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2020 Kia Rio Sedan Overview

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2020 Kia Rio exterior
2020 Kia Rio sedan
Photo: Kia

In 1999, Kia introduced the subcompact Rio sedan to the world along with its five-door station wagon variant. Since then, it’s received a few facelifts and upgrades and is now in its fourth generation. For 2020, the Rio sees no exterior visual changes; all updates have been made under the hood and within the cabin.

The 2020 Kia Rio sedan is available at two trim levels: LX and S.

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What’s new for the 2020 Kia Rio?

As mentioned, the 2020 Rio sees some changes under the hood in the form of a new powertrain. To further improve the Rio’s exceptional efficiency, the all-new Gamma 2 1.6-liter engine replaces the Gamma 1 from previous model years while an intelligent variable transmission replaces the six-speed automatic. On the inside, a 7-inch color touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is now standard for both trims.


Although it’s not the flashiest Kia model in the lineup, the 2020 Rio is still quite modern, thanks to its stylish and aerodynamic design. It all starts in the front with the black mesh front grille between the halogen multi-reflector headlights (LED positioning headlights on the S trim). Heated outside mirrors and heated rear glass add a touch of luxury on this practical vehicle while the space-saver spare tire is something of a commodity in today’s automotive lineup, as some newer cars don’t even include this helpful amenity.

  • 2020 Kia Rio exterior
  • 2020 Kia Rio exterior
  • 2020 Kia Rio exterior
  • 2020 Kia Rio exterior


Kia refers to the interior of the Rio as “your feel-good cabin” because of its comfortable seating, advanced tech, and convenient features. The tricot and woven cloth seat trim is available in black or gray and the driver’s seat is adjustable in six ways. Additional accommodating features include front and rear door map pockets, bottle holders in the front and rear doors, an overhead sunglasses holder, an illuminated glove box, and a trunk net to keep your cargo in place.

When it comes to technology, the 2020 Rio is equipped with a standard 7-inch touch-screen display with a six-speaker audio system. As mentioned before, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as well as Siri Eyes Free and Bluetooth. You’ll also find a 12-volt power outlet and a USB/auxiliary input jack on the LX trim while the S offers two additional charging USB ports. The Kia UVO eServices infotainment system is standard on the Rio S and comes with complimentary SiriusXM Satellite Radio for three months.

2020 Kia Rio interior
2020 Kia Rio sedan interior
Photo: Kia

Performance and efficiency

The newly added 1.6-liter Gamma 2 engine under the hood paired with the new intelligent variable transmission help the Rio produce 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque. While that may not seem like much, when you add in the Motor Driven Power Steering, responsiveness and control are elevated, creating a fun-to-drive subcompact vehicle.

A practical car like the Rio sedan isn’t meant to impress on the track. Instead, it offers outstanding fuel economy, saving you money in the long run. Both trims can get up to 33 mpg in the city, 41 mpg on the highway, and 36 mpg combined.

Want Something Bigger? Check out the all-new 2021 Kia Seltos SUV instead


Active safety features on the 2020 Rio, like the anti-lock braking system and Electronic Stability Control, were designed to give you increased control behind the wheel. Meanwhile, the high-strength steel frame combined with the Rio’s suite of airbags add extra protection in the event of an accident. For even more peace of mind while driving, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist is standard on the Rio S.

Standard safety features:

  • Dual front advanced, dual front seat-mounted, and full-length side curtain airbags
  • Three-point seat belts for all seating positions
  • Front seat belt pretensioners
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Vehicle Stability Management
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution
  • Hill Start Assist Control
  • Tire-Pressure Monitoring System
  • Side-impact door beams
  • Front and rear crumple zones
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children
  • Rear child-safety door locks