2008 Kia Rio5

  • 2008 Kia Rio5 LX Hatchback

    LX Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.6L I4
    • MSRP
  • 2008 Kia Rio5 SX Hatchback

    SX Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.6L I4
    • MSRP
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2008 Kia Rio5 Review

An appropriate model for a car buyer looking for an affordable wagon.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2008 Kia Rio5 comes in two different models: the Rio5 LX and the Rio5 SX. Both models come standard with a 1.6-liter engine and a five-speed manual transmission. The Kia Rio and Rio 5 are the smallest models available from the Kia brand and are two of the best bargains as well. The Kia Rio5 has a stable handling, a smooth ride, and the safety features include standard side-mounted curtain airbags. Both models have an automatic transmission available as an option. Both models are a wagon style with a hatchback. The 2008 Kia Rio5 is designed for compactness and reliability instead of luxury or sport and is a bargain for the buyer.

The Range

Body Styles: Sedan wagon and hatchback
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder inline with a double overhead cam
Transmissions: standard five-speed manual with optional four-speed automatic
Models: Kia Rio5 LX Wagon and Kia Rio5 SX Wagon

What's New

Kia introduced the Rio5 LX hatchback in 2008 as a new model. The 2008 Kia Rio5 LX has fewer features than the LX for those shopping for an affordable wagon that do not want to pay for everything that comes with the Rio5 SX.


Only the Rio5 SX model has a spoiler, but both models come with an inside mounted temporary spare tire. The Rio 5 SX comes with alloy wheels while the Rio 5 X comes with steel wheels. The LX has 14-inch tires, and the SX has 15-inch tires.

Both the Rio5 LX and SX have a rear defogger to remove fog and ice from the rear window, but only the SX model comes equipped with a rear wiper that boosts rear visibility on rainy days.


The front seats, rear seats, and convenience features are all the same on the Rio5 LX and the Rio5 SX. Both the front and rear of the cabin are roomy for the driver and two passengers, although the rear can be a little cramped if a third rear passenger is added. Only the driver seat is equipped with lumbar support, and it is manual instead of power adjustable. The seats are made of cloth and the front seats are bucket seats. The steering wheel has a tilt feature on both models and power steering is included. One 12-volt power outlet also comes standard on both models of the Kia Rio5. When it comes to comfort, both the LX and SX models have air-conditioning and a cargo light. Extra comfort features on the SX model are leather trim on the shifters knob and a leather steering wheel that has a nice feel to it when it is gripped. The sound system is simple and the same in both models with four speakers and a single CD player with auxiliary MP3 input.

Performance & Handling

The 1.6-liter four-cylinder inline engine only produces 110 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque. If the buyer does not want a five-speed manual, there is an option for a four-speed automatic. The acceleration is somewhat better with the five-speed manual transmission in comparison to four-speed automatic. Even though acceleration is slower with the automatic, it has well-timed, swift shifts. Under full throttle, the engine seems loud, but it cruises well once up to speed on the highway. Merging and passing are easier with the five-speed manual transmission. Shifting the manual is fun because of the smooth clutch and precise feel. The suspension does not smooth over all the bumps, and there is substantial body roll when turning quickly.


Both models’ safety features have a lot in common, though the SX has a couple of features that are missing on the LX model. Front and rear head airbags are accompanied by dual front side-mounted airbags in case of a collision from the side. The front disc brakes are ventilated, and the rear disc brakes are solid. The headlamps are auto-delay so drivers can see their way to the door when arriving home. The SX model has bright fog lights to make the vehicle more visible to other traffic when commuting in dark or dusky conditions.

EPA Fuel Economy

Kia Rio5: 27/32 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Hatchback access to cargo area
  • Lighted cargo area
  • Leather trim on the SX
  • Affordable pricing
  • Dependability

You Won't Like

  • Engine noise during heavy acceleration
  • Lack of extra comfort features
  • Lack of extra convenience features

Sum Up

An appropriate model for a car buyer looking for an affordable wagon.

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See the New 2016 Rio5.

Front & Driver Side View

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