2006 Kia Rio Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Kia Rio Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Kia Rio Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 110 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 27/32 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Kia Rio

  • Pleasant to drive, loaded with features and comfortable to boot, the 2006 Rio and Rio5 may be the smallest Kia cars of the lineup, but they're two of the biggest bargains.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Ample acceleration around town, smooth ride, stable handling, attractive interior, standard side curtain airbags, generous warranty.

  • Cons

    Cruise control isn't available, a few plastics look cheap, front seats not comfortable for some.

  • What's New for 2006

    Completely redesigned, the 2006 Kia Rio sedan and Rio5 hatchback now share a platform with Hyundai's Accent. Roomier and more refined, the new Rio's equipment list is topped by a spunky 110-hp engine and standard side curtain airbags.

Full 2006 Kia Rio Review

What's New for 2006

Completely redesigned, the 2006 Kia Rio sedan and Rio5 hatchback now share a platform with Hyundai's Accent. Roomier and more refined, the new Rio's equipment list is topped by a spunky 110-hp engine and standard side curtain airbags.

Introduction

Priced to go after buyers with minimal budgets, the original Kia Rio sold from 2001 to 2005 had little going for it other than its big warranty. It could get you from home to work all right, but between its unrefined road manners and lack of amenities, it was basic transportation and nothing else. However, with high fuel prices likely here to stay, the bottom end of the car market is getting more attention from consumers and manufacturers alike. Kia's engineers and designers evidently took a good look at the feature-laden Scion xA while they were redesigning the Rio. Although the 2006 Kia Rio may not have the Scion's fashion sense, it's pleasant to drive, loaded with features and comfortable to boot.

For 2006, Kia is offering the Rio sedan in base and LX trim levels, along with a Rio5 hatchback in a single SX trim. With no air conditioning and skinny 14-inch tires, the base sedan is still very much a budget ride. Yet, you do get an attractive cloth interior in beige or gray, side-impact airbags for front occupants and side curtain airbags for front and rear occupants for about $11,000. Kia expects most buyers to step up to the LX sedan, which for just under $13,000 comes with modern-day essentials like A/C, a CD stereo, power steering, a 60/40-split folding rear seat and a tilt steering wheel. Priced a few hundred dollars above the least expensive Spectra, the Kia Rio5 SX hatchback is sharper-looking than the Rio sedan (and certainly the outgoing Rio Cinco wagon), thanks to its neatly finished tail and standard 15-inch alloy wheels.

Quickness is not within a lower-end economy car's grasp, but energized by a 30-pound weight loss and a new 110-hp, 1.6-liter inline four with variable intake valve timing, the 2006 Kia Rio gets around as easily as any of its peers. As before, suspension consists of a simple arrangement of struts in front and a semi-independent torsion bar with coil springs in back, but Kia engineers evidently took more care when tuning it, because it's now capable of managing body movement and road irregularities. Handling around corners is sure and steady. Like other Kia cars, the new Rio and Rio5 offer excellent value. And unlike the old Rio, they're affordable cars you may actually grow to like.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Kia Rio sedan comes in base and LX trims, while the five-door Rio5 hatchback is available in a single SX trim. With no air conditioning and skinny 175/70R14 tires, the base sedan is a budget ride. Yet, you do get an attractive cloth interior in beige or gray, two-way driver-seat height adjustment, a tachometer and a full complement of side airbags. The well-equipped LX sedan provides A/C, a four-speaker CD stereo, power steering, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a tilt steering wheel and meatier 185/65R14 tires. The Rio5 SX hatchback adds 15-inch alloy wheels, metallic interior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and metal-trimmed pedals. LX sedan and Rio5 hatch buyers can get the optional Power Package, which provides power windows, mirrors and locks; keyless entry; and tweeter speakers.

Powertrains and Performance

Energized by a new 1.6-liter inline four with variable intake valve timing, the 2006 Kia Rio gets around as easily as any of its peers. Horsepower comes in a 110, while torque rates 107 lb-ft. A five-speed manual transmission is mandatory on the base sedan, but the LX sedan and Rio5 hatchback can be had with either the manual or a four-speed automatic. Mileage ratings are much higher than the old Rio's -- 32 city, 35 highway with the manual and 29/38 with the automatic.

Safety

All Rios come standard with side-impact airbags for front occupants, full-length side curtain airbags and three-point belts in all seating positions. The LX sedan and Rio5 hatchback also come with adjustable rear headrests. ABS is optional on the LX sedan and Rio5, and ordering it replaces the standard front discs/rear drums with four-wheel disc brakes. In NHTSA frontal-impact crash testing, the Kia Rio scored four (out of a possible five stars) for driver protection and five stars for passenger protection. In the side-impact test, the vehicle earned three stars for both front and rear occupants.

