Acceleration and Power

All Rio and Rio5 models have a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 110 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the Rio sedan, and a four-speed automatic is available for around $800 on all models except the base sedan. The Rio5 has the same 1.6 liter engine, but comes standard with a four-speed automatic transmission.

The EPA estimates that the 2011 Rio achieves 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with the standard manual transmission. The automatic transmission, which is standard on the Rio5, nets 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. These numbers -- particularly the city fuel economy rating -- are good for the class.

The Kia Rio is not a powerful car, but test drivers say it works well as a daily driver. For a more fun–to-drive experience, try the manual transmission. Reviewers find its acceleration is sprightly, while the automatic transmission is a bit sluggish.

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