2012 Kia Rio Photo
/ 10
On Quality
$6,991 - $14,998
On Quality
We like the Rio's larger interior spaces and cargo area, but wouldn't mind some more seat bolstering.
7.0 out of 10
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

The seats are comfortable and only minimal road noise could be detected, another pleasant surprise for a car in this class.
Kelley Blue Book

The rear-seat legroom is snug, and may be too tight for taller passengers. A kid's car seat fits well when it faces the front. However, if you need to have the child seat facing the rear, seat size might an issue.

The rear seats will suit small- to medium-size adults, and a low center hump eases slide-over. They fold almost completely flat on our hatchback (we have yet to sample a sedan), creating one of the larger rear holds in the segment. However, the relatively small hatch opening and high bottom ledge will limit its ability to swallow bulky items.

The large toggle-type switches on the center console for the climate controls were also easy to use, and pretty cool in design. Nearly all surfaces are soft to the touch, lending an unusual high-quality feel to the low-cost five-passenger vehicle.

Back seatbacks unlatched and flipped down easily, expanding cargo space from 15 cubic feet to nearly 50.
USA Today

In raw numbers, the Rio has a 101.2-inch wheelbase, an overall length of about 160 inches, and a cargo area of 15 cubic feet (or 13.7 cubic feet, for trunked sedan models). It's significantly larger than the outgoing model.

The Rio sizes up against its subcompact competitors by taking the middle of the road. Cars like the Hyundai Accent and Honda Fit have more space inside, as does the Nissan Versa hatchback, while the Rio, at 88 cubic feet of interior room, shaves a few cubic feet to stack up against the likes of the Ford Fiesta.

The Rio's front seats have good, long bottom cushions and great, long seat travel, putting a good foot forward for solo drivers or pairs of adults. Sporty SX models have more seat bolstering, and we wouldn't mind that applied to the base cars, either.

The Rio's back seat is more confined than in the Fit, with no adult-sized knee or head room to spare; its Accent cousin does a better job of providing space for four. It's the same story in luggage room, too, where the Rio's nicely squared-off cargo hold nonetheless leaves the right kind of space for roll-on bags and Costco boxes.


We like the Rio's larger interior spaces and cargo area, but wouldn't mind some more seat bolstering.

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