2011 Kia Rio Comfort & Quality

7.0
Comfort & Quality
The 2011 Kia Rio offers a well-designed interior, but it doesn't step outside its small-car roots or offer any packaging magic. There's space for four adults on board—or three kids across in back, in a pinch—but there's not a lot of legroom back there and the bench seat is rather hard. Front seats are a bit short but otherwise comfortable, with a good driving position.

Trunk space is actually impressive, too, and in the Rio5, a fairly large cargo area tucks beneath the hatchback. In either model, though, ride quality can be pitchy on some types of freeway surfaces, and Rio SX models have different tire and suspension settings, aimed at producing a sportier feel, that bring more road noise into the cabin without, from our prior impressions, really feeling that much sportier. Across the model line, engine noise can be an issue; it's obtrusive during acceleration and when cruising at higher speeds.

Throughout the interior, materials and finishes are very impressive. At the time the Rio was introduced, its trims and overall cabin look were at the leading edge among the lowest-priced small cars, and they still stand up reasonably well today.

The 2011 Kia Rio isn't very refined, but its interior accommodations are better than typical in this class of lowest-priced small cars.

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