2008 Kia Rio5

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$2,542 - $2,909
$12,915 - $14,715

2008 Kia Rio5 Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Kia Rio5 was new.

The Rio5 has a great safety package, decent fuel economy and an outstanding warranty. However, several necessary features are offered only as options.

Pros & Cons

  • Six standard air bags (more than most competitors offer)
  • Good fuel economy for its class
  • Industry leading warranty
  • Strong safety scores
  • Bare-bones standard features compared to others in class
  • Optional features quickly inflate price

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Kia Rio5 has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 43 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 6.9
Safety: 8.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Kia Rio5 Overview

The 2008 Kia Rio5 walks a fine line. Although its powertrain is not especially strong, it still performs capably; and though its standard features are extremely basic, they're outfitted in quality materials. Considering it also has six standard air bags and a lengthy warranty, reviews describe the Rio5 as a pleasing overall package. Reviewers also rate the Rio5's safety and quality attributes high compared to other hatchbacks. According to Car and Driver, "Like finding a dollar bill in your bag of Fritos, it won't change your life but it's a pleasant surprise."

The Kia Rio5 comes in two trims, the LX and the SX, and is the hatchback counterpart to the Kia Rio sedan. Both cars are built on the same platform as Hyundai's Accent. For 2008 the Rio5 is little changed from the previous year, though Kia has added a new trim. If you're shopping for an affordable small car with a hatch design, consider Scion's xB.

  • "I've just finished a very enjoyable week with a Rio5 SX. It had some key options that really did enhance convenience, safety, and the driving experience, and added merely a $1200 premium. For the 'bang for the buck' factor, the Rio5 is hard to beat." -- The Auto Channel
  • "This smallest of Kias offers hatchback utility plus a bit of fun at rock-bottom prices." -- Car and Driver
  • "The new Rio…is an unexpected treat, like finding a pair of Ferragamo loafers on the clearance rack at the off-price store." -- New York Times
  • "An ingenious little buggy." -- U.S. News
  • "It's attractive, reasonably roomy, and surprisingly fun. Consider the suspicions well founded." -- Automobile Magazine

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