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Average User Score
4.4 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 9 reviews
2008 Kia Rio Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 9 reviews
Virtually unchanged from 2007, the 2008 Kia Rio features the shortest name and one of the shortest pricetags in the subcompact car segment. Available as either a sedan or Rio5 hatchback, the front-wheel-drive 2008 Rio comes as a Base, LX, or SX. For 2008, the Rio5 adds an LX trim, and a new audio input jack is included in all but the Base trims.
Great for city driving, but a little noisy and bumpy on the highway, the 2008 Kia Rio comes with Kia's 10-year/100,000-mile warranty and a 110-hp, 1.6-liter inline four that gets 27/32 mpg. A five-speed manual is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional. More a personal than family car, it is surprisingly roomy and comfortable inside. Base models start with very little other than a tachometer and tire monitor â?? no air conditioning, CD player, or radio. The rear seats don't fold down in the Base. LX and SX trims add all of these, but power features are still optional, as are ABS brakes (not offered in the Base trim). Dual front-side and side curtain airbags are standard across the lineup, earning four-star crash ratings.
The SX upgrades from the LX by adding larger 15-inch wheels, a leather steering wheel, and foglights. In the Rio5 hatchbacks, the rear seats fold up and nearly flat, increasing cargo area to almost 50 cubic feet, offering more space than in the sedan, where the seats do not fold flat. If you're looking for a good and reliable commuter car that's easy to park and easy on the wallet, the 2008 Kia Rio might be a good buy. High praise goes to its handling, interior comfort and layout, and extended warranty. A somewhat inadequate engine for highway driving and wind noise are the most noticeable drawbacks.