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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
Bluetooth, cruise control, and a tilting-and-telescoping steering column are standard on all but the price-leading LX model.
Uvo promises voice controls with more natural tone of voice, but we found it hard to use without knowing its very specific commands. Uvo is not quite on par with Apple's Siri, but once you learn the commands, it should get easier to use.
despite adding what Kia officials estimate is $1,400 of equipment to the 2012 Rio hatchback compared with its more pedestrian 2011 predecessor, the new Rio five-door has a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, of $14,350, which is about $300 less than the last year's base model.
Factory navigation systems are uncommon at this price point and we like that the Kia Rio blazes the trail by offering this feature.
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Option packages, which are trim level specific in most cases, include power windows and power door locks (LX models), 15-inch alloy wheels, UVO powered by Microsoft voice-activated infotainment, navigation with a seven-inch screen, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a power-operated moonroof.
Even in its base editions, the 2014 Kia Rio offers a lot of features for the money.
Base Rio LX sedans and hatchbacks start at around $15,000 and include air conditioning, a USB port, and satellite radio. On hatchbacks you also get 15-inch wheels, a rear spoiler standard, tilt steering, steering-wheel audio controls, and split-folding rear seatbacks.
If you want a manual gearbox, you'll have to stick with the base LX--one thing that some shoppers won't like about the limited ways you can get a Rio. The automatic is a $1200 option on either Rio LX.
In the middle of the lineup, the Rio EX five-door hatchback adds tilt/telescoping steering, cruise control, Bluetooth, and power windows, locks and mirrors.The sporty SX model is the only version to come standard with Kia's UVO, which includes Microsoft-powered voice controls for phone and audio. You can option up to that system on the EX, and otherwise options on the SX include a navigation system (that replaces the UVO system), pushbutton start, leather seats, heated front seats, and a sunroof.
Other features included in Rio SX versions include 17-inch wheels, sport suspension tuning, larger front brakes, fog lamps, and power-folding heated side mirrors, and LED taillamp and headlamp accents.
The 2014 Rio remains one of the top picks for those who want a lot of features--including leather seats and a navigation system.