- Refreshed for 2016, with updated styling and technology
- Available as a sedan or hatchback
- Good value, with lots of features for its price
The 2016 Kia Rio gets a subtle makeover, with styling tweaks on the outside and technology upgrades inside, along with improved sound insulation that reduces cabin noise.
Updates to the Rio’s styling add elements found in other cars in the Kia lineup, like the Optima and Soul. The front grille keeps its familiar pinched shape, but is now a different material and sits inside an updated front fascia that has new lower styling around the fog lights. Headlight and taillight clusters have been changed as well for a more modern appearance all around. 15-inch wheels are standard, with larger 17-inch wheels offered on the line topping SX trim. A power sunroof, fog lights, and LED headlight inserts are also available.
Under the hood the Rio keeps the same engine, a 138-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 123-feet of torque. It is mated to a six-speed manual on LX models, with a six-speed automatic available on the LX but standard on the EX and SX (all hatchback models come with the automatic, regardless of trim level). SX models get a sportier suspension and paddle shifters for a more spirited driving experience.
There is actually not much difference in cargo room between the two body styles, surprisingly. The sedan offers 13.7 cubic feet of trunk space, while the hatchback increases that only 1.3 cubic feet to 15.0. Where the hatchback really offers more space is when you fold the 60/40-split second row forward, opening up 49.8 cubic feet of room.
Standard features include cloth upholstery, satellite radio, air conditioning, USB port, and two 12v charging outlets. The optional UVO2 infotainment system includes updates to UVO eServices; eServices connects the Rio to your smartphone via an app and offers services like a parking minder that remembers where you parked, roadside assistance, and vehicle diagnostics. Also available on the 2016 Rio are Bluetooth connectivity, push button start, navigation, leather upholstery, and heated front seats.
Standard safety features include six airbags, electronic stability control, and antilock brakes. A rearview camera is available.