2020 Kia Rio

#31
in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$15,750 - $16,390
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2020 Kia Rio Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: December 26, 2019

Pranav Gupta's image

Pranav Gupta Content Writer


The 2020 Kia Rio comes in two variants: LX and S with a 1.6L engine paired with CVT, standard across both. The competitive pricing of Kia Rio ranges from $15,750 to 16,390, an extra penny will add extra features. This front-wheel drive is a value package to fulfill your daily driving desires.

See detailed review »

Pros

Superior handling and excellent build quality

Uncomparable long warranty package.

Ergonomically designed interior

Cons

Cramped Cargo Capacity

Telescoping Steering is being missed.

What's New?

The 1.6-Liter engine is tuned for better fuel economy

Standard continuously variable transmission replaces traditional automatic.

Mirroring Tech which includes Apple Carplay and Android Auto with 7-inch touchscreen comes standard.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$15750

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

97 cu.in.

horsepower

120 hp @ 6300 rpm

torque

112 lbs.-ft. @ 4500 rpm

transmission

2 Speed CVT

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Strut front suspension

suspension rear

Torsion Beam rear suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

11.0/8.0

dimensions

wheelbase

101.6 in.

length

172.6 in.

width

67.9 in.

height

57.1 in.

curb weight

2767 lbs.

ground clearance

5.5 in.

capacity

passenger volume

89.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

13.7 cu ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

33/36/41 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

10 yr./ 100000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / 100000

roadside assistance

5 yr./ 60000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
 2020 Kia Rio Exterior video
 2020 Kia Rio Review video
 2020 Kia Rio Interior video

Styles

 2020 Kia Rio in Aurora Black color  2020 Kia Rio in Clear White color  2020 Kia Rio in Silky Silver color  2020 Kia Rio in Deep Sea Blue color  2020 Kia Rio in Currant Red color
Aurora Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Kia Rio LX

LX

power
120 hp @ 6300 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
37 combined

$15,750


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $15,750 MSRP (33/37/41) 120 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
2-speed CVT w/OD front wheel drive 5

 2020 Kia Rio S

S

power
120 hp @ 6300 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
37 combined

$16,390


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $16,390 MSRP (33/37/41) 120 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
2-speed CVT w/OD front wheel drive 5

Expert Review


The Korean craft truly symbolizes the Kia creation. Prioritizing practical usability rather than aesthetics. The 2020 Rio packs playful interiors with daily driving dynamics. It is not a sports car anyway but your daily driving partner which can take you long without any complaints. The Kia Rio sedan is a four-door subcompact sedan, appealing with its efficiency, driving, and interior. Also, the cheaply priced Kia Rio starts from $15,750. 

Rio wears some common design elements but is spacious within. With its last redesign two years back, 2020 Rio adds more standard features and replaces the powertrain. And it is perceived to be a bright moonshine for the Korean automaker. The subcompact sedans which rivals the Rio include the like of Honda Civic, Toyota Yaris and Chevrolet Sonic.

2020 Kia Rio Sedan Front View
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Front View
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Rear View
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Rear View

2020 Kia Rio Features

The 2020 Kia Rio sedan with its two trims: LX and S is nowhere running out of breath. Thanks to the powertrain replacement, it reduces the power by 10 hp and adds to the mpg ratings by 10%. The trade-off seems justified as value addition is the key for the subcompact sedans. 

Trims

LX

S

MSRP (1.6 Liter, Inline 4-cylinder engine)

$15,750

$16,390

Key Features

Front and Rear Airbags

Adds/Upgrades from previous trim

 

Anti-lock Braking System

Supervision Meter Cluster w/ 3.5-inch Display

 

Electronic Stability Control

Center Console w/ Sliding Armrest and Storage

 

Electronic-Brake Force Distribution

Rear-Seat Adjustable Headrests

 

7-inch Touch-Screen Display and AM/FM/MP3 Audio System

60/40 Split-Folding Rear Seat

 

Android Auto and Apple Carplay

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)

 

Rear-view Parking monitor

 

The base LX starts at $15,750 and the S is priced at $16,390. Low pricing incites a question if Kia Rio is a good car? The answer comes easy as Yes! The value package Kia made is equipped with modern technology, safety, and adequate driver-assistance features. Also, the upscale interior complements the drivability experience.

