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.