auxiliary jack. However, neither car has standard power windows, which means you may have to seek out higher trims. While the Yaris lacks the punch needed for highway passing, the Rio’s power is unwavering. Each car offers its own benefits, but for the most part, it’s an even match.

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Rio or 2014 Hyundai Accent?

Although the Rio shares its platform with the Hyundai Accent, there are a few notable differences. The Accent comes standard with power windows and locks, but it doesn’t offer some of the Rio’s available features, such as navigation and leather upholstery. Also, it earned a Poor in IIHS’ small overlap front test. If you’re shopping for a base model, go for the Accent, but if you’re looking for something better equipped, get the Rio. Its SX trim has sharper handling and a nicer interior.

Compare the Rio, Fiesta, and Yaris »

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