The second generation of the Kia Rio5 (originally called RX-V in Canada) was introduced in 2006 as a hatchback variant of the four-door Rio sedan. It was longer, with a 2,500 mm wheelbase and overall length of 3,990 mm that resulted in more interior room than the first generation. The platform, engine and transmissions are shared with the Hyundai Accent (fellow South Korean automaker Hyundai is Kia Motors’ major shareholder).
THE GOOD STUFF
Cargo space is excellent, with 60/40 split rear seats that flip down, but do not fold flat. Although not the quietest of small cars, the Rio5 has nimble handling and a decent ride over most surfaces. With automatic transmission, fuel economy for the 1.6-litre engine was rated at 7.7 L/100km city and 5.6 L/100km highway by Environment Canada. For 2010, Rio5 got revised front end styling featuring Kia’s trademark “tiger nose” grille. With Kia’s five year/ 100,000 km bumper-to-bumper warranty, some late model Rio5s may still have factory coverage remaining. Traditionally, Rio5 is one of the least expensive vehicles to insure and has held its value better than the four-door sedan.
In testing by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2009, the subcompact Rio5 rated five stars for front passenger protection and four stars for the driver in frontal offset crash tests. Despite standard side impact airbags and side curtain airbags, the results weren’t as good in side impact testing with four stars for front seat protection and just three for rear seat protection. Anti-lock brakes were an option on most models. In 2006, a troublesome CD player was common. So were coolant system leaks, resulting in a recall to replace faulty radiator caps. Rio5 can seat five in a pinch (literally!) but works best as a four-seater.
These entry level cars are best described as “basic transportation,” with plasticky interiors that are anything but luxurious. However, because they are not loaded with hi-tech features, repair costs should be relatively low. Without cruise control, they are not the most comfortable or quiet of highway cruisers and are best suited to a suburban environment where they can be fun to drive. Rio5s were sold in several trim levels, including a bare bones model with manual transmission, non-power steering, 15-inch wheels and wind-up windows, so look for a better equipped LX or EX Sport. For model year 2012 a completely revised Rio5 was introduced with new engines and transmissions and cutting edge design from the pen of former Audi head stylist Peter Schreyer.
PRICES AT A GLANCE
Note:These are asking prices, not selling prices, in a cross-Canada survey using Autonet.ca.
Year Approximate price range
2006 $6,499 - $7,995
2007 $6,995 - $10,995
2008 $7,495 - $11,495
2009 $9,995 - $11,995
2010 $12,495 - $12,995
2011 $13,949 - $14,495
Engine:1.6L DOHC I4 (110 hp)
Transmissions:4-speed automatic; 5-speed manual