2005 Kia Rio

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2005 Kia Rio. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    28 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    104-hp, 1.6-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Fuel economy
  • Instrument readability
  • Fun to drive
  • Ride comfort on smooth surfaces
  • Seat comfort

The Bad

  • Performance with automatic
  • Resale value
  • Backseat space
  • Side-impact crash-test ratings
  • No side-impact airbags

Notable Features of the 2005 Kia Rio

  • 104-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • Sedan and wagon body styles

2005 Kia Rio Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Introduced for the 2001 model year, the South Korean-built Kia Rio sedan was touted as the lowest-priced car on the American market. Kia launched a Rio Cinco wagon companion for the 2002 model year.

Both subcompact body styles were redesigned and gained some welcome power for 2003. The current 1.6-liter four-cylinder generates 104 horsepower. A reinforced steering wheel and column mount were meant to produce less vibration. A larger front stabilizer bar aimed to improve handling, while an enhanced suspension was installed to improve ride comfort.

Changes for 2005 are technical in nature and include an enhanced onboard diagnostics system and the adoption of LEV-II emissions standards.

With all of its models, Kia focuses on a blend of affordability and reliability. Kia provides a long-term warranty that covers the whole vehicle for five years/60,000 miles and major powertrain components for 10 years/100,000 miles. Redesigned Rios are expected to debut for the 2006 model year.
(Skip to details on the: Rio Cinco)


Exterior
The Rio's front-end styling was reworked in 2003, and the sedan's rear end got a new trunk lid, taillights and back bumper. Apart from that front and rear freshening, the Rio and Rio Cinco look about the same as the early versions. The basic design evolved from the Kia-built Ford Aspire of the mid-1990s.

Interior
The Rio and Rio Cinco got additional standard equipment in 2003, including fade-out lighting, rear-seat heater vents and LATCH chi...
Vehicle Overview
Introduced for the 2001 model year, the South Korean-built Kia Rio sedan was touted as the lowest-priced car on the American market. Kia launched a Rio Cinco wagon companion for the 2002 model year.

Both subcompact body styles were redesigned and gained some welcome power for 2003. The current 1.6-liter four-cylinder generates 104 horsepower. A reinforced steering wheel and column mount were meant to produce less vibration. A larger front stabilizer bar aimed to improve handling, while an enhanced suspension was installed to improve ride comfort.

Changes for 2005 are technical in nature and include an enhanced onboard diagnostics system and the adoption of LEV-II emissions standards.

With all of its models, Kia focuses on a blend of affordability and reliability. Kia provides a long-term warranty that covers the whole vehicle for five years/60,000 miles and major powertrain components for 10 years/100,000 miles. Redesigned Rios are expected to debut for the 2006 model year.
(Skip to details on the: Rio Cinco)


Exterior
The Rio's front-end styling was reworked in 2003, and the sedan's rear end got a new trunk lid, taillights and back bumper. Apart from that front and rear freshening, the Rio and Rio Cinco look about the same as the early versions. The basic design evolved from the Kia-built Ford Aspire of the mid-1990s.

Interior
The Rio and Rio Cinco got additional standard equipment in 2003, including fade-out lighting, rear-seat heater vents and LATCH child-safety seat anchors. The instrument panel and center console were updated to include new cupholders. Updated seat fabric was installed, and the front door panels gained map pockets with an integrated bottle holder.

Even though up to five occupants can fit inside the Rio, the backseat is a tight squeeze for three. Kia says the Rio's seats are higher than normal and provide a commanding view for the driver and passengers. The height-adjustable driver's seat includes an integral fold-down armrest.

Air conditioning, a CD player and power windows are optional. An upgrade package for the sedan includes power steering, a tilt steering wheel, a tachometer and vanity mirrors.


Under the Hood
The Rio's 1.6-liter four-cylinder produces 104 hp. A five-speed-manual gearbox is standard and a four-speed-automatic transmission is optional.

Safety
Antilock brakes are optional, but side-impact airbags are not available.

Driving Impressions
Even more than the Rio sedan, the Rio Cinco wagon benefits from the 2003 power increase. Most other features and characteristics regarding the Rio Cinco are pleasing. It's easy and fun to drive. On good roads, the ride is admirably smooth and its handling isn't bad. The Rio Cinco stays right on course by taking curves competently and maneuvering adeptly, with quick steering response.

The seats are nicely cushioned, comfortable, well bolstered and attractively upholstered. In addition, the seat bottoms are considerably longer than what's customary in small cars. The gauges are clear and easy to read at a glance.


Rio Cinco
Other than its body style, the Rio Cinco wagon is essentially the same as the Rio sedan. Rio Cincos gained standard alloy wheels and body-colored rear trim for 2004. The driver's seat now has lumbar support. "Cinco" translates to five in Spanish, which denotes the number of doors on this Lilliputian wagon. The Rio Cinco is available in only one trim level, and a body-colored rear spoiler is available. Maximum cargo volume is 44.3 cubic feet.

The Rio Cinco has front buckets and a three-place, 60/40-split folding rear seat. A tachometer, CD player, tilt steering wheel and power steering are standard. Back to top



Latest 2005 Rio Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(3.9)
Performance
(3.0)
Interior Design
(3.7)
Comfort
(3.6)
Reliability
(3.8)
Value For The Money
(3.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(3.0)

Ok car

by Ks from Lake harmony pa on May 22, 2018

Was really small and didn?t have a whole lot of power driving up hill which was a pretty bad problem living in the mountains. Other than that it was pretty reliable. Had no issues with it. Would ... Read full review

(3.0)

You get what you pay for

by Han Deckman from Allentown, PA on July 19, 2017

the vehicle itself is not bad. Needs to be treated with care and driven carefully. Very small, small engine with small wheels. not too great in the snow given that the vehicle is very light. Does have ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2005 Kia Rio currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2005 Kia Rio has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Rio received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker