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Avg. Price Paid:$6,069 - $6,902
Original MSRP: $12,915 - $14,715
MPG: 27 City / 32 Hwy
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2008 Kia Rio5 Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 Kia Rio5 was new.

The 2008 Kia Rio5's interior is a compromise. Although its five seats are comfortable, they're squeezed into tight quarters, and though features are scarce, those present are quality. The Los Angeles Times says that "the interior is spare but not spartan, with little grace notes such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, alloy pedals and faux-aluminum surfacing on the dashboard."

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Seating

Stepping inside the Rio5, the Chicago Tribune finds both front and rear seats are "very comfortable and supportive," an opinion many share. However, many were disappointed with front row conveniences and backseat roominess. And Consumer Guide notes that "There is poor visibility to the rear corners in Rio5."

There's sufficient support in the front row seats, but you might sacrifice your overall comfort. Edmunds says "drivers over 6 feet tall may get fidgety after more than an hour behind the wheel." Automobile Magazine finds the "fold-down armrest gets in the way of the tall manual gear lever," while reviewers like U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman note the front row passenger has no armrest at all.

If you're riding in the backseat, Cars.com notes "space isn't too appealing. Legroom even in the outer positions is marginal if the front seat is moved appreciably rearward." Meanwhile, Autobytel says passengers might be somewhat comfortable with rear accommodations, "though there are enough deficiencies to warrant feelings of jealousy pointed at front seat riders."

Interior Features

When it comes to the Rio5's standard features, a Detroit News review captures the majority opinion: "Why would Kia put a leather-wrapped steering wheel and racy metal pedals on the new Rio5, then cut corners by putting manual mirrors and locks and crank windows on the car?" U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman says that when manually adjusting the passenger side mirror, "I had to reach across the cabin and move the little lever attached to it, which presents an amusing dilemma I hadn't thought about in years: You can't tell how to set the mirror when leaning into the next seat, totally out of position," he writes before wondering, "would I have to push this econobox up hills too?"

But the bare-bones treatment facilitates straightforward gauges. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution finds the dashboard's controls "are easy to read and appropriately sized," while the Kansas City Star says the two-toned instrument panel "gives the impression of spaciousness." Furthermore, the Washington Post notes "everything was assembled perfectly. Even the tangibly cheap plastic parts on the instrument panel were aligned just right." U.S. News' Rick Newman also notes "the quality of materials is better than on some cars costing more." To Consumer Guide, the Rio5 "equals some costlier cars for materials and assembly quality."

The Rio5 comes standard with dual cupholders and front power outlets, and its only stereo is an AM/FM CD player with four speakers. Drivers can splurge for Kia's Power Package, featuring power door locks and windows, as well as tweeter speakers for the stereo.

Cargo

Most describe the Rio5's cargo capacity -- 15.8 cubic feet with the seats up, 49.6 cubic feet with seats down -- as respectable for its class. Edmunds writes, "Our only size problem crops when we try to toss a golf bag into the cargo bay. We angle the bag a little, it falls into place and we pile on another suitcase with room to spare." No angling is necessary if you lower the rear seats. "When you flip down the rear seats the cargo hold expands to small-wagon proportions," the Los Angeles Times writes. "You can even stuff a full-size mountain bike in the back."

A good number like the Rio5's "variety of nooks and crannies, as well as a number of subtle features that are likely to make the ownership experience even more pleasant," according to Autobytel. The Chicago Tribune specifically notes "a small slot in the center dash to slip a credit card or parking pass rather than watching it disappear from the passenger's seat," then moves on to praise the Rio5's "small parcel shelf under the dash for cell phone and/or I-Pass."

Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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