The 2022 Kia Rio Feels Anything but Cheap, MotorTrend Says

Despite its small size, the 2022 Kia Rio stands out. For starters, it has a low starting price of $16,250. And for the amount of standard equipment it boasts, this subcompact car offers above-average value. Most important, the new Rio offers decent engine specs and a solid drive.

The 2022 Kia Rio earned an impressive overall score of 8.4 out of 10 from MotorTrend. According to MT, the car impresses with its low price. Still, it feels well-built and more refined than expected. In addition, the Rio doesn’t feel cheap, unlike some other subcompact cars.

2022 Kia Rio: Best bang for your buck

2022 Kia Rio MotorTrend
2022 Kia Rio | Kia

MotorTend recently tested the 2022 Kia Rio hatchback and found it provides more than expected for under $20,000. It comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. That means you can connect your smartphone and make phone calls, send messages, and get directions at your fingertips.

A four-speaker audio system with two tweeters also comes standard. And if you opt for the 2022 Kia Rio hatchback, you’ll get a rear USB charging port. Push-button start and automatic temperature control are optional.

If you decide to go with the hatchback, you’ll get 17.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 32.8 cubic feet with the seats folded down. The sedan provides 13.7 cubic feet of trunk space.

If you don’t mind spending a bit more, you can add driver-assist technologies such as:

  • Lane-keep assist
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Forward-collision avoidance with pedestrian detection
  • Automatic high beams 

The 2022 Kia Rio’s performance and fuel economy

You’ll get decent performance with the 2022 Kia Rio sedan and hatchback. Both new Rio models pack a peppy 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine making 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque. In testing, the 2021 Rio hatchback hit 60 mph in 8.6 seconds, making it faster than some competitors. 

And if you need efficiency, the Rio has it. According to the EPA, it gets 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. Again, that’s with either the sedan or hatchback.

What is the best 2022 Kia Rio trim to buy?

The 2022 Kia Rio is one of the cheapest new cars on the market. MotorTend testers recommend the more spacious hatchback, priced at just over $18,000. Unfortunately, it offers only one trim level, but you can add the $1,800 Technology package. It’s a good value because you’ll get the additional driver-assist features like lane-keep assist. The Technology package also includes LED headlights and other features that will make your drive more enjoyable.

Is buying a new subcompact car worth it?

As American consumers have leaned toward crossover SUVs, subcompact sedans have left the U.S market within the past few years. For example, Ford discontinued the Fiesta, Honda retired the Fit, and Nissan removed the Versa Note from its lineup.

So if you’re thinking about buying a subcompact car, now might be the right time for a Kia Rio.

RELATED: Consumer Reports Somehow Recommends the Kia Rio Over the Kia Forte