2011 Kia Rio

Looking for a budget car that could help you run errands and save you from daily public transport commuter buses? Check out the 2011 Kia Rio.


As one belonging to the lowest-priced small cars, the Kia Rio’s high-mileage capability and fuel-efficiency is rather impressive. It has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder motor that produces 110 horsepower. This is not a speed car but it makes a very efficient commuter on a daily basis. It comes with a five-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic transmission, which can be added for a price. Manual cruising may be a bit noisier compared to automatic driving.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $12,295.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 11.9 gallons (45 liters) MPG: 28 city / 34 hwy
Length: 166.9 in. (423 cm) Width: 66.7 in. (169 cm)
Height: 57.9 in. (147 cm) Wheel Base: 98.4 in. (250 cm)
Curb Weight: 2365 lbs (1072 kg) Ground Clearance: 6.1 in. (15 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 11.9 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Engine: 1.6L 16-Valve DOHC inline-4 Displacement: 1599 cc
Horsepower: 110 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 107 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed Manual OD
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Rio LX MSRP: $14,995; MPG: 27 city / 36 hwy
Option:Rio SX MSRP: $16,095; MPG: 27 city / 36 hwy

Exterior & Interior

Some described the Rio’s exterior as outdated and bland. Thanks to the swept-back headlight and black mesh angular grille, Rio achieves a finer, more sculpted look. Unlike other latest Kia models, there is really nothing much to look at here; still the latest style is better than the older versions.

Conservative is the word that best describes the interior design of the Kia Rio. It provides only the barest requirements like a USB auxiliary input jack, a four-speaker audio mechanism and tilt-steering column. With standard materials used to carve its curves and cabins and a rather taut space allotment, this small car can accommodate a modest pack of luggage and up to four adult passengers snugly.

Legroom is quite tight especially for taller passengers and the seats are not as liberally cushioned like other pricier cars. The cargo space is at a small 11.9 cubic feet that could still hold a few large suitcases, cooler, and other road trip gears.

Safety & Reliability

In a test performed by the federal government, the 2011 Rio did a good well. However, with insurance companies, the Kia car fared really low. The front, roof, and rear sides got a poor rating overall. The car is equipped with dual front and set-mounted air bags and full-coverage side curtain air bags as its standard safety features.

The Competition

When it comes to safety, the Kia Rio has a hard time competing with its contemporaries. For the safety conscious, an inexpensive car that comes with impressive safety features is the Toyota Yaris (MSRP $13,715; 29 city / 36 hwy). For a price range that exceeds the Rio, you can get a car with a host of safety devices that is totally unheard of in the lower end of the inexpensive car spectrum. It has a stability control, traction control, brake assist, and an anti-lock braking system propelled by efficient an electronic brake-force distribution.

Performance-wise, the Kia Rio has a long way to go to be considered a powerful car. The Chevrolet Aveo (MSRP $11,965; 27 city / 35 hwy), is a small car that is priced a little less than the Rio, offers several key features that Rio lacks such as a bigger trunk, better design, and air conditioning and power lack upgrade options. The Ford Fiesta (MSRP $13,200; 28 city / 37 hwy) comes with an affordable price, air conditioning, and power locks, which also might interest buyers who are looking at the same price point.

Pros & Cons

Reviewers comment positively about Rio’s old-fashioned but pleasant and comfortable interior. It might not be one of the fastest small cars out there but generally, it gives a perky driving feel to it. The Rio5 model is also praiseworthy for its versatility and sharpness.

Safety is clearly not a hallmark of the 2011 Kia Rio. Reviewers find Rio’s safety ratings as mediocre and its lack of an electronic stability control worrisome. The manual shifter may be problematic at times and obtrusive sound is emitted by the engine especially when it comes to rough roads.


The 2011 Kia Rio does well in saving fuel, but is far behind in the safety race. However, if safety is something you choose to overlook, this inexpensive small car promises to perform really well as a daily commuter with long mileage coverage. Not bad for someone looking for a very affordable car intended for light to moderate commute only.

Overall Rating
61 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2011 Kia Rio has a perky driving feel and roomy interior, though the lack of refinement, low safety scores, and dated styling limit its appeal.”Car Connection

“Urban-friendly size is abetted by quick and accurate steering.”Consumer Guide

“Fuel economy is good but trails the class leaders. The ride is comfortable and quiet. Handling isn’t particularly agile.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Disappointing crash-test results; bland styling; pokey automatic transmission; desirable features cost extra.”Edmunds

“The 2011 Kia Rio is efficient, affordable and reliable.”KBB