2017 Kia Rio5 Review

Rio5

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2017 Kia Rio5 Overview

Much like its 4-door sibling, the 5-door 2017 Kia Rio5 is a carryover from last year. The only notable changes for this model year are paint colors—Kia has discontinued Digital Yellow and added Signal Red and Aurora Black to the LX trim. Three different trims are offered—LX, EX, and SX—each of which features a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine provides 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque and estimated fuel economy of 27 mpg city, 36 highway, and 30 combined (which gets a boost to 31 if you opt for the Eco package, available on the EX trim).

One of the big lures of a hatchback is its flexible cargo space—with the seats up, the Rio5 offers 15.0 cubic feet. Fold the rear seats, and this expands to 49.8 cubic feet. The luggage undertray that comes standard on the EX and SX trims adds versatility but does reduce cargo capacity by 2.7 cubic feet.

The Rio5’s base LX trim is outfitted with 15-inch steel wheels, variable-intermittent windshield wipers, and a rear spoiler. The interior features a tilt steering column, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and an audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities, Sirius satellite radio, 4 speakers, and USB and Aux jacks. Also included are dual 12-volt outlets up front and a cargo cover. Seats are upholstered in woven cloth, with a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat.

The midrange Rio5 EX trim adds alloy wheels, front fog lights, and a chrome grille surround for extra style. The steering wheel becomes both tilt and telescopic, and the UVO2 infotainment screen with a reversing-camera display is now an available option. The interior gets an upgrade with knit-cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, a chrome parking-brake handle, a soft-touch dash pad, and a center console with sliding armrest and storage. The EX also receives power windows and locks, a cargo under-floor tray and net, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and an optional idle stop-and-go system for improved fuel economy.

The top Rio5 SX trim boosts driving fun with a sport-tuned suspension, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Projection headlights, LED positioning lights and taillights, and a power-tilt/slide sunroof are also standard. The interior features metal pedals, leather seats, heated front seats, push-button start, and the UVO2 infotainment system with navigation, SiriusXM Traffic, and a reversing camera.

Safety equipment is fairly uniform across the Kia Rio5 lineup and includes multiple airbags, antilock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution, electronic stability control, vehicle-stability management, and hill-start assist. A reversing camera is optional on the EX and standard on the top SX trim.

Pricing for the fuel-efficient Rio5 hatchback starts at $15,495 for the LX, $17,905 for the EX, and $20,905 for the sporty SX. Option packages are equally affordable, ranging from the Eco Package at $600 to the Power Package at $800. The Kia Rio5 offers the flexibility of a hatchback and great fuel economy at a reasonable price that should interest budget-minded buyers.

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Nicole Wakelin's passion for cars started on the day she went for a ride in a bright red Ferrari as a teenager. She writes reviews and covers everything cars for CarGurus, The Boston Globe, BestRide, and Be Car Chic and blogs all things geek over at TotalFanGirl.

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