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2012 Kia RioView 2018 Model Price, Photos, Reviews & Features

2012 Kia Rio Exterior

2012 Kia Rio Overview (See Available Styles)

As people are increaslingly looking for smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles, car makers have responded by paying more attention to the smaller cars in their lineups, and Kia has done this as well by redesigning its subcompact offering the 2012 Rio.

The Rio is a subcompact sedan that also comes as a hatchback, called the Rio5 which was also redesigned and is reviewed separately on this site. 2012 brought sweeping changes to the Rio; what was once quite frankly a boring exterior has been replaced with all new sheet metal and a brand new look that seems inspired by Kia’s striking Optima midsize sedan. The Rio now features a smaller version of the chrome ringed grille and swept back headlights that are making their way around the Kia lineup.

Also new is the Rio’s engine, which is now a 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder that is mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. This new powertrain helps the Rio to achieve impressive fuel economy numbers for a car that doesn’t have to rely on the added cost/complexity of a hybrid system: 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. There is an available Eco Package as well that increases the city mpg number by one.

Inside, the five-seat Rio also has brand new styling and a well-thought out design to it. We had a chance to spend some time with the new Rio and enjoyed the intuitive nature of all the controls and a lack of clutter. There are also some nice touches, such as a rubberized slot in the center console where you can put an iPod or cell phone and it won’t slide about. Standard features are also impressive for a car of this class and include USB/auxiliary audio inputs, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and air conditioning. Available options include Bluetooth® connectivity, push button start, a navigation system, and Kia’s new UVO infotainment system that connects your smartphone to the Rio. UVO allows you to control many of your phone’s functions using voice commands, including making/receiving calls, and it will even read text messages aloud so you can stay focused on driving.

Safety features include six airbags, antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and LATCH seating. UVO also adds a backup camera for safe reversing.

The 2012 Kia Rio provides exceptional value in a stylish package. If you’re in the market for a solid commuter or a car for a young driver, the Rio is definitely worth checking out.

EPA Fuel Economy

  • City: 28 - 29 MPG
  • Highway: 36 - 37 MPG

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Vehicle crash and safety data is provided by NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA testing was established by Congress to reduce highway deaths and injuries. Read an article on the current NHTSA crash test program.

Safety Rating

  • Overall Safety: ****
  • Frontal Crash: ****
  • Side Crash: *****

Consumer Reviews Summary

Overall Rating:

20 of 22 (90%) consumers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.

Read Kia Rio Consumer Reviews