Consumer Reports found the Kia Rio a solid and well-equipped car with nimble handling, simple controls and plenty of features for the price. Their test vehicle was a Kia Rio EX sedan ($17,275 as tested) with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine making 138-hp with 30-mpg overall. They noted that the six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly while both ride and noise were tolerable for a subcompact. They were also pleased with the braking performance of the Rio and found the trunk to be roomy.
The hatchback, on the other hand, came in third place behind the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa in the subcompact hatchbacks category. Despite the Versa having a strong showing among the hatchbacks, the sedan plunged from being at the top of Consumer Reports’ ratings to the bottom. Complaints from Consumer Reports include the engine’s whirring, jittery ride on the highway and unimpressive interior.
Even with its redesign, the Toyota Yaris continued to garner very low scores from Consumer Reports, which calling it “bare-bones transportation.” They reported that the Yaris is noisy, has a choppy ride, poor handling and slow acceleration.
The biggest surprise is probably the new Chevrolet Sonic getting high marks for its quiet cabin, agile handling, and excellent braking. What hurt the Sonic was its fuel economy, which Consumer Reports said is mediocre for the class. Even though Consumer Reports tested a fully-loaded Sonic LTZ turbocharged hatchback, they found that it was too expensive and “didn’t live up to its sporty aspirations.”