The 2009 Kia Rio is the smallest and most affordable vehicle offered by Kia. Both a four-door sedan, and five-door hatchback called the Kia Rio5, is available for the 2009 model year subcompact car. With the sedan, there are three different trim levels: the base, LX, and SX; and two trim levels for the hatchback: the LX and SX. With the launch of the 2009 Kia Rio, little has changed since the second generation of the car was introduced in 2005. The only noticeable change for the 2009 models is upgrades to the audio system.
Body styles: four-door sedan, five-door hatchback
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Kia Rio, Kia Rio5
All trim levels of both the 2009 Kia Rio sedan and hatchback saw additional features added to the audio systems. Sirius satellite radio with a complimentary three months subscription, USB port, and an auxiliary jack were all added for the 2009 model year. The auxiliary jack provided a method of connecting those devices with an earphone jack to the audio system, in place of a Bluetooth wireless connection.
The Kia Rio and Kia Rio5 are based on the same redesigned platform as used for the Hyundai Accent, but that is where the similarities end when looking at these two types of car. With the redesign for the 2006 model year, the Kia Rio and Kia Rio5 became more attractive cars, as well as having improved performance and gas mileage.
The three trim levels of the four-door sedan and the two models of the Rio5 provide plenty of options for drivers when deciding which subcompact car they want. The base level model of the 2009 Kia Rio is very basic, but has one of the lowest price tags in the U.S. The LX models see additional features to the interior of the car, while the SX models have the interior upgrades as well as 15-inch alloy wheels instead of the 14-inch steel wheels, fog lights, and a rear spoiler added to the exterior. An optional upgrade for the SX trim level is the addition of 16-inch alloy wheels.
Seats are comfortable, and the quality of materials used for the interior is generally better than other cars competing in the same category. Considering the 2009 Kia Rio is a subcompact car, the interior feels roomy with plenty of headroom and legroom for most passengers, both in the front and back of the car. Those taller than six feet may find it uncomfortable for longer drives. Cargo space is good and can be significantly increased in the 2009 Kia Rio5 when the seats are folded down.
There is no center console between the front seats, but a fold-down armrest is fitted as standard on the driver side. A four-speaker radio with CD/MP3 player and satellite radio is included in the base trim level of the 2009 Kia Rio. Additional features for the LX trim model include air-conditioning, power steering, and a 60/40 split for the back seat. The SX trim level also has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and metallic interior trim. A power package can be added to both the LX and SX models that includes keyless entry and power accessories.
Performance & Handling
The 2009 Kia Rio and Rio5 cars are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that provides 110 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual transmission, although a four-speed automatic is an optional upgrade for the LX and SX trim levels of both the sedan and hatchback. Because the 2009 Kia Rio and Rio5 are small cars, the engines provide plenty of power and they feel quick. The 2009 Kia Rio handles well and feels peppy when driving. At higher speeds, the engine can get noisy and can be heard within the cabin.
Side airbags in the front seats and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on all trim levels of the 2009 Kia Rio and Rio5. Adjustable rear headrests are included as standard features for the LX and SX trim levels, and anti-lock disc brakes are optional. Crash testing scores for frontal impacts for both the 2009 Kia Rio and Rio5 are good with four out of five stars scored. Side impact crash testing did not provide the same results, with only three stars scored.
EPA Fuel Economy
Kia Rio: 27/35 mpg city/highway
- Quality of interior
- Handling and ride
You Won't Like
- Safety scores
- Engine noise
A cheap and cheerful subcompact.
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