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Kia Rio

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,870
    I saw a red Rio5 at a Kia exhibit at the State Fair yesterday. It looked exactly like my LX so I walked over to it. I looked at the sticker and noticed it was an EX, MSRP over $19k. I sat in it and was underwhelmed. It was hard to tell the difference from my LX, except for the leather covered wheel and the center armrest/console. The audio controls were different also, but a similar appearance to my LX. There was thin padded vinyl trim on the door panels, but it was so thin I don't think I'd miss it, plus it looks like the hard plastic on my LX. The interior cloth was different, but not so different than in my LX that it matters. Outside, I had to get close up to the car that the wheels were alloys and not the plastic covers as on my LX--very similar in design. And of course the powertrains are the same in both cars.

    So now I'm glad I went for the low lease deal on the LX. If I were to pay $19k MSRP for a car, I'd rather go with a compact like the Elantra/Elantra GT, Mazda3i sedan, or Forte LX.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,870

    Not a lot of activity here! My red 2013 Rio5 LX AT just passed 7,500 miles and I'm bringing it in for its 1-year servicing tomorrow (a few days early). With only 7,500 miles it will be a pretty cheap service--oil/filter, tire rotations, a few checks... and the free car wash! :) It's been a boring first year, and that's a good thing. No problems at all with the car, at least not the fault of the car. Did somehow pick up damage in both rear tires--a screw in one, something undetermined in the other. I need to get those plugged, but for now just adding a few pounds of air once a week or so.

    Fuel economy has been as good or better than the EPA estimates--the OLD EPA estimates, before Kia changed them. Can easily get over 40 mpg on the highway if I stay at 70 or under and the weather is moderate--not in the below zero stuff we had last winter though. Around town, I'm getting 34-36 mpg average with a mix of city & suburban streets and urban freeways, some of that during rush hours. ECO doesn't seem to add much to FE and it makes the car more sluggish, so I turned it off.

    Overall I've been happy with the car. It's done everything I expected and more. I love how I can park almost anywhere--a great benefit in tight parking ramps or on city streets. Enjoying the Sirius radio (re-upped for about $4 a month, after saying "no thanks" a few times to higher offers). Driver's seat and position are comfortable for a couple hours at least--as long as I've driven the car at one time. Suspension isn't super-refined, but handling is good and the car tracks straight on the highway. I like having enough room in the back for a couple of adults, as I have older kids. That's a no-op on some small hatches like the Fiesta. The only thing I wish the car had is cruise control--not available on the LX. But I rarely take it out of town, so that's not a biggie.

    Not sure yet if I'll buy the car out at the end of the 3-year lease. Depends what else I can get for around $10k, or a low lease payment like I got on my Rio5.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,870
    I was surprised to see (12/30/15) the Kia Rio on CR's list of 10 Worst Cars, i.e. the cars that have the lowest satisfaction scores from owners polled by CR. I'm surprised because I've been very satisfied with my 2013 Rio5 LX AT. It exceeds its EPA fuel economy numbers except in very cold weather (like we're having now in Minnesota). It's been reliable, with no problems in 2-1/2 years. It's fun to drive, has plenty of power for a small economy car, has smooth & intuitive controls, and in general has done everything I expected of it.

    I'll probably buy it at the end of the lease in June, since the residual is reasonable, then keep it for another year and sell it myself when it still has a year and ~30k miles of factory warranty left.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,870
    I said goodbye to my red 2013 Rio5 last Saturday. I turned it in 3 months early off its lease for a 2016 Forte5 LX. The dealer picked up the last 2 payments and gave me a great sign-and-drive deal on the Forte5, such that with insurance savings ($220/year less) and avoiding paying for license tabs on the Rio in a couple of months plus some other savings, I'll be paying about $40 less a month than if I had bought the Rio5 at end of lease and about $20 less than the lease payments on the Rio5. And while the Rio5 served me well for nearly 3 years of trouble-free driving, the Forte5 is a much nicer car, with many features not on my Rio5 such as Bluetooth, cruise, map lights, lighted vanity mirrors, side mirror flashers, temp gauge, padded armrests, center console with sliding armrest, rear seat armrest, six speakers, 16" wheels, etc. plus more interior room.
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