Kia's Rio5 hatchback competes with other small hatchbacks, including the Chevrolet Aveo5, Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris.
The Rio5 is related to Kia's Rio sedan, which is listed separately in the Cars.com Research section. Available only in SX trim, the Rio5 comes standard with side-impact and side curtain airbags. Changes for 2008 are relatively minor.
Created with a European-inspired exterior, the Rio5 features a black mesh grille and swept-back headlights. Black side moldings are installed, and the bumpers contain black inserts. The wheel well openings have a sculpted design, and body-colored mirrors are installed.
The hatchback features fog lamps, a rear spoiler, 15-inch alloy wheels and power steering; 16-inch alloy wheels are optional.
The Rio5 can seat up to five. Standard equipment includes variable intermittent wipers and a rear-window defroster. Additional features include air conditioning, a CD stereo with four speakers, a tilt steering column and a 60/40-split folding backseat.
All Rio5s have dashboard chrome accents and red stitching on the steering wheel, shift knob and door panels. An auxiliary input jack for MP3 players in the LX and SX is new for 2008, as is the Rio5's cupholder design and center gauge cluster. The shift knobs for both the automatic and the manual transmission have also been redesigned.
The hatchback can hold 15.8 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seat. With the seat folded, space increases to 49.6 cubic feet. An optional Power Package includes remote keyless entry and power windows, locks and mirrors.
Under the Hood
The Rio5's 1.6-liter four-cylinder develops 110 horsepower and 107 pounds-feet of torque. Either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission can be installed.
Seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags and front seat belt pretensioners are standard. Antilock brakes are optional.
The Rio5's handling capabilities exceed expectations; it maneuvers eagerly through urban or rural environments, and its body rolls less than anticipated.
Backseat space isn't too appealing. Legroom even in the outer positions is marginal if the front seat is moved appreciably rearward. In addition, the hard rear seatback reclines too much for true comfort. Still, headroom is passable and foot space is adequate. Climbing into the backseat isn't very difficult.
Despite short seat bottoms, the front seats are rather comfortable. Cargo space in the Rio5 is less than bountiful, but visibility is unobstructed.