What do we recommend?

Among the two trims, the top trim S is priced a few hundred dollars ahead but that’s not the end of the story. The additional expenditure will fetch you additional standard features to your delight. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat, cruise control, and keyless entry along with the steering mounted audio and air-conditioning controls. Also, other optional upgrades are also made available with S.

2020 Kia Rio Engine and Performance

With a new year, the Kia Rio compact sedan gets a new 1.6L engine paired with a new CVT transmission. Hold on! Rio with the new engine has reduced the power by 10 hp as compared to the predecessor. The automaker claims the new engine is rather more efficient. Fair enough, value addition in terms of better fuel economy is much welcome. Though, the question is, if the new engine pulls the Rio energetically or not?

With the last engine, Rio wasn’t quick and now with 10 hp less it is sufficient to take Rio places. The change of transmission to continuous variable transmission does make a lot of difference, in a good way. The CVT performance in comparison to the traditional automatic transmission equips Rio with instant acceleration and take-off the hill with much more ease. The quick transmission is a commuter transmission.

Models

Kia Rio

Honda Civic (LX)

Toyota Yaris (L)

Chevrolet Sonic (LS)

MSRP

$15,750

$20,550

$15,650

$16,720

Engine

1.6L I-4

2.0L I-4

1.5L I-4

1.4L I-4

Transmission

CVT

CVT

6-speed manual

6-speed shiftable automatic

Power (Hp @ rpm)

120 hp @ 6300 rpm

158 hp @ 6500 rpm

106 hp @ 6000 rpm

138 hp @ 4900 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

112 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm

138 ft-lbs. @ 4200 rpm

103 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

148 ft-lbs. @ 1850 rpm

In the subcompact category, Value propositions are of prime importance. The likes of chevy Sonic and Honda Civic offer better power and torque Whereas Toyota Yaris lies below the table. The drivability of the Honda Civic is way ahead and is equipped with CVT.

Acceleration

The new 120 hp 1.6L engine is a lively and efficient engine but that does not guarantee you the thrill. The 2020 Rio is a modest drive with less, actually not much excitement. Rio is strict on not using the low-end torque which inhibits instant acceleration. However, the purpose is not to be driven on the race track, Rio is obedient with the daily driving pleasures.

2020 Kia Rio Hatchback Front View
2020 Kia Rio Sedan 0-60 MPH In just 8.9 sec

Models

Kia Rio

Honda Civic (LX)

Toyota Yaris (L)

Chevrolet Sonic (LS)

0-60 MPH

8.9

6.7

10.2

8.5

Quarter mile

16.9

N/A

17.8

16.8

Engine

1.6L I-4

2.0L I-4

1.5L I-4

1.4L I-4

Emission

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

4.9

 

5.1

5.6

The new automatic is welcome. CVT is much better in terms of response and overcomes the sluggish behavior of the traditional automatic. In comparison as well, Rio lies somewhere in the middle with the Toyota Yaris being the slowest of the lot.

Ride and Handling

With no noticeable loss in the performance with the new engine, the Kia Rio is a no sports car but a capable handler offering a comfortable ride. The 2020 Rio sedan accomplishes the lane changes with confidence. The cornering too is precise and Rio seems a capable drive.

2020 Kia Rio Hatchback Front View
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Front View

The suspension set is tuned to absorb bumps effectively and the solid structure keeps it planted. The steering feels a bit numb but is properly weighted and precise.

Braking

The Kia Rio comes equipped with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, a rare sight in the segment as most others comes standard with a drum on all four wheels. The anti-lock braking system comes standard and with the optional technology package, one adds emergency braking, handy in the severe driving emergencies.

2020 Kia Rio Hatchback Brake
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Front Brake is 11 in.

Model

Kia Rio

Honda Civic (LX)

Toyota Yaris (L)

Chevrolet Sonic (LS)

Brake Front(in)

11

11.1

10.2

10.8

Brake Rear(in)

8

10.2

9

9

Curb weight(lbs.)

2767

2771

2385

2857

60-0 MPH (ft.)

