2009 Kia Rio Photo

2009 Kia Rio - Safety Review and Crash Test Ratings

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The 2009 Kia Rio has mixed crash-test scores. Airbag availability is good, but it's unfortunate that the vehicle lacks standard anti-lock brakes.
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SAFETY | 6 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

Acceptable," frontal impact; "poor," side impact; "poor," rear impact

Five stars, frontal impact; three and four stars, side impact

visibility is unobstructed

low cowl and sizable rear glass help create nearly unobstructed visibility
Kelley Blue Book

a score of Poor (the lowest possible) in that agency's side-impact test

Experts at like the airbags that come standard in the 2009 Kia Rio—but crash-test scores are underwhelming at best.

The 2009 Kia Rio gets mixed results in governmental safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Rio a "poor" rating for rear impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issues 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. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards 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 garners only three stars.

ConsumerGuide lists an emergency inside trunk lid release as an "important safety feature." Another standard safety feature on the Kia Rio is "Child Door Locks," states Kelley Blue Book. All 2009 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.

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. This is a lapse; the Kia Rio would be much safer with standard anti-lock brakes. states, "Visibility is unobstructed." Kelley Blue Book likes the fact that the "low cowl and sizable rear glass help create nearly unobstructed visibility."


The 2009 Kia Rio has mixed crash-test scores. Airbag availability is good, but it's unfortunate that the vehicle lacks standard anti-lock brakes.

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