The 2011 Kia Rio5 is an economical four-door hatchback that is attractive to budget-conscious buyers. It offers a roomy, stylish cabin with impressive cargo space, but is short on amenities. However, it does offer decent fuel economy and comes with Kia’s generous warranty. It provides EPA mileage estimates of 27/36 mpg in city/highway driving, making this an excellent commuter car as gas prices are increasing.
Body Styles: hatchback
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Kia Rio5 LX, Kia Rio5 SX
Kia makes one change to the Rio5 for 2011:
- Discontinues the five-speed manual transmission
The exterior of the Kia Rio5 is sporty, featuring a black mesh grille and swept-back headlights. Standard equipment on the base LX includes 14-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, a rear defogger, and a rear window wiper. The SX upgrades to 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, four-wheel ABS, fog lights, turn signal mirrors, remote power door locks, and power heated mirrors.
Optional equipment includes 15- or 16-inch wheels, heated power mirrors, a rear spoiler, fog lights, and keyless entry.
The interior can seat up to five passengers and has a 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat. The interior is roomy for such a small car, and with the rear seat folded down, it offers an impressive 49.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard equipment on the base LX includes a height-adjustable driver’s seat, cloth upholstery, a split-folding rear seatback, a front console with storage, front cup holders, front door pockets, 12V power outlets, a cargo area light, dual vanity mirrors, a tachometer, a low-fuel warning light and alarm, and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with four speakers.
Standard equipment for the SX includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows, premium cloth upholstery, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel with audio and cruise control functions, air-conditioning, and an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Satellite/USB/Bluetooth audio system with six speakers. The Rio5 SX also offers metal-finished dashboard accents and red stitching on the steering wheel, door panels, and gearshift knob.
Performance & Handling
The base LX contains a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, 110-hp engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment on the base LX includes MacPherson strut front suspension, torsion beam rear suspension, and a stabilizer bar. In addition to the base LX, the 2011 Kia Rio5 is available in an SX trim. The SX also uses a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, 110-hp engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. It is the sportier of the two models.
Gas mileage is decent; the 1.6-liter engine is adequate for running around town, but is a bit sluggish when trying to accelerate on highway on-ramps. Although car experts may be less than thrilled with the performance of the Rio5, owners often seem satisfied with their purchases. They recognize that their Rio5 is an economical vehicle that gets them where they need to go.
The 2011 Kia Rio5 offers several systems that help with handling and safety. The Traction Control System (TCS) senses when a wheel is spinning during acceleration. Power is then shifted to the wheels displaying the most traction in order to get you out of the slippery situation. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) helps you keep your Kia on the intended path by braking individual wheels and reducing engine power to minimize skids.
Standard equipment on the base LX includes four-wheel ABS, front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted curtain airbags, ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes, auto delay-off headlights, child seat anchors, rear-door child safety locks, front and rear headrests with height adjustment, passenger airbag occupant-sensing deactivation, a driver head restraint whiplash-protection system, and tire pressure monitoring.
The Kia Rio5 performs well in front-impact crash tests, but poorly in side-impact testing.
Kia offers an impressive five-year/60,000-mile (whichever comes first) basic warranty and rust warranty. It also offers a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. When you purchase your Kia Rio5, ask about available extended warranty service contracts to cover items not included in the warranty for years to come.
EPA Fuel Economy
Kia Rio5: 27/36 mpg in city/highway
- Fuel economy
- Interior features, especially on the SX
You Won't Like
- No manual transmission
- Bland exterior
A perfect hatchback for the budget-conscious buyer.
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