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8.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 8.5
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Kia Rio Review

The 2016 Kia Rio has lively acceleration and agile handling. Its interior is spacious and designed with good-quality materials, but its limited list of standard and available features falls short of what rivals offer.

Pros & Cons

  • Lively performance
  • Spacious, attractive interior
  • Great predicted reliability rating
  • Stiff ride
  • Middling safety scores

2016 Kia Rio Overview

Is the 2016 Kia Rio a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Kia Rio is a fine used car, in both sedan and hatchback body styles. It has a stronger engine than many in its class and a great predicted reliability score. The Rio's infotainment system is among the most straightforward available, and Rio hatchback models have one of the largest cargo capacities you can get in a subcompact car.

Why You Can Trust Us

We analyzed 46 Kia Rio reviews to give you an idea of this car’s pros and cons. We’ve also included information on fuel economy, safety, and reliability to help you decide if the 2016 Rio is the right car for you.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking the best vehicles since 2007, and our editorial staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To keep our reviews impartial, we don't accept expensive trips or gifts from car companies, and an external partner places and sells the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Kia Rio?

Based on the nearly 400 listings on our site for a used 2016 Rio, you can expect to spend about $10,800 on average for this model. List prices range from $8,300 to $14,000. Vehicle condition, mileage, and location can affect price.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Kia Rio Cost to Own?

Over five years of ownership, you'll likely spend about $20,800 on fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs on a 2016 Kia Rio. That's around $4,200 per year. These costs are about the same for a 2016 Hyundai Accent, while the 2016 Honda Fit's are a couple hundred dollars less per year.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Rio?

Kia fully redesigned the Rio for the 2018 model year. That means there are significant differences between the 2016 and 2018 Rios. Aside from appearance upgrades, there are many new standard and optional features in the 2018 model, including smartphone integration through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay and advanced safety features like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. The 2018 Rio hatchback has more cargo space behind the rear seats than the 2016 hatchback but less overall cargo room when you fold down the seats. There's also a difference in price. The new Rio's starting price is around $13,900, which is a few thousand more than the average price of a used 2016 model and nearly as high as the priciest 2016 Rio on our site.

Check our Kia deals page for any financing, cash back, or leasing incentives that could lower the price of a new model. If you want the newly available features of the 2018 model, you'll likely have to buy a higher (and therefore more expensive) trim, and a base 2018 Rio may not have as many features as a comparably priced used model.

Read about the new Kia Rio »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2016 Kia Rio?

The Rio has one of the highest predicted reliability scores in the class, with a rating of 4.5 out of five. A score of 3.5 is more typical for a subcompact car, while a three-out-of-five rating is average for the auto industry as a whole.

Read more about Rio reliability »

2016 Kia Rio Recalls

There are no recalls on the 2016 Rio at the time of writing.

See more information on Kia Rio safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Kia Rio Is Best?

There are essentially no differences between the 2016 and 2013 Rios. Consider saving some money by choosing an older Rio because, essentially, all models dating back to the 2013 Rio have the same features and similar scores.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Rio »

Which Used Kia Rio Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Kia Rio comes in three trims: LX, EX, and SX. All trims come in sedan and hatchback styles. If you need a lot of cargo space, go with the hatchback. For the best features, jump to the top-of-the-line SX model. It comes with a rearview camera, heated front seats, and Kia's UVO infotainment system, which includes navigation, voice commands, and a touch screen.

See 2016 Kia Rio trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Kia Rio Warranty

Kia’s certified pre-owned 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. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Most other carmakers, including Chevrolet, Honda, and Toyota, offer better CPO programs than Kia.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Rio?

Most competitors have higher safety scores than the Rio, which has mediocre crash test results. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Rio the top rating of Good in the moderate overlap, rear crash protection, and roof strength tests. The Rio earned a Marginal rating in the small overlap test and an Acceptable in the side impact test. On its five-star rating scale, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2016 Rio an overall safety rating of four stars. The Rio also earned four stars in the front and rollover crash tests and five stars in the side crash test. 

