The 2012 Kia Rio hatchback will start at just $14,350 (after a $750 destination charge). That price buys a Rio LX with a six-speed manual transmission, while upgrading to an LX with a six-speed automatic transmission costs $15,450. The top-of-the-line Rio SX commands $18,750.
All 2012 Kia Rio models are equipped with a direct-injected 1.6-liter inline-four engine, which is good for 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. The car returns 30/40 mpg (city/highway) regardless of transmission choice. In addition, from early 2012 the Rio will be available with Kia’s ISG engine stop-start system to further reduce fuel consumption when the car is stopped.
Standard equipment on all trims includes air conditioning, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary audio inputs, and hill-start assist. The SX trim wears 17-inch wheels, LED lighting accents, sportier suspension tuning and larger front brakes, fog lights, and a UVO voice-activated infotainment system.
Those prices put the Kia Rio near the top of the class when stacked up against its competitors; however, the Rio also offers premium features such as a navigation system that none of the competition has. The Chevrolet Sonic hatchback starts at $15,395 and maxes out at about $18,845 when fully loaded. The 2012 Hyundai Accent GS hatchback starts at $15,355 and the loaded Accent SE is $16,555. The 2012 Toyota Yaris L five-door costs $15,900 and the top-spec Yaris SE five-door costs $17,960.