The 2017 model year marks the last iteration of the fourth production cycle for the Rio, which functions as KIA's subcompact car. Apart from the SX trim being gone, there are no changes between the 2017 model and last year. As a four-door sedan, the 2017 KIA Rio is available as a base-level LX and upper-level EX trim.


With two rows of seats that can accommodate up to five people, the 2017 KIA Rio provides 88.4 cubic feet of passenger volume. Standard cargo space is measured at 13.7 cubic feet, although you can fold down the rear seats to extend it from the trunk to the cabin. The front row includes a 6-way adjustable driver's seat, and all seats have cloth trim. However, on the upper-level EX, the rows get premium knit cloth trim for a fresher, more sophisticated look. Optional on either trim is two-tone cloth-and-leather seat trim with gray accent stitching. Regarding comfort and convenience, the KIA Rio starts off with a three-month complimentary subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, steering wheel-mounted audio buttons, and a four-speaker stereo system that comprises an AM/FM radio tuner and a single-disc CD player with MP3 playback ability. On the EX, KIA adds cruise control, two tweeters for the audio system, Bluetooth wireless technology, and keyless entry, with the option of adding UVO eServices for integrating infotainment controls and a 4.3-inch touchscreen display with a rearview camera.


At the base level, the new KIA Rio includes a pair of power heated mirrors, a black mesh radiator grille, power heated mirrors, and halogen headlights among its standard exterior features. On the EX, KIA adds chrome accents on the grille and installs a pair of fog lights beneath the headlights for penetrating illumination when needed. In addition, with the EX, you can get auto light control, so that the headlights turn off and on depending on the level of outdoor sunlight. The LX trim rides on 15-inch steel wheels with full covers, while the EX gets 15-inch alloy ones.


The small size of the new KIA Rio belies its sturdiness and stability-thanks to its steel unibody construction, rather than several pieces glued to the frame. With a MacPherson strut front suspension accompanied by a stabilizer bar and a coupled torsion beam rear suspension-with each axle sporting gas shock absorbers-the car provides a stable and smooth ride. The steering draws its power from an independent electric motor, rather than dissipating the engine's effectiveness by drawing from its output; the result is an improved fuel economy.


Using a front-engine front-wheel-drive layout, the 2017 KIA Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter Gamma inline 4-cylinder engine, which generates 138 horsepower at 6,300 RPM and 123 lb-ft of torque at 4,850 RPM. The LX comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, although you have the option of getting the 6-speed automatic transmission on the EX. Notably, the 6-speed auto includes a Sportmatic shifter to simulate manual gear shifting. However, omitted from the EX but added on the LX is the Active Eco System, which involves proactive control of parts of the engine, transmission, and air conditioning system to optimize gas mileage. Also, with the LX, you have the option of adding Idle Stop and Go technology, which shuts down the engine when pressing the brake pedal and turns it back on when you resume driving. Idle Stop and Go consequently cuts down engine idling (thus the name) and contributes to optimizing gas mileage.


For crash safety, the new KIA Rio comes with a pair of front impact airbags that face the driver and front passenger, a pair of side impact airbags installed on the front seats, and dual front-side and dual rear-side curtain airbags mounted on the roof. The Rio has all-wheel disc brakes for quickened response to pressure on the brake pedal; and they are accompanied by an anti-lock braking system to prevent wheel lock-up during sudden stops and electronic brake-force distribution to properly distribute stopping force to all the wheels. Also standard on the Rio are electronic stability control to detect and reduce loss of traction and hill start assist control to prevent the car from rolling backward when driving from a parked position on a hill.

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