119

142

N/A

124

Considering the heft of the Rio sedan, the brakes do a commendable job in bringing it to rest from 60 mph in 119 feet.

2020 Kia Rio Fuel Economy

The biggest plus point of the new four-cylinder engine is efficiency. The new Rio roughly gains 10% with EPA rating of 41 mpg highway and 36 mpg combined. The loss of 10 hp and new effective CVT are the major contributor to better fuel economy.

Model

Kia Rio

Honda Civic (LX)

Toyota Yaris (L)

Chevrolet Sonic (LS)

MPG (city)

33

30

30

26

MPG (highway)

41

38

39

34

MPG (combined)

36

33

34

29

Fuel Capacity (gal.)

11.9

12.4

11.6

12.2

Range (Cty/Hwy)(miles)

393 / 488

372 / 471

348/452

317 / 415

The KIA Rio is nowhere in trouble with the trailing Toyota Yaris and Honda Civic offering 39 mpg and 38 mpg combined. The Chevy Sonic suffers from below-average fuel economy, the negative value.

2020 Kia Rio Interior

Kia does a good job with Rio in terms of ergonomically designed interior. Not just that, the cabin features ample standard tech and convenience features. Also, the 2020 Kia Rio makes a lot of features standard, unlike its predecessors.

Seating and Capacity

The 2020 Rio is spacious than it seems and for its class, it is much more upscale inside. The front seats are comfortable and support adequate room. The rear is a bit cramped but you only realize this during long journies. This five-seater compact sedan includes a lot of ample standard features like air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and much-appreciated audio controls mounted steering wheel. 

2020 Kia Rio Hatchback Seats
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Rear Seats

With the top trim, S, one additionally gets many thriving features like remote keyless entry with a trunk opener, a 60/40 split-folding rear seats and adjustable headrests, a sliding armrest, cruise control and a USB port for rear passengers.

Model

Kia Rio

Honda Civic (LX)

Toyota Yaris (L)

Chevrolet Sonic (LS)

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

38.9/54.1/42.1

39.3/57.0/42.3

38.2/53.1/41.9

38.7/53.4/41.8

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

37.4/53.3/33.5

37.1/55.0/37.4

36.8/50.0/34.4

37.8/53.0/34.6

Infotainment

The 2020 Kia Rio features a standard 7-inch touch-screen display with good user experience. The display is intuitive and easy to read. The placement of the infotainment screen is placed well near the top of the dash. Also, the audio controls are available on the steering. The lots of handy controls are within reach and are logically placed.

Further, the Android Auto and Apple car play capability with standard radio, Bluetooth and USB is now standard across the trims. With S, one also gets Satellite radios i.e. SiriusXM.

Key Infotainment Features

  • 7-inch Touch-Screen Display and AM/FM/MP3 Audio System
  • 6 Speakers w/ Front Tweeters
  • Android Auto and Apple Carplay 
  • Rear-View Monitor w/ Dynamic Parking Guidance
  • USB/Auxiliary Input Jack
  • Bluetooth

Cargo Capacity

The Kia Rio shouldn’t be the first choice for someone thinking of hauling lots of cargo. The Rio sedan offers a sub-par trunk volume, even less than the five-door Rio hatchback. Surprisingly, the base Rio does not get 60/40 split-folding seats, limiting the hauling capacity since the seats do not fold flat. However, with an upgrade to S, that problem is sorted.

2020 Kia Rio Hatchback Cargo Space
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Cargo volume is 13.7 cu ft.

Model

Kia Rio

Honda Civic (LX)

Toyota Yaris (L)

Chevrolet Sonic (LS)

Trunk Volume (ft.3)

13.7

15.1

13.5

14.9

What about the internal storage, don’t assume too early. The center console is competitively sized and so are the door pockets.