Interior Design and Special Features

Dressed in beige, the Rio's cockpit has an airy, optimistic feel so often lacking in this price bracket. Interior materials quality is above-average, but a few of the plastics aren't up to the xA's level. The cloth upholstery is attractive and breathes well in warm weather, and the control layout is as straightforward as they come. Seat comfort is excellent, as the well-shaped front chairs offer a generous range of seat-track travel. In back, headroom is a bit tight for 6-footers, but legroom is fully adequate and the tall bench provides good thigh support.

Driving Impressions

The 1.6-liter provides decent low-end pull and the manual transmission version offers enough thrust to merge into highway traffic with ease, although the engine gets noisy at higher rpm. Shifting the manual gearbox is enjoyable, thanks to the distinct gates and smooth clutch. Acceleration is almost as good with the automatic (which serves up smooth upshifts and on-time downshifts), though freeway merging takes some planning. The Rio's ride is smooth and stable, as the suspension does a fine job of soaking up road irregularities, and even at 75 mph, the ride is hushed. Pushed through corners, the Kia Rio responds with predictable body roll and unexpectedly crisp steering.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Killed one, going on another!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Rio 5 SX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I had a used 2006 Rio5 for a short bit before getting t-boned in a winter storm. The offender was a dodge caravan making an illegal left turn. The Rio took the hit well, with little damage to me...but the car was a write-off. After much searching for a new car, I ended up buying the exact same model. The Rio5 is great on gas, the 5sp is peppy enough to be fun. The spare tire cover is crap, I recommend buying a piece of plywood to cover it. The balljoints in the 3 kia rio5's that I have driven have all needed replacing.




Pleased with this car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Rio 5 SX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Nearing 79,000 miles, all driving done in and around the mountains of southern vt. Except for 5k oil changes and regular service, the only work I've needed is a wheel bearing, fuel tank purge solenoid and air bag wiring clip (all covered under waranty). Put 4 good studded snows on this car and you'll go anywhere. 34-35 miles per gallon, I've hit 39 on the highway, driving at 60-65 miles per hour




Wish it was stronger but

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Rio 5 SX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 4A)

I'll tell you I'm hard and neglectful on cars and this Rio has kept up. I didnt give it a oil change for 15000 miles and it started and drove like a champ. I have had small problems (eats through tires and brakes wear.) Not to confy. I drove from California to Texas and I'll say I'm young and those seats i cant stand to sit in them for more than a hour. Decent on gas. I'd recommend this car to young kids that are neglectful and need a good car to get them by. Nothing fancy. I do like the strong speaker system.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best fuel efficient, reliable car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Rio 5 SX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

My 2006 rio5 has already 385,000 km on it and is still running perfectly. It's my second rio, I drive it for a living, and I love the car, I cannot say a bad word about it, it never gave me any problems at all. The only thing I fixed so far are: ball joints, wheel bearings, tie rods (rough country roads) & fuel purge valve (filthy north American gasoline) buy the car new, maintain it well, don't drive it like a maniac (I. E. Floor the gas pedal), change oil every 5000 km, timing belt every 100,000, put premium fuel in it and she will never fail you! To the guy whose rio stalls & overheats on the hwy: go buy a tank!




Brake problems and gas pedal

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Rio 5 SX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 4A)

Purchased because of the cost and size along with good mileage. I have had 3 brake cylinders replaced in less than 1 year two of them on the same side and still my brakes are squeaky and at times making noises that I have never had before in any vehicle I have ever driven. They seem unwilling or unable to diagnose the real problem. I am very disatisfied with the car. Problems with the gas pedal sticking 1st thing in the morning and they are unable to find the problem with that as well. I'm unhappy with the car.




Best car i have ever

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Kia Rio 5 SX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 4A)

I have had my Kia for almost 2 years; got it for Christmas in 2005 and it is the best car I have ever owned. I love the way it handles, the gas mileage and the roomy interior is the best ever! The stereo system is fantastic, the a/c works great as well as the heater, and I really cannot find a single thing to complain about with this car! I love it so much that the lack of cruise control, electric windows and such do not even bother me! I would rather have the good basics this car has than all of the whistles and bells that everyone else finds so appealing!



Talk About The 2006 Rio

2006 Kia Rio Discussions See all Started By

player4
player4
08-24-2004
Spy Pictures 2006 Kia Rio:...


neanderbob
neanderbob
12-17-2007
Very occasionally, as in 6-7 times in 18 months our 2006 Kia Rio 5 (manual trans) has experienced a sudden 2-3 second loss in engine power. It feels like the ignition is suddenly cut and the car dece...


backy
backy
01-17-2007
Another advantage Sonata has is that Kias still suffer from really low resale values. Hyundais aren't great there either, but Kias seem to be worse. That should improve as Kia's new models change th...



Read more about the 2006 Kia Rio

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 27
  • cty
/
  • 32
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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