Like I’ve mentioned in my previous car reviews: I am not a automotive expert. I’m more concerned with comfort, functionality, and ease of use than I am with technical specs.
That being said, I didn’t expect to love the 2012 Kia Rio SX before I drove it around town for a week. I’m a mom of 5 and I’m used to driving a minivan around most of the time. Compact sedans don’t usually make it on my radar because they simply seem too small to be useful for me. However (and this is almost painful to admit), I have a daughter who is approaching 16 and could be driving in the next year. It’s very possible that I will, in fact, be in the market for a smaller car pretty soon.
The Rio: Small car with a huge “heart”
When I first slipped behind the wheel of the Kia Rio, I was shocked. Was this the same car I had just seen parked in front of my house? Despite it’s compact build, the Rio felt abundantly roomy on the inside. Driving around town, I didn’t feel like I was driving a “toy car” (which is often how I describe small sized sedans). This is a car with some personality and substance. And somehow, miraculously, it seemed so much bigger on the inside than it did on the outside.
What I loved about the Kia Rio SX
There wasn’t much I didn’t love about the Rio. From the maneuverability (loved how it handled corners, speed bumps, and parking spots!!) to the fuel economy (average 30 MPG city/40 MPG highway), there was so much to appreciate about this car.
- “Extra” front side windows decreased blind spots (so cool!)
- Remote keyless entry (so handy to keep my keys in my purse and simply push a button to start the car or unlock the doors)
- Navigation system (I love having the GPS integrated. It’s so easy to use!)
- The gas gauge lets you know how many miles you have left before empty (amazing!)
- Rear back-up camera (having the visual of the “distance zone” when I’m backing up is a huge help)
- Bluetooth technology
- USB and auxiliary input jacks
- Spacious trunk space (I could fit so much stuff back there!)
- Heated, power-folding side mirrors with turn signal indicators
- Auto on/off headlights
Of course, the Rio comes with the features that you’d expect in a car: front and side airbags, lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH), adjustable drivers seat, and power windows and doors, etc. And all for a very reasonable base price.
Would you recommend the Kia Rio?
Without hesitation, yes, I would recommend the Rio. I think it’s a great car for a smaller family, for a young professional or student, or for a mom with older kids who doesn’t want to drive the van around while the kids are at school…
Disclosure: I received a 2012 Kia Rio SX to drive at home for one week. All thoughts and photos included in this post are mine. So is all of the junk on the floor of the car and inside the trunk. It’s proof that we really did put the Rio to the test and loved it while it was “ours.” Many thanks to KIA for loaning me the car for an extended test drive.
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