Aside from an available rearview camera, the Rio doesn’t have any advanced safety features.

See Rio safety scores »

2016 Kia Rio Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Rio or 2016 Hyundai Accent?

The 2016 Hyundai Accent comes with even fewer standard and available features than the Rio does. Heated seats, leather upholstery, navigation, and a rearview camera aren't available. The Accent's interior is full of hard plastics and has a bland design, whereas the Rio's cabin has good-quality materials and a stylish design. While the Rio has plenty of power to get the car up to highway speeds, the Accent struggles, especially with multiple people or lots of cargo in the car. For a better overall experience, go with the Rio.

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Rio or 2016 Honda Fit?

The 2016 Honda Fit offers much more than the Rio, including more cabin features such as Honda LaneWatch, which is a passenger-side blind spot camera. The Fit earns better fuel economy and has more cargo space than the Rio. It is comfortable over rough pavement and agile around corners. Its cabin is full of top-notch materials and features more soft-touch surfaces. The Fit was the winner of our 2016 Best Subcompact Car for the Money and 2016 Best Hatchback for the Money awards. It’s definitely the car to buy.

Which Is Better: 2016 Kia Rio or 2016 Kia Forte?

The 2016 Kia Forte is a compact car with more cargo and passenger space than the Rio. It comes with similar standard features, such as Bluetooth, a four-speaker sound system, and a USB port. However, it has a longer list of available infotainment features, including smartphone integration capabilities, a 7-inch touch screen, and navigation. Other features offered in the Forte that aren't available with the Rio are ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. The Forte has good acceleration with its base engine and more power with its available engines. It handles everyday driving well, but like the Rio, its ride can become rough over broken pavement. Between these two, the Forte is the better buy.

Compare the Rio, Accent, and Fit »

2016 Rio Performance

How Does the 2016 Kia Rio Drive?

The Rio is fairly nimble, especially models equipped with the available sport-tuned suspension. However, the stiffer suspension gives the already firm-riding Rio an even rougher ride over bumpy roads. The Rio comes with a 138-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and either a six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. The Rio's powerful engine helps it produce fairly quick acceleration. However, it can be somewhat loud and unrefined. 

Does the 2016 Kia Rio Get Good Gas Mileage?

Most other subcompact cars get better fuel economy than the Rio, which gets 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

Read more about Rio performance »

2016 Rio Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Rio Seat?

The Rio has seating for five on standard cloth seats. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are available. There is plenty of head- and legroom in the spacious front seats. Legroom can be a bit snug for taller passengers in the back.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Kia Rio?

The rear outboard seats have two sets of lower anchors and three top tether anchors for securing child seats. The Rio's LATCH system earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's second-lowest score of Marginal for its ease of use.

2016 Kia Rio Features

The 2016 Kia Rio's standard features include a four-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and a USB port. The Rio doesn't come standard with power windows and door locks, but it does offer them as options. Other available features include push-button start, a sunroof, navigation, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and Kia’s UVO infotainment system with a touch-screen display. There are easy-to-read controls on the Rio's intuitive dashboard. UVO and the navigation system are also simple to operate.

See 2016 Kia Rio specs »

Read more about Rio interior »

2016 Kia Rio Dimensions

Kia Rio Cargo Space

With 13.7 cubic feet of cargo space, the Rio sedan has an average-sized trunk for a subcompact car. Hatchback models have great cargo capacity for the class, with 15 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a maximum 49.8 cubic feet with the back seats folded down.

2016 Rio Length and Weight

The Kia Rio sedan is just over 14 feet long, while hatchback models are around 13 feet long. The Rio has a curb weight ranging from 2,573 pounds in the base trim to 2,729 pounds in the top SX trim.

Where Was the 2016 Kia Rio Built?

The 2016 Kia Rio was built in Mexico.

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