2021 Kia Rio

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starting MSRP

2021 Kia Rio
2021 Kia Rio

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Fuel type


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

172.6” x 57.1”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • Stable handling
  • Quiet at cruising speed
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Cargo room
  • Automatic emergency braking available

The bad:

  • Tight backseat
  • Modest engine power

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • LX


  • S


Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2021 Kia Rio trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Sedans for 2023

Notable features

  • Updated front-end styling
  • 8-inch touchscreen now standard
  • Sedan and four-door hatchback body styles
  • Four-cylinder engine, automatic transmission
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto standard

2021 Kia Rio review: Our expert's take

What Is the 2021 Kia Rio?

The Kia Rio is a front-wheel-drive, five-seat subcompact car that’s offered in sedan and four-door hatchback body styles. It’s powered by a 120-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that drives a continuously variable automatic transmission. Competitors include the Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent.

What’s New on the 2021 Kia Rio?

The Rio gets light front and rear updates that include revised grille and bumper styling. There’s also a new standard 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.  

What Features in the 2021 Kia Rio Are Most Important?

Standard features include:

  • Heated side mirrors
  • Air conditioning
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Power windows

Available features include:

  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Remote keyless entry
  • 60/40-split, folding backseat
  • Automatic air conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Driver attention monitor

Should I Buy the 2021 Kia Rio?

A city car that’s competent on the highway, the Rio also offers good cargo room regardless of whether you choose the sedan or hatchback version. Its backseat, however, is tight. EPA-estimated gas mileage is impressive, but engine power is modest.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value for the money 4.7
  • Exterior styling 4.8
  • Reliability 4.8

Most recent consumer reviews


Great commuter car / student car

2021 Rio S - bought new 2021, had for 2 years, no issues. Great commuter car / student car. Positive: Comfortable with good leg /head room. Gas mileage excellent. Excels at speeds around 55-65mph. Gets 46 mpg at this speed range on longer trips. Negative: Does not handle as well at higher speeds versus larger cars > 65mpg.


Good budget car

For its price point, the Kia Rio delivers and has *been* delivering for a couple years now. It is a very simple car with modest interior design but an exterior design that makes it stand out a bit more from the crowd, something that people complaining of cars all looking alike these days might find interest in. The ride is comfortable enough, and its performance on the road is enough to keep up with other cars without trouble; it is very easy on the gas and the steering wheel. The Rio is a reliable car. Mine had a leak in the transmission pan fairly early on, but that has been the only issue. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a simple budget car, especially one for a teenager.


Love my Car

I love this car it’s little sporty not to small not to big ,very easy to drive and to turns very east love the inside ‘ nice big trunk I could go on and on.

See all 13 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Kia
New car program benefits
60 months/60,000 miles
60 months/100,000 miles
120 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/60,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
6 years or newer/less than 80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles
10 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
165-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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