2012 Kia Rio 5
1-10 of 22 reviews
Test drive review

RIO 5 Door SX Is Best In Class

by from Upstate South Carolina on January 9, 2012

The 5 Door KIA RIO SX is clearly the best car in its class and the driving experience can only be described as pure fun. There are other competitors in this class that are better in one or two areas, ...
The 5 Door KIA RIO SX is clearly the best car in its class and the driving experience can only be described as pure fun. There are other competitors in this class that are better in one or two areas, but none have the overall combination of a terrific engine with an excellent 6 speed automatic transmission, lots of interior room, fantastic looks, an abundance of safety features, high tech gadgets, nimble handling, and the best warranty in the industry. If you like the KIA Forte SX 5 Door, think of the RIO as its smaller brother. The RIO is extremely comfortable on long trips, which is unusual for a small car. The SX model has nifty looking 17 inch wheels, low profile tires, and a sports tuned suspension. The RIO is not a sports car, but handling is as good as or better than any other car in this class. Interior cabin space is very good @ 88 cubic feet, but the storage areas are not as large as the KIA Forte hatchback, which has 19.4 cu feet behind the rear seats. The RIO hatchback has a smaller but adequate 15 cubic feet. However, that expands to almost 50 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. The front seats are very comfortable and you cannot see the hood while driving, I like that. The audio system is good but not great. At first I didn't appreciate the nifty rear view camera, but it grows on you every day and now I don't know what I would do without it. I truly love driving this nimble car but it doesn't handle rough road surfaces, such as highway expansion joints, with a soft cushy feel. A slightly stiffer ride is the trade off one gets with the tighter, better handling of the SX Sports Suspension package. The RIO has 4 wheel disc brakes, traction and electronic stability control, plus numerous air bags. The front seats are extremely comfortable and I like the sleek, aerodynamic look, the LED running lights, the LED lights on the outside mirrors, and the LED brake lights. Can you believe the outside mirrors are heated electronically and fold into the car with the touch of a button? Driving only on the highway, I get about 38-39 mpg. Operating @ 70mph, rpms are approximately 2500, which tells me the engine is not working hard on the Interstate. I can accelerate onto the highway and/or pass other cars with relative ease. When driving strictly in the city with numerous traffic lights, I'm getting only 23-25 mpg. I estimate my combined city-highway mileage between 31 and 33 mpg. Note: The RIO has the same engine and transmission as the Hyundai Accent but it looks much better, has the Microsoft UVO system, LED lighting, folding outside mirrors, and a rear view camera.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

This car ROCKS!

by from VT/NM on October 29, 2011

We looked at all of the subcompacts out there; there are a lot of good choices. We chose this one and here?s why: 40 mpg/highway (we?ve been doing around 43 mpg right from the start), comfort, style, ...
We looked at all of the subcompacts out there; there are a lot of good choices. We chose this one and here?s why: 40 mpg/highway (we?ve been doing around 43 mpg right from the start), comfort, style, road manners, and fit/finish. We took delivery on an EX series with convenience package which includes Alloy wheels, fog/driving lamps, UVO ?infotainment center? leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob? all delivered for under $18000! The seats and driving position with tilt and telescoping steering wheel are extremely comfortable for this 6? driver. Ours is Signal Red with alloy wheels? edgy, really sharp! All of the controls and gauges are easy to read, and easy to reach. All of the surfaces are tight fit, this car feels solid! We chose an EX series instead of the SX for the slightly softer suspension and higher profile tire? This car is very stable and secure on the curvy mountain roads in VT, the ride is firm and controlled. The 6 speed automatic with Sport shifter is easy to use and REALLY fun! Unlike 4 speed automatic transmissions, this one doesn't "redline" the tachometer when it down sifts. Most of the time this engine runs at a relatively low rpm unless your ask it to do more. It is very quiet and smooth running at all speeds. Shifting is instantaneous. There is excellent visibility at night with powerful headlights and low beam is enhanced with fog lamps. I am surprised how much I enjoy the ?infotainment center?, a voice activated system for radio, Sirius XM, Jukebox, Bluetooth. It?s intuitive and easy to set up? The leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob is sweet! ?all this and the best warranty out there.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Nice Little Car

