The 2008 Kia Rio has three models available: the base, LX, and SX. All three come with a 1.6-liter engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard with the base model. The LX and SX versions come standard with a five-speed manual transmission but have the option of a four-speed automatic. The Rio is the smallest model available from Kia, classified as a subcompact sedan. Reliability and affordability are more of a focus on the Rio’s design instead of sporty handing or luxury features. This car is very affordable and is even less expensive than the Rio5 hatchback wagon models.
Body Styles: subcompact sedan
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder inline with double overhead cam
Transmissions: standard five-speed manual, optional four-speed automatic for the LX and SX
Models: Kia Rio, Kia Rio LX, and Kia Rio SX
The Kia Rio LX is a newly introduced model in 2008. With less features and less expensive manufacturing than the SX model, the LX gives buyers the option of an even better bargain with the small sacrifice of only a handful of features and doesn't lose any performance.
The SX model comes with a spoiler that adds a little extra style to the most expensive of the three Kia Rio versions. Also included on this model are 15-inch alloy wheels. The base sedan and LX models come equipped with 14-inch steel wheels.
All three models come with a steel spare wheel in case anything goes wrong.
With the 1008 Kia Rios, the buyer gets an inside-mounted, temporary, all-season spare tire. All three models have intermittent wipers and a rear defogger.
The front of the cabin in the base sedan is roomy enough to be comfortable. The driver seat comes with lumbar support that is manually adjustable. The seats in the front and back are cloth seats and the front cloth seats are also bucket seats. The LX and SX models have a rear seat with a split-folding seatback. The base sedan has the least convenience features with the most impressive of them being a single 12 volt outlet that can be used to power electronics. Convenience features for the LX models and SX models include power steering and a tilting steering wheel. Air conditioning is not listed on the base sedan profile, but is on the LX and SX models. Like the Rio5 SX, the Kia Rio SX has a leather steering wheel and leather trim on the shifter’s knob. The base model’s audio system is limited to the antennae while the LX and SX models have a four speaker system that has a single disc CD player and auxiliary MP3 input.
Performance & Handling
The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine has below average acceleration when coupled with the four-speed automatic transmission. The five-speed manual allows for better acceleration and is described as more fun to drive with than the four-speed automatic. Both transmission options have smooth shifts, but the automatic does not perform as well when merging onto the highway or passing on a two-way street. The 110-horsepower engine can be a little bit noisy when pushed to full throttle but is quiet enough at highway cruising speed. The suspension does not provide a smooth ride, and when cornering quickly, a significant amount of body roll should be expected.
The safety features on all three models are the same with the exception of SX, which has fog lights to make the vehicle more visible to the other cars on the road. Standard features on all three models include head airbags installed in the front and the rear as well as dual front side airbags designed to protect occupants during side collisions. The passenger airbags sense if the passenger is seated or not and will activate and deactivate the airbags accordingly. The tire pressure monitoring system that is equipped on all three models warns the driver if there is danger of the tires getting overheated from low air pressure.
EPA Fuel Economy
Kia Rio Base: 27/32 mpg city/highway
Kia Rio LX, SX: 27/35 mpg city/highway
- Fuel economy
- Affordable pricing
- Leather trim in the SX
You Won't Like
- Minimal features in the base model
- Poor suspension
- Loud engine at full throttle
Fuel economy makes up for the lack of convenience and comfort features.
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