KBB Logo Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.

Editor's Overview

Available as a sedan or hatchback, the 2019 Kia Rio is a value-packed subcompact with enviable refinement and the best warranty in the segment. It’s also quiet and comfortable, with safety features uncharacteristic of the segment.

You'll Like The 2019 Kia Rio If...

If you’re looking for an attractive subcompact city runabout that blends good fuel economy with lots of value, the 2019 Kia Rio deserves attention. It fits with ease in snug parking spots, it boasts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, it’s available with autonomous emergency braking, and it has a fantastic powertrain warranty.

You May Not Like The 2019 Kia Rio If...

If your primary focus is fuel economy, you might want to look elsewhere. The Rio gets 28 mpg in the city and 37 on the highway, which is good, but not up to the level of some competitors. Nor is there a hybrid or an electric Rio.

What's New

Kia's subcompact sedan and hatchback are unchanged for 2019. Just last year, however, this compact Kia was updated with a larger platform, a new body, an upscale interior and more safety features. For 2019, the 6-speed manual transmission has been discontinued, and the 5-door hatchback is available in S grade only.

Interior Features

Kia does interiors well, and the Rio’s is no exception. It’s roomier and more upscale inside than you might expect, and even the base LX model has several appealing convenience and tech features. The infotainment screen is well placed near the top of the dash, and the controls for the stereo and air conditioning are logically placed and easy to reach. The LX has a 5-inch touch screen; the S goes one better with a 7-inch touch screen. Additionally, the 2019 Kia Rio boasts lots of handy controls on the steering wheel.

Exterior Features

Both the 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback versions of the 2019 Kia Rio are attractive cars with Euro-influenced styling and a mature look that’s uncommon in its class. Even though the sedan and hatch share the same wheelbase, the sedan is almost 13 inches longer. All Kia Rios are fitted with 15-inch steel wheels featuring wheel covers.

Driving Impressions

With its recently updated chassis, the longer, lower and wider 2019 Kia Rio corners with confidence and displays a composed overall demeanor, especially considering its entry-level price category. The 5-seat Rio cabin is roomier than expected, and the one available powertrain for 2019 is a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. With 130 peak horsepower and 119 lb-ft of torque, the Rio merges with ease onto the expressway but is by no means a powerhouse. That stated, we like the Rio’s blend of performance and economy (28-mpg city, 37-mpg highway). We also appreciate how quiet the Rio is at highway speeds.

Pricing Notes

The 2019 Kia Rio LX sedan starts at $15,300, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), which does not include a destination charge of $990. The Rio S sedan starts a bit higher, at $16,100, while the Rio 5-door hatchback has an MSRP of $16,400. Fully loaded, the Rio sedan and hatchback can hit about $20,000. The Technology Package, which includes forward-collision avoidance, LED headlights, UVO infotainment and tire-pressure monitoring, is a bargain at $800. Always check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Kia Rio.Can you afford something bigger? Check out the redesigned 2019 Kia FortePlanning to lease?Read the KBB Complete Guide to Leasing first!<a title="KBB Complete Guide to Leasing" href="https://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/kelley-blue-book-complete-guide-to-leasing/2100000780/"></a>Before you buy:Understand how rebates and incentives work

Notable Equipment

Notable standard equipment on the LX includes a tilt steering wheel, a trip computer, air conditioning and Sirius satellite radio with Bluetooth. The S sedan adds a front center armrest, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a 7-inch info screen, a USB charger and cruise control. The 5-door Rio hatchback, available only as an S model, is equipped similarly to the S sedan, but remember that its handy cargo area expands to 32.8 cubic feet when the rear seat is folded.

Notable Options

While there aren’t many options on the base LX sedan (other than Aurora Black Pearl paint, for $195), the 2019 Kia Rio S is available with LED headlights, forward-collision assist and a 7-inch touch screen with UVO telematics.

Favorite Features


It's easy to stay connected in the Rio, with available features such as a 7-inch display and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Sirius satellite radio, Bluetooth and a rearview camera are standard, as are a USB port and charger.


The Kia Rio remains one of the least expensive cars with Autonomous Emergency Braking, which will apply the brakes automatically if the car senses an accident is imminent. Other safety features on the 2019 Kia Rio include six airbags, stability control and tire-pressure monitoring.

Under the Hood

The sole Rio engine is a direct-injected 1.6-liter 4-cylinder with 130 horsepower. It runs on regular unleaded gasoline, as before, but last year’s available 6-speed manual transmission has been dropped from the lineup, leaving the Rio with only one transmission: a 6-speed automatic.

1.6-liter inline-4

130 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm

119 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/37 mpg

Editors' Notes

The Kia Rio, completely redesigned in 2018, carries over unchanged into 2019. That means it continues to be available as a 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatchback, both nicely packaged models that offer more interior space than their compact overall size would suggest. The Rio, equipped with a generous amount of tech-savvy features, also is a more substantial car than its low price would suggest. In addition to a handsome interior, this affordable little Kia has a comfortable ride and generous safety features. The subcompact Kia Rio competes with the Honda Fit, Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris.

Road Test Video Reviews

2019 Kia Rio Owner Reviews

6 Reviews
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Need to save money on gas? Get a Kia Rio!

2019 Kia Rio LX

So far I've had no problems. I love how the car drives. It's almost sound proof on the inside. The car itself is very quiet. Seats are comfortable and all the features are amazing. The fact that it only takes $20 to fill up the gas tank is by far my most favorite things about this vehicle. Overall I think it's amazing and I recommend it to everyone I know!

- Amy N

Comfortable, nice, reliable

2019 Kia Rio S

I love this car! Amazing features great on gas. Love the big touch screen radio with apple carplay. I've had no issues and no complaints. Backup camera is amazing with the big screen. Distance and radius of viewing is perfect. Very clear! Except the warning beep doesn't go off when you get close

- Heather L

My awesome Kia Rio! I love it!!

2019 Kia Rio LX

I just bought it brand new! It had 18 miles on it when I drove it off the lot! It runs great! It has the features I wanted! It gets 35-45 mpg and it saves me a lot on gas! I took it to Tennessee and it got 44.5 miles per gallon on the highway at 70 mph!

- Elizabeth A

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