Used 2008 Kia Rio Wagon

Style:
2008 Kia Rio
List price range
2008 Kia Rio

Pros

  • Smooth ride, stable handling, attractive interior, standard side curtain airbags, generous warranty.

Cons

  • Cruise control isn't available, automatic version slower than most rivals, some cheap plastic trim, subpar safety scores.

Used 2008 Kia Rio Wagon for Sale

Kia Rio 2008 Rio5 SX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
0
Used 2008
Kia Rio
Rio5 SX
Hagerstown Honda
40.1 mi away
ListNot Listed
Est.Loan: $11/mo
View Details

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Pleasant to drive, the 2008 Kia Rio and Rio5 are the smallest cars Kia sells but they're two of the biggest bargains.

vehicle overview

In the rather unexciting subcompact car segment, traits such as reliability and refinement take precedence over head-spinning styling and tire-spinning performance. And in that respect, the 2008 Kia Rio has the bases more than covered. Pleasant to drive, stocked with features, solidly built and boasting that long (10 year/100,000-mile) powertrain warranty, the current-generation Rio is something the dodgy first-gen Rio wasn't -- very competitive in its class.

This year, the Kia Rio lineup expands via the addition of the Rio5 LX. Those who prefer the five-door hatchback body style now have a cheaper way in, as the hatch previously only came in the top-dog SX trim level. The Rio family now consists of three sedans (base, LX and SX) and two hatchbacks (LX and SX). With its Euro-flavored good looks that seem inspired by Renault, the Kia Rio hatchback offers an extra dash of style compared to the more mainstream sedan, along with the practicality of its roomy cargo hold.

In the budget ride ($11,000 to $15,000) price segment, we're fond of the 2008 Kia Rio as well as its sibling, the Hyundai Accent. However, in light of the Rio's varying trim levels and pricing structure, our recommendation is somewhat split. If low cost is of utmost importance, the base Rio measures up favorably against its more direct rivals such as the Chevrolet Aveo. Move up to the higher trims, however, and you will find more desirable choices available like the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa.

Trim levels & features

The 2008 Kia Rio is a subcompact available as a sedan and 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 in most respects. The LX adds popular features that include wider tires, air-conditioning, power steering, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a tilt steering wheel and a CD player with an auxiliary audio jack. The sporty SX versions add foglights, 15-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, metallic interior accents, drilled metal pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a black-with-red-accents cabin theme.

Options include the Power package (which adds full power features, keyless entry and tweeter speakers) and 16-inch alloy wheels for the SX.

2008 Highlights

For 2008, the LX trim is added for the Rio5. This means that those who prefer the versatile hatchback body style over the sedan are no longer forced to spring for the top-of-the-line SX trim.

Performance & mpg

Every 2008 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.

With the automatic gearbox, acceleration is slightly subpar. A Rio5 SX we tested took 11.5 seconds to run to 60 mph. However, the automatic does provide swift, well-timed shifts. As expected, the manual transmission makes the Rio more sprightly and fun to drive. Although the engine can get noisy under full throttle, it's relatively smooth and cruises quietly once up to freeway speeds.

Fuel mileage ratings for 2008 stand at 27 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with the manual and 25/35 mpg, respectively, for the automatic.

Safety

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 2008 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.

Driving

The 1.6-liter four 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. Precise gates and a smooth clutch make shifting the manual gearbox enjoyable. The automatic isn't as peppy, though its gearchanges are smooth and relatively quick. The 2008 Kia 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 Rio responds with predictable body roll and unexpectedly crisp steering.

Interior

The Rio's cabin, especially in beige, has an airy feel unexpected in this price segment. The materials quality is generally above average, though some trim isn't up to Honda levels. Seat comfort is very good for most body types, though 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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Kia Rio.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great Car at a good price
smalltownsouthernman,10/26/2010
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.
It's a Kia...
Dreamorpheus,05/08/2010
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.
Rio5 SX Wagon
Giancarlo,06/05/2008
I traded in my Hyundai Tucson for a car I could use for my working commute. Rio5 SX was a straightforward choice. The car is compact but surprisingly comfortable and spacious. The engine is up to the task considering is a 1.6 L and the car is very fun to drive. In my first tank of gas I've got a good 33 mpg in mix condition (traffic/highway) typical in a commute scenario. Very, very satisfied with this choice that I recommend to anybody in need of a good, reliable commuting car.
Rio5 not well known but a good car
rs,06/25/2008
I bought this car as a commuter car. It is great. I get 34 mpg combined driving. It is cute, the girls love it. I did not buy it for that though. It made sense to me a good value in a nice package. I drive a lot and was driving a big truck, the monthly payment and gas for this car is cheaper than the gas for my truck. I read many reviews on the internet and reliability is up there too. For a sub compact it is quiet. Lots of features for the money. It has a small engine but has enough power to get me up hills at the speed limit. I'm very happy with it.
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Features & Specs

MPG
25 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
110 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
25 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
110 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
27 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
110 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
27 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
110 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2008 Kia Rio Wagon features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Poor
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 2008 Kia Rio
Used 2008 Kia Rio Wagon Overview

The Used 2008 Kia Rio Wagon is offered in the following styles: Rio5 SX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 4A), Rio5 LX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 4A), Rio5 SX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M), and Rio5 LX 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Kia Rio Wagon?

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Kia Rio?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Kia lease specials
Check out Kia Rio lease specials