Key Interior Features

  • 6-Way Adjustable Driver's Seat
  • Tricot & Woven Cloth Seat Trim
  • Glove Box w/ Illumination
  • Height-Adjustable Front Seat-Belt Anchors
  • Day/Night Rearview Mirror
  • Front & Rear Door Map Pockets w/ Bottle Holder
  • Air Conditioning
  • Steering-Wheel-Mounted Audio Buttons
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Interior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Interior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Interior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Interior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Interior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Interior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Interior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Interior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Interior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Interior

2020 Kia Rio Exterior

The strong silhouette of the Kia Rio is a subtle design flaunting simplicity. The right-proportions and modern details accord an aerodynamic structure. The Kia Rio might not appeal with its not so unique design but the value is immense. The Kia’s iconic tiger-nose grille adds an athletic texture to the front while the rear flaunts its wide and stable stance.

2020 Kia Rio Sedan Third Quarter View
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Third Quarter View

The Rio’s are available with LED headlights and stylish LED positioning lights, adding to the bold attitude with safety enhancement. Even though the sedan and hatch share almost the same wheelbase, the sedan is 13 inches longer. All Kia Rio’s are equipped with 15-inch wheels.

Model

Kia Rio

Honda Civic (LX)

Toyota Yaris (L)

Chevrolet Sonic (LS)

Curb Weight(lbs.)

2767

2771

2385

2857

Length(in)

172.6

182.7

171.2

173.9

Width(in)

67.9

70.9

66.7

68.3

Height(in)

57.1

55.7

58.5

59.7

Ground clearance(in)

5.5

N/A

5.5

N/A

Wheelbase(in)

101.6

106.3

101.2

99.4

Key Exterior Feature

  • Body-Color Exterior Door Handles
  • Dual Body-Color Power Heated Mirrors
  • The power-operated side-view mirrors conveniently heat up to help melt ice or snow. 
  • Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers
  • Auto Light Control
  • Space-Saver Spare Tire
  • Heated Rear Glass w/ Timer
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior
2020 Kia Rio Sedan Exterior

2020 Kia Rio Safety

The Kia Rio adds standard safety and driver assistance features equally across both the trims. With Rio S you get Forward collision warning and high-line tire-pressure monitoring system optional. Though, Kia Rio trails in terms of numbers of safety and assistance features than some of its rivals.

The National highway traffic safety authority is yet to rate the 2020 Kia Rio while the Rio acclaims the Top safety pick of the year from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

Key Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

  • Airbags
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  • Hill Start Assist control
  • Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • LATCH
  • Rear Child-Safety Locks

2020 Kia Rio Competition

Kia Rio Vs Honda Civic

Undoubtedly, Civic is bigger than Rio so one gets a better interior and trunk space. Honda Civic, having a similar weight drives with more vigor, thanks to a 2.0L engine, though all of this comes at a price. The Rio is adequately powered and offers an exclusive fuel economy ratings, great value. Also, the standard Civic lacks adequate standard features whereas Kia Rio packs it intelligently.

2020 Honda Civic Sedan
2020 Honda Civic

Kia Rio Vs Toyota Yaris

The 2020 Kia Rio shares a lot of appealing features with the 2020 Toyota Yaris, priced similarly too. Toyota Yaris offers nimble handling and squishy power delivery. Embarking upon the revised powertrain, Rio manages to score better with more power and slightly better fuel economy ratings. Inside, Toyota Yaris is more playful than the Rio and even offer better rear legroom. A choice between the two is the matter of personal choice for looks and brand.

2020 Toyota Yaris
2020 Toyota Yaris

Kia Rio Vs Chevrolet Sonic

Priced almost $1000 ahead of Rio, Chevrolet Sonic just offers slightly more power with a better trunk volume. In terms of interior design and loaded features, Kia Rio is a straight winner. Also, Rio is a pocket-friendly sedan for its efficiency and long maintenance, no other automaker can match. The 2020 Kia Rio should be the first and the last choice here.

2020 Chevrolet Sonic
2020 Chevrolet Sonic

 

2020 Kia Rio Final Verdict

Change is the only constant. With 2020 Rio, the automaker is moving in the right direction. The Kia Rio for the 2020 model year adds and upgrades the features, powertrain and all essential equipment for Rio to stand out in the subcompact segment. Apart from the cramped cargo, rest everything fits in the value package from Kia. Also, Kia hits the consumer with a surprisingly long warranty, 10 years whoosh! With the latest upgrade, it seems the Rio will definitely rise up the ladder and make its mark.