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2021 Kia Rio Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2021 Kia Rio?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James MurdochNorman Ruckpaul

Are You Considering a 2021 Kia Rio? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Do you like the look of an SUV but do not want a bulky auto to drive around? Smaller options, like the 2021 Kia Rio, offer the same look and feel of a typical SUV in a compact package. Technically identified as a subcompact car, the Kia Rio offers a hatchback layout with a low stature. Easy to get in and out of, this car also handles exceptionally well due to its compact size. Spunky in spirit, yet economical in price, the 2021 Kia Rio is the car for those who are tired of the monotonous sedan look that has saturated the auto market. If you are looking for something inspiring and different, consider a 2021 Kia Rio.

What's New for 2021?

In 2021, many rivals of the Kia Rio were either taken off the market or replaced. With less competition to go up against, the Kia Rio was free to do as it pleased and show its true colors. Available in sedan and hatchback models, this year's Rio experience a subtle restyling of its front end and rear. It was also the recipient of an upgraded infotainment system that will keep passengers entertained on long drives and make tech control within this model easy. Other than that, the 2021 Kia Rio largely remains the same vehicle we have all come to know and love.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2021 Kia Rio – The Pros

The reasons buyers consider Kia Rio models for purchase are endless. Though we have a few favorites, there are certain additional attributes that make this model widely desirable. Listed below are ten of our top features and concepts the 2021 Kia Rio exhibits.

1. Spirited handling for every type of driver.

A peppy four-cylinder engine and a CVT offer this compact car to sail down crowded city streets with ease and resilience. Handling corners like a pro, you will experience little body roll in this model. Rounding sharp turns nicely, the Kia Rio maintains its stability well.

2. Admirable warranty provisions that draw customers in.

Though the capabilities of a vehicle are what consumers tend to focus on the most, educated clients will understand the need for a great warranty. Regardless of how durable or reliable a brand is, the truth is that cars are driven day in and day out in rough conditions. When something on your Kia Rio breaks, you can rest assured that it is likely covered by a comprehensive manufacturer warranty.

3. Steering feedback that is on point.

Two of the most beneficial attributes of the 2021 Kia Rio are its comfort and steering resistance, which transcends to its handling and feedback to drivers. How your wheels interact with the ground below often determines how the wheel provides feedback in your hands. Due to its short stature and wheel layout, this compact model does a good job of absorbing bumps and impacts in a way that drivers can handle.

4. Quietness within the cabin.

Doing its best to block out road noise, the interior of the 2021 Kia Rio is quite relaxing. Providing a calm driving experience, this car is smooth and refined which adds to its quiet nature nicely. You do not have to worry about excess noise from wind, tires, or the road in this model.

5. Modern climate control provides enhanced comfort.

There is nothing worse than climbing in a car with vents in the front that are expected to circulate air or heat throughout the car. In the 2021 Kia Rio, the climate control system is easy to use and functional. A three dial system makes simplifies its use, while a rear de-froster offers an advantage on cold mornings.

6. Smartphone integration that comes standard.

You do not have to advance up the trim lineup in the 2021 Kia Rio to gain access to smartphone app integration. This functionality comes as standard across all Rio models. Bringing your favorite songs right into the cabin, the infotainment system of the Kia Rio is also Bluetooth compatible.

7. Ample storage solutions for small items.

Oftentimes, we focus on how large the rear cargo area is for storage. Yet, stowing small items is just as important. In fact, creating a place for everything in the cabin promotes safety while driving, as everything is tucked away in its own space. The 2021 Kia Rio excels in providing storage solutions for small items within its cabin.

8. User-friendly controls.

This means everything in a new vehicle. Learning how to operate a new vehicle can be time-consuming and frustrating. The 2021 Kia Rio lays it all out for you in its controls that are easy to use and conveniently located.

9. Exemplary fuel efficiency.

Just as we would expect in a compact model, the Kia Rio is extremely fuel efficient. Saving you time and money at the pump, this model perfectly balances power with fuel efficiency, so it does not skimp on either.

10. Integration voice recognition.

While some models are too loud within the cabin or their speaker do not pick up commands well, the 2021 Kia Rio offers a fully functional voice recognition system that will not let you down.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2021 Kia Rio – The Cons

Although the 2021 Kia Rio offers many benefits to buyers, there are a few things we would change if we got the chance to. Every vehicle has an opportunity for improvements, even if the requested changes are small.

1. Reduced space for passengers that hampers entry and exit.

Though its low stature makes it easy for passengers to get in and out of this vehicle, taller adults may find it less than accommodating. Its low roof means that passengers must duck to get into this vehicle, which can result in a few bumps to the head if you forget to do so.

2. Less cargo space than expected.

All compact models are known for their reduced size and small stature, but the 2021 Kia Rio has even less storage space for cargo than we would ever expect. With just 32 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seats folded down, it would be tough to pack enough items for a trip with rear seat passengers, too.

3. Child seat LATCH anchors that are hard to access.

Many modern vehicles integrate child seat LATCH anchors that allow passengers to secure their child's car seat with easy. Clips in between the cushions allow for quick securing of child seats within the car seat. However, these anchors are hard to access in the Kia Rio and can make car seat installation a pain.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

As we previously stated, many rivals of the Kia Rio have exited the market in recent years. Yet, that does not mean this model has not had its fair share of competitors.

2021 Kia Rio vs 2021 Chevy Spark

Though it is priced slightly higher, the 2021 Kia Rio has more amenities to offer than its 2021 Chevy Spark rival. It also features a more modern CVT compared to the Spark's manual transmission, and it seats five passengers in contrast to the Spark's four passenger limitation. Not only does the Kia Rio offer more advantages than the Chevy Spark, but it is also more fuel efficient. All in all, the 2021 Kia Rio is more equipped and more modern than the 2021 Chevy Spark making it a top choice in this segment.

2021 Kia Rio vs 2021 Honda Civic

The 2021 Kia Rio is strikingly like the 2021 Honda Civic. In the areas where either of these models falls short, the other one excels. For example, the Honda Civic is priced a bit higher than the Kia Rio due to its wide array of amenities, but the Kia Rio boasts a better fuel economy average. The Kia Rio also has a far better warranty than the Honda Civic, as well. Though both models fit the same number of passengers, the Kia Rio is slightly less powerful under the hood but handles better on the open road.


The 2021 Kia Rio is a must-see model for common city commuters and fuel economy enthusiasts. It is small, it is quiet, and it is quite comfortable. These attributes make it a great option for driving long distances. While this model does have a few downfalls, its benefits are far greater than its disadvantages. In fact, the 2021 Kia Rio is one of the only subcompact cars in its market space to remain after many others bailed out. Its dedicated to serving drivers in a way that is responsible and cost-saving is not overlooked. The Kia Rio takes care of buyers by offering an exceptional warranty on top of all the other beneficial elements it incorporates across all models. If you are in the market for a fuel efficient and affordable car, you should consider the 2021 Kia Rio as a top choice.

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