$3,174 - $4,164

2009 Kia Rio Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2009 Kia Rio was new.


Interior: 7.4

As one of the cheapest cars in the class, the 2009 Rio doesn't offer many creature comforts. But the dashboard layout and cabin trim is made of good materials that satisfy most. Reviewers also choose to take the front row's merely moderate comfort and the second-row's non-existent space in stride, given the car's size. 

  • "A conservatively styled interior does the job well, offering lots of storage space, comfortably supportive seats for this price class and controls that are located logically and simple to operate." -- Newsday
  • "For a low-buck sedan, it's substantially more refined that you'd expect." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Rio's cabin, especially in beige, has an airy feel unexpected in this price segment. The materials quality is generally above average. Seat comfort is very good for most body types, although drivers north of 6 feet tall may get fidgety after more than an hour behind the wheel." -- Edmunds
  • "Most cabin surfaces are hard plastic, and padded surfaces are pretty much out of the question. Overall, though, Rio equals some costlier cars for materials and assembly quality." -- Consumer Guide

Front Seats

Generally, the Kia Rio's front row is seen as adequate, but not overly comfortable or supportive.

  • "Headroom and legroom are good. The seats are firm and comfortable." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The seats are on the soft side and don't offer the lateral support we'd expect on a sports sedan. Those of us with larger frames, however, will not fault Kia for that, as we can use the extra width." -- New Car Test Drive

Rear Seats

Several report the Rio's rear seats are only suitable for children or smaller adults for a short trip.

  • "In back, headroom is a bit tight for front occupants along with handy storage space. In back, headroom is a bit tight for 6-footers, bug legroom is fully adequate and the tall bench provides good thigh support." -- Edmunds
  • "Rear-seat legroom is better than the numbers suggest, because passengers can place their feet under the front seats thanks to generous open space below them." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Although five passengers can squeeze into the Rio, longer-legged folks might not be comfortable in the backseat. Rear head- and footroom are adequate, but the rear seat is hard and reclines excessively, and the center occupant straddles a tunnel." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

Like other Kia Rios, the 2009 model is a stripper. Kia still doesn't offer power windows and locks for its base trim (they're optional for the LX and SX), and cruise control isn't available at all. But reviewers are appreciative of the material quality for the sparsely outfitted instrument panel and the easy-to-use and understand quality to the gauges and controls. 

  • "The gauges are clear, and the large, handy audio and climate controls are angled toward the driver." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The interior of the Kia Rio features a nicely contoured dashboard with a generous binnacle over the instrument panel, which includes a tachometer even on the base model." -- New Car Test Drive


The Rio's 11.9 cubic feet of cargo space is not enough for most reviewers. Almost all recommend the hatchback Rio5 if utility is one of your main concerns.

  • "A fold-down armrest is standard for the driver, but we'd prefer a more traditional center console box that provides this feature for both front occupants along with handy storage space." -- Edmunds
  • "Those who want the most cargo room should opt for the hatchback." -- MSN

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