2008 Kia Rio

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$2,689 - $3,601
$10,890 - $14,465

2008 Kia Rio Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Kia Rio was new.

The Rio is distinctive for offering plenty of safety features and an outstanding warranty, but it doesn't offer the cutting-edge interior features of others small cars.

Pros & Cons

  • Standard six air bags (more than most competitors)
  • Good fuel economy for its class
  • Great warranty
  • Sprightly acceleration for an economy car
  • Bare-bones standard features
  • Mixed results in crash tests

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Kia Rio has a score of 7.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 50 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 7.0
Safety: 6.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Kia Rio Overview

Our analysis shows that the 2008 Kia Rio is a good option for budget-conscious drivers interested in the bare necessities of driving. Reviews note there's nothing remarkable about the Rio's performance, styling or features, but it is an all-around pleasing car with a price-tag to make it distinctive in the class. Car and Driver says, "The engine could use more power, and the manual shifter lacks precision, but for a bare-bones car with a low price, it's surprisingly roomy, refined and good looking."

For 2008 the Kia Rio is virtually unchanged, but reviews do note modest changes to the sedan's interior. Buyers have two body style options for this small car: the four-door Rio sedan or the five-door hatchback, the Rio5. If you're shopping for a small car, also consider the Honda Civic or the hatchback Honda Fit.

  • "For a low-buck sedan, it's substantially more refined than you'd expect. Budget shoppers should at least take one for a test drive." -- Car and Driver
  • Newsday explains that the Rio "offers proof that an under-$15,000 car can be reasonably comfortable and handle safely enough at real-world American highway speeds, yet still deliver 30 miles or more on a gallon of gas." -- Newsday
  • "More for less. That might not be Kia's official slogan, but they really should consider it, because it's what all of its cars deliver on. The Rio might not be new, but as with any Kia it's a compelling buy in its respective segment." -- Automobile.com
  • "While changes are few, the 2008 Kia Rio is still quite well equipped for an economy car. While the base sedan offers manual steering, no air-conditioning and narrow tires, the cabin materials are attractive, driver-seat is height adjustable, the instrument panel includes a tachometer and front-seat side airbags are standard equipment." -- Sun Journal

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