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Avg. Price Paid:$4,837 - $6,385
Original MSRP: $10,890 - $14,465
MPG: 32 City / 35 Hwy
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2008 Kia Rio Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 Kia Rio was new.

Reviewers are conflicted in their opinions of the Rio's interior, as it relates to styling, comfort and features. Many express disappointment with the bare-bones features provided, but they also acknowledge that this contributes to the Rio's low price and give praise that the five-seater now offers "lots of storage space" and "comfortably supportive seats for this price class," as Newsday writes.

Meanwhile Motor Trend enjoys that the "expanded interior dimensions add up to six more cubic feet of room, though what the raw figures don't tell you is the figures result in a Dr. Who Tardis-like cabin whose spaciousness exceeds expectations."

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Seating

From the moment the Boston Globe reviewer stepped inside the sedan, "finding a comfortable driving position was easy with the eight-way manually adjustable driver's seat." But Edmunds relates something different. "Seat comfort is very good for most body types, though drivers over 6 feet tall may get fidgety after more than an hour behind the wheel," the review complains.

But for the most part, reviewers are able to find something to compliment concerning the Rio's seats. The Chicago Tribune writes that "seats provide plenty of cushion support front and rear, and there's enough space between rear-seat occupants to make long-distance travel tolerable." Consumer Guide notices that the head- and toe room are "adequate, leg room tight only with front seat well back. Fairly easy ingress/egress."

As with many cars in its class, the 2008 Rio's rear seating is best for smaller persons. U.S. News' Rick Newman suggests kids only for the backseat: "in fact, anybody bigger probably wouldn't be comfortable back there," he says.

Interior Features

To sum up the reviewers’ sentiment about the Kia Rio’s standard features in a nutshell -- there aren't many. The No. 1 comment/complaint found in the reviews is the absence of power windows and locks for the base model. "It had the hand-crank style," recalls USA Today. "Who knew they still made those?" There is another sorely missed feature as well. "I also wished Kia offered cruise control with the Rio. It makes long-distance driving more pleasurable," writes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

However, while cruise control is an optional feature, the power doors and windows are standard on the LX and SX, and most writers suggest you splurge. In fact, the majority of reviews recommend avoiding the base model Rio altogether and encourage a jump to the LX or SX. As MSN says, "the base sedan is strictly an entry-level model. It isn't offered with air conditioning, power steering, an audio system, a tilt steering wheel, split-folding rear seatbacks and power windows and door locks with remote keyless entry."

Moving on to the quality of the materials, reviewers have more positive things to report. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that the "dashboard can best be described as efficient. The control displays are easy to read and appropriately sized," while the Kansas City Star likes the two-toned instrument panel, which "gives the impression of spaciousness." Consumer Guide sums it up best in its review. "Clear gauges. Large, handy audio and climate controls angled toward driver. Most cabin surfaces are hard plastic, but Rio equals some costlier cars for materials, assembly quality."

Cargo

The Rio sedan offers 11.9 cubic feet for cargo space, but many writers suggest a different car if cargo space is high on your want list. Despite the limited storage space in the Rio sedan, MSN generously comments that its "nicely shaped trunk has been enlarged and is roomy for the car's size." U.S. News' Rick Newman is not so sure, suggesting "it might be tough fitting a bulky stroller in the trunk."

The San Antonio Express-News makes little mention of the trunk. Its reviewer is wowed with other storage possibilities. "There are also several cubbyholes for cell phones and MP3 players; a slot in the center instrument stack that Kia says is intended for parking passes or toll tickets; two 12-volt power outlets; and a grocery-bag hook on the back of the front passenger seat."

Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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