2009 Kia Rio Review

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

6.6
on a scale of 1 to 10
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 2009 Kia Rio doesn't quite measure up in the details, but it's a pretty good choice among subcompacts.

To bring you the most useful review of the 2009 Kia Rio, editors at TheCarConnection.com have driven the Rio, then supplemented their firsthand impressions with highlights from other reputable sources.

The 2009 Kia Rio is the smallest, most affordable model from the rapidly growing Korean brand. It comes as either a sedan or a Rio5 five-door hatchback version distinct from its cousin, the three-door Hyundai Accent.

Power is a relative term, but since the Rios are small, they feel quick on their feet. The 2009 Kia 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. Fuel economy for the new model year hits 25 mpg city, 35 highway for the automatic, 27/32 mpg for manual shift cars—good but not great numbers.

Other aspects of the driving experience are quite delightful, considering the price. The Rio handles reasonably well, brakes seem strong, and there's enough peppiness for most driving, aside from high-speed passes; the only exception is that the Rio's manual shift linkage can feel imprecise. The Rio SX versions have specific tires and suspension settings, and they feel slightly sportier. Engine noise is a problem across the line, and it finishes the otherwise satisfying driving impression on a slightly sour note.

But this is a subcompact vehicle, not an SUV, so the 2009 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. Pleasantly, 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. On the Rio5, a fairly large cargo area tucks beneath the hatchback.

Kia scores four- and five-star ratings for crash protection in the 2009 Rio and Rio5, but side-impact protection lags with a three-star rating for passenger side protection. Six airbags—including side, curtain, and dual front airbags—are standard, while anti-lock brakes are optional.

While the base model of the Rio comes with few features, the 2009 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. Newly available for 2009 is Sirius Satellite Radio. LX and SX models get a USB audio port.

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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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Saturday, December 26, 2015
2016 Kia Rio 4-Door Sedan Manual LX

no air conditioning .. no arm rest.. no blue tooth

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I have power windows.. power door locks.. electric and heated side mirrors ...anti patinage... am fm cd mp3 sirus radio.. radio controls on steering wheel ..4 disc brake.. abs.. electric steering wheel .. 2... + More »
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