2008 Kia Rio Review

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

6.6
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Styling
7.0
Expert Rating
Performance
6.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
7.0
Expert Rating
Safety
6.0
Expert Rating
Features
7.0
Expert Rating
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

The 2008 Kia Rio is a good choice among subcompacts and it’s stylish, but standard anti-lock brakes and better side-impact protection would help its case against the Honda Fit.

TheCarConnection.com's editors read the latest reviews on the new 2008 Kia Rio to write this comprehensive review. Our car experts also drove the 2008 Kia Rio to be able to deliver our definitive opinion on the car, to compare it with other cars in the class, and to help you decide if the Rio is the best car for you.

The 2008 Kia Rio sedan is a near-copy of the Hyundai Accent, while the five-door Rio5 is a distinct model not shared by Kia's South Korean cousin.

The Rio and Rio5, both offered in LX and SX models, share a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 110 horsepower. It can be teamed with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic. Power is a relative term, but since the Rios are small, they feel quick on their feet. Fuel economy for the new model year hits 25/35 mpg for the automatic, 27/32 mpg for manual shift cars--good but not great numbers compared to the Honda Fit's 28/34 mpg.

The Rio SX versions have specific tires and suspension settings, and feel slightly more sporting. The brakes seem strong, but the Rio's manual shift linkage can feel imprecise. Engine noise is a problem, too.

There is nothing cramped about the interior, and even the rear seating area offers plenty of leg, head, and shoulder room for an average adult male. Remember, it's a subcompact, not an SUV, so the Rio should be used for four adults on shorter trips. The seats themselves are fairly comfortable, and the interior trim is of a good grade for this price class. On the Rio5, a fairly large cargo area tucks beneath the hatchback.

While the base model is fairly unadorned, the 2008 Kia Rio LX models have a CD stereo, and they offer a Power Package that includes power locks, mirrors, and windows; keyless entry; and heated mirrors. The SX version gets sport tuning for its suspension, fog lights, and a spoiler. An auxiliary jack for MP3 players is standard on all Rios.

Six airbags--including side, curtain, and dual front airbags--are standard, while anti-lock brakes are optional. Kia scores four- and five-star ratings for crash protection in the 2008 Rio and Rio5, but side impact protection lags with a three-star rating for passenger side protection.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015
For 2008 Kia Rio

I love my rio!

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After 70""" miles the acceleration is still in good shape, fuel consumption just fine, I'd recommend this car
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Saturday, February 13, 2016
For 2016 Kia Rio

Get the right options and model and this car is a standout.

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My 2012 Rio SX is everything I need, sporty with 17" wheels, navigation, heated leather seats and nearly 40 mpg. Equipping this car right turns it from an econobox to a small but extraordinarily roomy road... + More »
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016
2016 Kia Rio 4-Door Sedan Manual LX

Very happy with the car!

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I've had my 2015 Rio LX+ with the 6-speed manual and have driven it more than 20k Km. I really enjoy driving it. I'm very happy with it's overall performance which I consider FUN. Wish the passenger seat is... + More »
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