2008 Kia Rio Photo

2008 Kia Rio - Quality Review

 Get email updates
What will I get by subscribing to email updates?

At The Car Connection we are continually striving to get you timely, relevant information about the vehicle you are interested in. Our email updates will notify you whenever we have new information on this vehicle.

For example:

  • new car reviews for this model by our editors
  • news including price changes, new models, or recall info
  • new incentives and rebates that are being offered for this vehicle

Our goal is to keep you informed as you research!
Interested in purchasing?Browse Used Listings
/ 10
On Quality
On Quality
The 2008 Kia Rio provides a comfortable seating area for most passengers, although backseats could use improvement in head- and legroom, as well in seat comfort.
7.0 out of 10
Browse Kia Rio inventory in your area.


QUALITY | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

Ride comfort is another plus

drivers north of 6 feet tall may get fidgety after more than an hour behind the wheel

Front occupants get ample space on supportive and well-cushioned seats
Kelley Blue Book

For such a small vehicle, the 2008 Kia Rio delivers good interior room, with better-than-expected materials.

The Rio Kia seats five, and "seat comfort is very good for most body types, though drivers north of 6 feet tall may get fidgety after more than an hour behind the wheel," Edmunds says. Additionally, "the back seat headroom is a bit tight for 6-footers," though legroom is "fully adequate and the tall bench provides good thigh support," according to Edmunds.

However, some reviewers found legroom is a problem for backseat passengers. states, "Legroom even in the outer positions is marginal when the front seat is moved appreciably rearward"; additionally, "the hard rear seatback is reclined too far for true comfort" in the Kia Rio. Kelley Blue Book concurs, saying that the "front seats are roomy and comfortable in the Kia Rio, but the rear seat is hard and reclines excessively." But woe to the person in the middle, warns Kelley Blue Book, because "the center occupant straddles a tunnel." And while a fold-down armrest is standard for the driver in the 2008 Kia Rio, Edmunds would "prefer a more traditional center console box that provides this feature for both front occupants along with handy storage space."

According to, "Increased exterior dimensions translate to more interior capacity in the five-passenger Rio. The 2008 Kia Rio's trunk is now 11.9 cubic feet." With the LX trim, this expands, "thanks to the 60/40 split-folding rear seat," states Kelley Blue Book, which also notes "a dashboard slot that can hold a parking ticket, plus a hook that can carry a purse." ConsumerGuide points out the rear seat doesn't lie flat; instead, "it rests above the level of trunk floor, and the opening is cramped." Other storage problems include the release, which "is awkwardly placed toward the center of the seats," and the "trunklid hinges dip into the load area."

When it comes to fit and finish, the Kia Rio gets mixed reviews. According to ConsumerGuide, "most cabin surfaces are hard plastic, and padded surfaces are pretty much out of the question." They admit, though, that "Rio equals some costlier cars for materials and assembly quality." Edmunds says "the materials quality is generally above average, though some trim isn't up to Honda levels"; they specifically complain about "some cheap plastic trim."

Many reviewers consulted by found that engine noise is a problem with the Rio Kia. The engine can get loud in the 2008 Kia Rio while being brought up to freeway speed; it becomes a smooth cruise afterward. "The engine emits considerable buzz and blare when pushed hard," complains Kelley Blue Book concurs, but notes that even though "the engine gets seriously buzzy when accelerating, it quiets nicely at speed," and Edmunds says "at 75 mph, the cabin is hushed." But Car and Driver complains that the four-speed automatic produces "a grinding sound at highway speeds, not our soundtrack of choice to accompany five-hour journeys."


The 2008 Kia Rio provides a comfortable seating area for most passengers, although backseats could use improvement in head- and legroom, as well in seat comfort.

« Prev: Performance Next: Safety »
Other Choices Read More
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

More From High Gear Media

© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by Homestar, LLC. Send us feedback.