Safety is perhaps the single weakest aspect for 2010 Kia Rio—even when you weigh it against other small-car competitors in its price range.
Crash-test scores for the 2010 Kia Rio and Rio5 are far from great. The Rio gets four- and five-star ratings for frontal crash protection, but side-impact ratings lag at just three stars for passenger side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also doesn't find the Rio to be very protective, with frontal offset score of "acceptable" and a side-impact result of "poor"—which should be a cause for concern.
In terms of safety features, the Rio is a mixed bag. It has six airbags, including side, curtain, and dual front airbags. Active front headrests and anti-lock brakes are newly standard on all Rio and Rio5 models for 2010. But anti-lock brakes aren't included (or even optional) on the base model, and electronic stability control isn't offered at all on the Rio or Rio5.
Outward visibility is quite good, thanks to the relatively low beltline. Cars.com states, "Visibility is unobstructed." Kelley Blue Book likes how the "low cowl and sizable rear glass help create nearly unobstructed visibility."