by from Woodbury, Minnesota on January 16, 2012

Kia Rio is a very fun car to drive. The gas mileage is pretty good. I was hoping it would be closer to the 40MPG mark, but overall it's at about 35, so that's not too bad considering there is some cit...
Kia Rio is a very fun car to drive. The gas mileage is pretty good. I was hoping it would be closer to the 40MPG mark, but overall it's at about 35, so that's not too bad considering there is some city driving involved. So far the winter driving has been OK, but I have not had to stop fast on icy roads yet, so I'm not real sure about that yet. The back-up mirror is great. My biggest complaint is getting a car seat in and out. The latches are impossible to reach with the seat in the normal position. You have to tip the backseat forward to get to where you can reach them. If you finally can get them latched, don't plan to take the car seat out again. It's almost impossible to get out. I finally managed to get the thing unlatched, but it took a good 15 minutes. I called the dealership to see if I was doing something wrong, but they didn't have any suggestions. I think the next time I need to use a car seat, I'll just use the seat belt and the back latch. That one works fine. Other than that, I'm enjoying driving it.
Comfort
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Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

2012 Kia Rio5

by from Key West, FL on November 28, 2011

Well after 30 days of Ownership of my new 2012 Kia Rio5 I have to admit I`m pretty impressed. I bought mine as they drove it off the Car Carrier Trailer! It was exactly the combination I was looking f...
Well after 30 days of Ownership of my new 2012 Kia Rio5 I have to admit I`m pretty impressed. I bought mine as they drove it off the Car Carrier Trailer! It was exactly the combination I was looking for. Clear White with Beige Interior in "LX" Trim with Automatic Transmission, the optional Power Package, (PW, PL, and Remote Key Fob), and of course the Carpeted Floor Mats. MSRP of $16, 545 including Delivery/Transportation costs. Only have one serious gripe. The Radio and Speakers are the worst of any car that I have ever owned. I drove the upgraded "EX" Trim that has the extra 2 Tweeter Speakers located in the A Pillar and it hardly improved anything. One would not expect a Bose or Infinity quality sound system in a 16K vehicle, but this is ridiculous! Other then the Radio and its Speaker quality, Kia hit a homerun with its new 2012 Rio5. I expect that for the 2013 Model Year refresh they will address this issue if not later this year during the remainder of the 2012 production run.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Excellent Value loaded with Luxury Features!

by from Indianapolis, IN on March 29, 2012

I purchased a 2012 Kia Rio5 SX in White with Premium Package (Navigation, Sunroof, Leather, etc) in December 2011. Pros: 1) Lots of luxury features for a low price 2)Great looks, fun to drive, great ...
I purchased a 2012 Kia Rio5 SX in White with Premium Package (Navigation, Sunroof, Leather, etc) in December 2011. Pros: 1) Lots of luxury features for a low price 2)Great looks, fun to drive, great value 3) Long warranty Cons: 1) MPG overstated?..more like 26 city / 36 hwy 2) Rear camera delay to come on with Navigation I?m very happy with my Kia Rio5 SX. I?ve owned it now for over 3 months and I?m still delighted with it. I?ve owned over two dozen cars, including luxury cars, bigger cars, and this is a great car. I wanted a car that got good gas mileage, had luxury features, looked nice, and that didn?t cost too much. I really like the versatility the hatchback offers to haul stuff. This vehicle has the longest warranty and most optional features in its class, all at a competitive price. Even after three months, I still have friends asking me about my car since they all love how it looks with the 17 inch Kia wheels (and tinted windows that I had done on it). This totally fits the bill and I was surprised I found this in a Kia which I?d never owned before. I used to have a 2010 redesigned Chevrolet Equinox SUV. The size adjustment was fine, but I could use a bigger gas tank to allow longer fuel range and a tad more storage spaces. Although the fuel economy is good, it?s a tad disappointed when it?s rated at 30 city / 40 hwy mpg, when I?m only getting 26 city / 36 hwy mpg. With the Navigation model, the reverse rear camera has a delay of a few seconds to come on when you first start vehicle and put it in reverse. I like how the side view mirrors fold in, but only with a press of a button. There is no automatic option for them to automatically fold in or fold out. Despite my minor complaints, this is great car and one of the best values out there.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Great Small Car

