2018 Kia Rio

Interior


$13,900 MSRP
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2018 Kia Rio Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.2

There's a lot of practicality about the 2018 Kia Rio, including a decent amount of cargo space, pleasant passenger seating, and easy-to-use technology. You'll still see hard plastics, but higher-grade accents and a clean design keep the Rio from feeling like a penalty box.

  • "The inside has also been upgraded, and while hard plastics still abound, it feels very solidly built. The redesigned dash and gauge cluster manage to look upscale as well, so even though the Rio is a budget-priced car, it doesn't feel cheap. We think the interior presents itself better than cars costing thousands more." -- Edmunds
  • The cabin is redesigned, with a cleaner, more upscale look than before, but there are still plenty of hard plastic surfaces to be found." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Everything is plastic, mostly of a hard variety. However, the textures are varied and quite attractive. In fact, the leatherette-textured plastic on the dash and doors are pretty convincing until you touch them." -- Autoblog

Seating

The Rio seats five people and comes standard with cloth seats and a six-way adjustable driver's seat. Premium cloth upholstery, leather-trimmed seats, and a 60/40-split-folding back seat are available. The seats have a decent amount of space in both rows, though there isn't quite enough legroom to accommodate tall travelers simultaneously sitting in the front and second row.

For child care seats, there are two sets of lower anchors and three tether anchors in the back seat.

  • "Front occupants get more headroom, leg room, and shoulder room while those in the second row receive more leg­ and shoulder room—provided the driver or front passenger is no taller than 6 feet. The front seats are roomy enough to accommodate a 6-foot-2-inch occupant but won't leave any legroom for rear passengers." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The front seats are comfortable, accommodating and wide enough to give most drivers plenty of breathing room. The driver's seat is also height-adjustable, which means the Rio will fit a wide range of drivers. We liked the seating position, which feels a little lower and sportier than many subcompacts. Thanks to a lowered windowline, outward visibility is excellent, while the steering wheel also has plenty of telescoping range, something taller drivers will greatly appreciate." -- Edmunds
  • "After several hours behind the wheel, there was little to no fatigue. The seats, which have been improved for 2018, offered decent support. The Rio's interior is pleasantly quiet, thanks to some aspects of the new chassis. It was easy to carry on a conversation at normal levels. And the cabin is relatively roomy for a subcompact car." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2018 Rio include a 5-inch touch screen, satellite radio, a four-speaker sound system, a USB port, air conditioning, and power door locks. The top trim level comes with an upgraded infotainment system composed of the UVO infotainment interface, a 7-inch touch screen, voice recognition, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Available features include Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, six speakers, two additional USB ports, power windows, cruise control, keyless entry, a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warning.

The standard and the upgraded infotainment systems are easy to use. Though navigation is not available, test drivers give the enhanced UVO interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto two thumbs up.

See 2018 Kia Rio specs »

  • "The controls are wonderfully easy to use, too. The climate control consists of your basic three dials with buttons for defrost and A/C. The touchscreen infotainment is fairly simple, too, and it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All of the buttons and switches feel weighty and solid as well. Interestingly, though, navigation is not an option anymore. … Additionally, you'll want to avoid the base model LX due to a dearth of features." -- Autoblog
  • "The 7.0-inch UVO3 infotainment system … [is] quite good. It packs both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it's a snappy little system that relies on both touch inputs as well as physical buttons flanking the screen. If you've driven any other Kia with UVO, you'll feel at home here immediately. You're going to need CarPlay and Android Auto in this car, though, because that's your only way to get navigation." -- CNET
  • "On the tech front, there's a standard six-­speaker stereo with satellite radio, 5.0-inch touchscreen, and a rear­view camera system. The top-­tier EX trim gets a 7.0-inch floating touchscreen, UVO3 voice recognition infotainment system, and smartphone integration through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Pretty fancy stuff for the sub-compact class and all easy and very intuitive to use." -- Automobile Magazine

Cargo

The Rio sedan has a 13.7-cubic-foot trunk. The hatchback has 17.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the seats, and laying down the available 60/40-split-folding back seat grants a total of 32.8 cubic feet.

  • The Rio remains a subcompact car, which means cargo capacity is limited. However, the cargo area features a flat load floor with a wide liftgate opening and a low liftover height. There's also a new panel shape under the rear load floor to increase chassis strength and reduce road noise." -- Forbes
  • But, although bigger than the old Rio, the hatch still has less space than the Chevy Sonic, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa Note, Mitsubishi Mirage and the Toyota Yaris hatchback. The sedan has more cargo space than the Mitsubishi Mirage G4, Ford Fiesta sedan and Toyota Yaris iA, though." -- Autoblog
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