The 2012 Kia Rio Sedan is an entry-level sedan, and unlike many other Kia models, you get what you pay for as this model does not offer too many standard features. The styling is simple, yet sporty enough to not look like a dull, cheap car, despite the fact at the sticker price fits in nearly any budget. A fun grille, modern headlamps and attractive wheels help with the appearance.
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The Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a standard six-speed manual transmission, except the EX and SX trims are equipped with a six-speed automatic. The automatic does improve fuel-economy a bit by returning 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. When compared to the Sonic, which it replaced, it does fall a little short in handling. The steering can feel a little numb and passengers certainly do feel the larger bumps in the road.
The warranty is one of the best offered in the marketplace as it covers the drivetrain for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Another downside of the Rio is that it ranks poorly on crash test ratings. It lacks a lot of safety features that other cars in this segment have, but it is equipped with some airbags, child seat anchors, rear door safety locks, emergency interior trunk release, tire pressure monitoring and a whiplash protection system in the front head restraints. It is recommended to add on the rearview camera as there are a lot of blind spots on the Rio that can cause problems with parking and passing.
The Rio Sedan has two options, the four-door sedan and a four-door hatchback. It also has three trim levels, including the base model, the LX, and the sportier SX. The base model offers standard MP3 input and SIRIUS satellite radio on the audio system. Consumers will have to upgrade to a higher trim level if they want usually common place standard features such as a sunroof, air-conditioning, power windows, power door locks, leather seats, and power seats. Overall, the Rio Sedan does have an attractive interior design that is well thought out and comfortable, however there could be a little more leg room for rear seat passengers. Although you can find fault with the vehicle, and it certainly is lacking in some departments, you really cannot beat the sticker price.