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SAFETY | 6 out of 10
All five seating positions get three-point belts
standard front and rear side-curtain airbags
Kelley Blue Book
a score of Poor (the lowest possible) in that agency's side-impact test
While it is commendable that the 2008 Kia Rio comes standard with front, curtain, and side seat-mounted airbags and generally tests well, TheCarConnection.com notes problems with its side-impact crash-test scores.
The 2008 Kia Rio gets mixed results in governmental safety ratings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it five stars in front passenger, front impact protection, but only four stars in driver-side front impact protection. In side impact protection, the Rio gets only three stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Rio a “poor” rating for rear impact protection.
Edmunds also states the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing gives a score of "acceptable" (the second highest of four) in frontal offset tests and "poor" (the lowest possible) in that agency's side impact test for the Kia Rio.
All 2008 Kia Rio models come standard with front, curtain, and side seat-mounted airbags. Other standard safety features for the Rio Kia are occupancy sensors and front seat pre-tensioners. ConsumerGuide lists an emergency inside trunk lid release as an additional "important safety feature." Another standard safety feature on the Kia Rio is "Child Door Locks," states Kelley Blue Book.
Most safety features are standard on the Kia Rio, but "anti-lock disc brakes are optional on those higher trim levels as well," according to Edmunds. "The LX and SX trims also come with adjustable rear headrests," they add.
Kelley Blue Book likes the fact that the "low cowl and sizable rear glass help create nearly unobstructed visibility." Cars.com agrees, stating, "Visibility is unobstructed."
The 2008 Kia Rio has plenty of airbags, but poor side impact protection scores and optional anti-lock brakes are a concern.