by from Ft Collins, CO on October 26, 2011

I just traded in my 2010 Forte (which was wonderful) for the Rio5 SX. The day after I got it, it snowed, and, for a small car, it handles great in snow. The traction control is definitely helpful, and...
I just traded in my 2010 Forte (which was wonderful) for the Rio5 SX. The day after I got it, it snowed, and, for a small car, it handles great in snow. The traction control is definitely helpful, and the 17 inch wheels make for a smooth ride. UVO is awesome! It's nice to have all my music in my car without having to connect an iPad/Pod. The touch screen interface is intuitive and easy to use. There is not a ton of leg room for adults in the back seats, but it is not uncomfortable. The rear view camera is a handy feature for backing up in tight spots. The best thing, is the 30/40 MPG! If anyone needs a fuel miser that looks like a sassy Pokemon. I highly recommend this great little car!!!
Comfort
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Interior Design
Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Review "Update" after 5 Months of Ownership

by from Key West, FL on April 4, 2012

After 5 months of ownership and just over 3200 miles driven, I must say that Kia must have "Tweeked" the 2012 Kia Rio5 that they provided the EPA to gets its Fuel Estimate Numbers! As most of the prev...
After 5 months of ownership and just over 3200 miles driven, I must say that Kia must have "Tweeked" the 2012 Kia Rio5 that they provided the EPA to gets its Fuel Estimate Numbers! As most of the previous poster have mentioned, the 30 mpg City and 40 mpg Highway was grossly overstated. More like 27 mpg City and barely 35 mpg Highway is closer to the truth. The (2) Posters that reported 45 mpg Highway and combined 41 mpg City/Hwy either did`nt calculate correctly or these numbers were posted by Kia! My old 2006 Kia Rio5 with a similar 1.6 ltr engine, (4) speed automatic Transmission and (without) GDI got better gas mileage. My 2011 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback has (always) delivered 35 mpg City and 41/43 mpg Highway and thats (without) GDI. The new 2012 Kia Rio5 is sharp looking, comfortable, and fun to drive, but if your looking for a "Gas Sipper" as Gasoline heads for $5.00 @ Gal. you better look elsewhere. With these mpg numbers, you might as well go for the Forte or Optima which might even get better fuel economy.
Comfort
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Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car

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Test drive review

Great Car for the Money /Long Term Review

by from Florida on May 10, 2014

The Rio for the price can not be beat , have gotten many comments for people asking me if I brought the car from Europe as it has very European styling much like the Seat Leon from Spain. Have a red E...
The Rio for the price can not be beat , have gotten many comments for people asking me if I brought the car from Europe as it has very European styling much like the Seat Leon from Spain. Have a red EX and could not be happier , traded a Mazda 3 for this and although could use more horsepower (Kia how about a 1.4 turbo) after 37,000 miles have had nothing but trouble free driving. With the exception of oil changes and changing the wipers after 2 years haven't had to do one other thing. My elderly parents prefer to ride in the Rio to their Altima as they say it is higher up and more comfortable. Agreed with folks that point out the seats are uncomfortable on long drives but remember folks that they are made of castor beans and 85% of this car can be recycled so you are doing something for the environment at the same time and many car companies can not say that... also in the past the problems were never the motors as Kia motors are know to last forever it was always the bodys that were no good , so it was for sure a win win situation for me to get this car and for the price with the standard equipment you get can not beat the price.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

So far so good

by from houston,texas on December 2, 2012

So far so good. I am still in the getting to know you phase. It is good on gas. There are so many bumps in the city, so far so good with the ride
So far so good. I am still in the getting to know you phase. It is good on gas. There are so many bumps in the city, so far so good with the ride
Comfort
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Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Very good on gas.

by from N.E PA on April 30, 2012

Economical and fun to drive. Love the voice command phone system. Good technologt for a small price.
Economical and fun to drive. Love the voice command phone system. Good technologt for a small price.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Our Expert Review: 2012 Kia Rio 5