2009 Kia Rio Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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 27/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Kia Rio

  • The 2009 Kia Rio offers a fair amount of value, yet there are better choices for a subcompact overall.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth ride, attractive interior, generous warranty, low price.

  • Cons

    Cruise control isn't available, automatic version slower than most rivals, subpar safety scores.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Kia Rio continues with no mechanical changes. However, there are a few audio system upgrades.

Gas Mileage


  • 27
  • cty
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car at a good

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rio

Purchased this car pre-owned with only 4000 miles on it. I haven't had any problems out of it to date. I do notice that when i drive it after sitting over night the rear brakes tend to be touchy and squeak some. The engine also tends to have a little rattle to it when it is cold. Not sure why it does that but once it warms up it is flawless. it may have something to do with the CVT.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

It's a kia...

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rio

Within the first year of owning the car, both front wheel-bearings went out. Twice each. Needs an O/D or 6th gear, MPG dwindles at highway speeds. The interior is rather gray, 'bout four different shades of gray, makes your soul sad. Have a issue with the driver- side window crank; keep smacking my knee on it, knocking off the knob. You also can't really sleep in the hatch, bit cramped, and the floors not flat. As unpleasing, and some times annoying this all may be, it's still a good little car. Its a grate car to buy new, by the end of the warranty you can just throw it away. It handles like a go-cart, gets good MPG in town, CHEAP, and they fix almost anything for the life of the car.

Great little car!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rio

I have had my Kia Rio for two years and I am very happy with it. The price was great. I get 30-34 mpg. I drive it daily 50 miles to work and back and like it fine. I have also driven it to Florida and several times (2,000 miles round trip) and it was comfortable. I have had no mechanical problems at all. It is a great little car for the price and with the back seat down has lots of room to haul stuff. Yes, I would buy another Kia.

A good dependable ride!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rio

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.

It does what it says

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rio

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.

Great commuter car for the

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rio

I was in the market to get to and from work everyday and wanted to keep my costs down. I had only owned Japanese cars, with one exception of a GMC pickup that was a big mistake. I was a little unsure about the KIA, but after nearly 2 years I'm glad I took the plunge. This little car is just what I needed. The fuel economy is quite good, but could be improved. It's surprisingly fun to drive. It's far roomier than you would expect from its dimesions. I've never had a single problem with this car --just regularly scheduled maintenance. Sure, I get the occasional odd look from other attorneys when they see me in my little Rio5, but I could care less.


Full 2009 Kia Rio Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Kia Rio continues with no mechanical changes. However, there are a few audio system upgrades.


Subcompact cars used to be strictly a low budget, no frills proposition. In the past, cars like the Kia Rio offered basic transportation and not much else, and the competition wasn't much better. However, given the recent interest in fuel economy and the fairly high price of most hybrids, subcompact cars are getting a new lease on life. The Rio is a good example. When it was completely redesigned a few years ago, it became more pleasant to look at and to drive.

As Kia's smallest car, the 2009 Rio boasts the brand's smallest price, making it one of the least expensive new cars you can buy in the United States. It also delivers respectable fuel economy, looks sharp in SX trim and is backed by Kia's stellar warranty. Two body styles, the sedan and the Rio5 four-door hatchback, are available to provide more of a choice to potential buyers. It all stacks up to make the Rio a pretty decent daily driver.

Still, you should shop around some before settling on the 2009 Kia Rio. True, if a rock-bottom price for basic transportation with a great warranty is your primary concern, the base Kia Rio is hard to beat. But if you're looking for a nicely equipped fuel sipper, we think there are better choices. The redesigned Honda Fit, in particular, is a better all-around car, thanks to its versatile interior and sporty driving characteristics.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Kia Rio is a subcompact available as a sedan or a four-door hatchback. The sedan comes in base, LX and SX trim levels, while the Rio5 hatchback comes in LX and SX trims only. The base sedan is bare-bones, coming standard with 14-inch steel wheels and a four-speaker stereo with a CD/MP3 player and satellite radio. The LX adds popular features such as air-conditioning, power steering, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a tilt steering wheel and an auxiliary audio jack. The SX trim level adds foglights, 15-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, metallic interior accents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and upgraded cloth trim.

Optional for the LX and SX is a power package that adds full power accessories, keyless entry and tweeter speakers. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are additionally available for the SX.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2009 Kia Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4 with 110 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard across the board, while a four-speed automatic is optional on all but the base sedan. Acceleration suffers a little when you choose the automatic transmission. A Rio5 SX automatic we tested took 11.5 seconds to run to 60 mph.

EPA fuel mileage estimates for the Rio stand at 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 26/35/30 mpg for the automatic. That's right in line with other subcompacts like the Fit and the Toyota Yaris.


Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on all Rios. The LX and SX trims also come with adjustable rear headrests. Antilock disc brakes are optional on those higher trim levels as well.

In government frontal-impact crash testing, the 2009 Kia Rio scored four stars (out of five) for driver protection and five stars for passenger protection. In its side-impact test, the Rio earned four stars for front-occupant protection and three stars for the rear. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing yielded a score of "Acceptable" (the second highest of four) in frontal-offset tests and a score of "Poor" (the lowest possible) in that agency's side-impact test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Rio's cabin, especially in beige, has an airy feel unexpected in this price segment. The materials quality is generally above average. Seat comfort is very good for most body types, although drivers north of 6 feet tall may get fidgety after more than an hour behind the wheel. A fold-down armrest is standard for the driver, but we'd prefer a more traditional center console box that provides this feature for both front occupants along with handy storage space. In back, headroom is a bit tight for 6-footers, but legroom is fully adequate and the tall bench provides good thigh support. The Rio5, with its rear seats lowered, can take on up to 49.6 cubic feet of cargo.

Driving Impressions

The Rio's 1.6-liter engine gets noisy at high rpm but provides decent punch, especially with the manual transmission. Precise action and a smooth clutch make shifting the manual gearbox enjoyable. Rios with the automatic aren't as peppy, although gearchanges are smooth and relatively quick. The Rio's ride is smooth and stable, and even at 75 mph, the cabin is hushed. The suspension isn't as composed over broken pavement as we'd like, though, as large impacts tend to shudder through the cabin. Pushed through corners, the 2009 Kia Rio responds with predictable body roll and unexpectedly crisp steering.


Talk About The 2009 Rio

2009 Kia Rio Discussions See all Started By

http://www.cargurus.com/blog/2007/03/12/kia-does-its-research-the-2008-rio-hybri- d/#respond...

Well i purchased my Kia Rio brand new in 2009 and my car stereo has no audio on top of that my overdrive button is malfuctioning..and one day last week i was driving at night and EVERYTHING but the ca...

My friend just bought a 2009 Rio and would like to know if it has a timing belt and if it has to be changed every 60K miles?? She did not get a manual with the car so we need to know soon as the car a...

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