Comfort and Quality » 7
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
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.
The Rio stacks up against other subcompacts by carving a niche in the very middle of the segment. While the related Hyundai Accent and Honda's Fit venture close to compact-class interiors, as does the Nissan Versa hatchback, the Rio keeps its interior volume at 88 cubic feet, some of it shaved down versus the Accent due to its more sloped roofline.
By the numbers, the Rio sports a 101.2-inch wheelbase, has an overall length of about 160 inches, and offers up a cargo area of 15 cubic feet (or 13.7 cubic feet, for trunked sedan models). It's significantly larger than the previous model.
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.
It's not quite as large as the similar Hyundai Accent, but the Kia Rio is bigger than some subcompacts.