I bought this as my first "new" car and I like this little buggy. I am a sales rep and so am on the road a lot, it handles well and is fun to drive. It is pretty good on gas. I would say average for a car this size. I put a huge ski box on the roof and it gets a bit worse of course. I use it in the winter around Alberta/BC with good winter tires and its great, plowed through 1 foot of snow on mountain roads more then once. I have taken it on logging roads for hundreds of km, driven it to California, Vancouver Island and more. It feels like a Honda or Toyota in terms of build quality, pretty solid. Shifts nice. Looks Euro. A great car.
Good weight distribution for winter driving, good handling, good on gas. SIMPLE.
I've been sold on Kia since 2001. Always a long distance runner, I need a car with better than average MPG and durability. The other things don't really matter. I want some money in my pocket after the bills are paid. Before 2001 I was driving a 1970 Pontiac Catalina for 15 years. It ran great until my nit-wit son took it for a spin. He spun out and drove it into a tree. It had huge miles on it. The Catalina averaged 18 MPG. All my Rio's average 35. It doesn't take long for the savings to pay for the car. Essentially I am driving a new car for free. The 2001 made a lot of noise but so does a Harley. You don't get wet in a Rio. A 2008 much quieter. I also own an '01, '03, and '06.
Gas mileage and warranty big factors. Some stripped down Rios can be bought for around $8K if you search the web. I bought one in '03 for $6K and installed a beautiful radio from Best Buy for $300. All Rio's come with a speaker system even a radio delete version. 150K on it, still runs great.
Finding a reputable service department. Few and far between. Look for service awards. Few in West Virginia. No bargains here either. I bought all my Kia's out of state. Saved thousands. 300 mile drive to Columbus, Ohio saved $8K on the '06. Paid $10K. 140K miles now. Lousy trade-in values.
This car is a great economy car. It drives well and the gas consumption is great. The warranty is fantastic. The bearings in the front wheels went and were replaced by Kia dealership without hesitation and no cost to me. Very reliable and gets you from point A to point B comfortably, cheaply and with no problems.
Heated seats, back seat space for passengers and comes with a good number of standard features.
None so far. I know why I bought it and it does exactly that!
I'm really happy with this car. I've had it almost two years, and I'm still enjoying it. The only thing I'd ask Kia to improve would be the height of the arm rest - it's too low. I feel very safe in my car. It's even comfortable on ten-hour vacation trips! The interior is nice, and easy to clean - great for people with kids. It really is easy to park. I'd be happy buy another one.
Comfy interior, rear window defrost, great handling, roomy trunk.
An Update. My '08 Rio is coming up on 39k. I drive all highway and still am impressed on the way in which the car handles, except in snow well go figure. Nothing major, all regular maintence so far. The car is a little trooper. round trip I drive 140 miles, reason i bought the lil sipper. The car has all I need. I have noticed what others are saying about the slow shift with the automatic transmissions, especially when the car is cold, which in the northeast is common. I am not worried yet about it. I tell you the car takes a beating and is holding up, I am hoping for long too. I am rough on the cars I drive so I hope to have it a few more years in this one.
Power Package, I cannot believe they still make cars without power all, that is ridiculous.
Comfortable seats a must, satellite radio( I think they have it in the newer models).larger gas tank. lockable glove box,center console, not the little arm rest.