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Kia Rio



  • I have read articles like this before... and you know what.. I still don't buy them. A couple of points.

    1. Fuel Efficiency; the argument that accelerating like grandma is what causes the manual to save gas makes sense if you are going to be doing city driving. But if you are driving 40 miles on the highway each way to work odds are you are going to spend a fair bit of time cruising at speed; no shifting therefore the mechanical advantage of the manual should come into play. Further it ignores the fact that most automatics these days are geared so they are operating at lower RPMS for a given speed than the same model's manual. I would love to see a comparison of cars with the same actual gearing in terms of efficency.

    2. More Power; Power may not be an issue if you have a V6 or a V8.. or even a 130-140 HP i4... but for buyers of Kias, Scion xAs, etc, it is an issue. I test drove an xA a year ago with an automatic and found it to be too slow for me to feel comfortable merging on the DC beltway (for the record, I currently drive a VW with 115 hp engine that weighs considerably more... so I am not a power fanatic).

    3. Driver Attention: Try driving the Manual while talking on the cell phone or eating a burger...
  • Hi Jemtec
    R134 works well and is actually a little cooler under mild conditions But the problem is when the heat is on the standard R-12 condenser is undersized for the R134 especially if it is over charged. It is also [non-permissible content removed] in slow traffic as the condenser is now running very hot without forced wind cooling and the compressor discharge temps will go up as well as pressure. This adds more mechanical load and overheats valves in the compressor...Bad.

    I believe a better solution is the use of natural hydrocarbon based refrigerant like FR-12 or hychill 12. These are flamable and are pure versions of LPG that is used for the BBQ. Performance increase is unbelievable as it runs cooler under the worst conditions of traffic crawl and compressors love it due to the unbelivably low head pressures.

    It also leaks much slower and cost a absolute [non-permissible content removed] load less than R134. It can be dropped into a old car no problems. Top ups are no brainers and you dont need to try to locate all the leaks as its cheap,and leaks quite slowly in old cars. The risk of explosion is also quite low due to the fact that pressures are lower on the condenser and the total charge is 1/3 of that required for r12 as LPG is lighter in mass so there really is not much gas to leak out under the worst possible rupture.

    any how if you dont want to change all the parts in your car ac and you are the type who like a good top up for 60 bux a season consider the better performing, cheaper and environmentally friendlier hydrocarbon refrigerant.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    There was an interesting point made in another discussion about why the stick shift is geared lower than the automatic. When cruise control is on, a car with a stick shift can't downshift when going up hills. An automatic can of course. So one of the reasons the Rio/5 stick is geared lower than the automatic might be for adequate uphill performance while cruising.
  • -4-wheel disc brakes vs disc/drums,

    That doesn't matter at all to me, except from the standpoint of looks if I have alloy wheels. You do the vast majority of braking at the front of the car, any old thing in the back works fine for me.

    -Multi-link rear suspension vs. flex torsion-beam

    I actually prefer the flex-torsion beam from the stanpoint of simplicity

    -Roomier and higher quality interior materials (seats, dash, door panels, etc.) vs. smaller and lesser quality hard-plastic surfaced interior

    I understand the difference here. It makes *some* difference to me, but is not a show stopper. (But remember, I just sold a Ford Aspire; virtually the whole interior is molded plastic with no attempt to appear to be anything else.)

    -Larger, name brand rubber (tires) vs. smaller, Korean (i.e. harder to replace in cases of defects) rubber

    Again, going back to the Aspire, I moved from 165/70R13s to 175/70R13s to smooth out the ride a bit. I never had trouble finding tires of either size. I would probably do like I did with the Aspire: Drive the stock tires for about 30k miles, then replace with a higher quality set of something else.

    It's good to know what one is getting, but for some of us it still doesn't matter. I would prefer better tires, but I could replace a whole set of tires and get the road hazard warranty for less than $200 on my Aspire. So that isn't a biggie.

    If I go back and drive the Rio again, I'll take a harder look at the interior. To be honest, I didn't think the Spectra interior was all that great. It was okay, but not great. I probably need to compare the two.
  • If I go back and drive the Rio again, I'll take a harder look at the interior. To be honest, I didn't think the Spectra interior was all that great. It was okay, but not great. I probably need to compare the two.

    IMHO, when I'm sitting in my Spectra it feels like I could easily be in a Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla (which ARE the cars it was designed to compete head-to-head with).

    I don't get that same feeling when I'm sitting in the new Rio. It's very acceptable and decent... it just doesn't impart that same "higher end" feeling to me.

    Thus, the Rio *should* sell for considerably less than a Spectra. That is unless a "gas mileage" premium in the new car market materializes due to increase demand for fuel efficiency. With the leveling off and recent decreases in gas prices, that might not be happening at the same time the Rio hits the dealerships in full force. But.... this gas respite could be temporary, so I think that the overall timing of the new Rio release is still extremely timely for KIA.

  • I find it odd that Toyota, Honda, Ford, etc. all have small cars with a higher MPG for the MT over the AT. If real-world driving was at play every other brand would have numbers that look like that, but they don't. This suggest Kia is trying something a lil sneaky and I don't like that.

    Latest MPG stats for the new Honda Civic from another forum:

    30/40 for the five-speed automatic.

    30/38 on the stick!



    Darn that sneaky 'ole Honda! What'er they trying to pull on us? :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    The Rio isn't designed to compete with the Civic and Corolla, but with the next tier down: Fit, Yaris, xA, and Aveo. So it's not surprising this car, that starts out less than $13k list price, would not impart a "higher end" feeling. For that kind of money, something has to give. If it drives well, is solid with good safety ratings, gets excellent fuel economy, and has enough room for four average-sized adults, that is what is most important for this low-end class of cars. Now, if the Yaris and Fit can deliver all this plus a higher-end feeling, for the same money, then Kia is in trouble.
  • Compared to Aveo and xA, I would take the Rio hands down. Those other two seem to be extremes of the very small car market when it comes to ride: the Aveo is too soft and the xA is too hard. The Rio is just right. With the AT, all three cars wind up the engine on accleration, but the Rio seems to make much less of a fuss about it compared to the Scion (which is just a buzz box to me) and even the Aveo. The xA has a cramped feeling for a tall guy. The Aveo isn't as bad, but the Rio is better still.

    I can't speak to the Fit and the Yaris since I haven't seen them yet. But if the Scion is any indication of the Yaris (not saying it is one way or the other), I think the Rio will hold its own. I'm absolutely positive the price of the Rio will come down with rebates, especially since gas prices have come down as much as they have. Even for me, fuel economy isn't as much of a concern as it was a week or two ago.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    has those large side door mouldings, too. Not to be overlooked in this day and age of doors slamming against your car and shopping cart dings. I like the new Rio design, it beats the old design IMO. A little larger wheelbase and more car for your money, rebates will be on their way, I'm sure.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    And the side moldings are in the right place, in the middle of the doors, vs. along the rocker panels as on the new Civic--a totally worthless use of a molding.
  • As far as the black moldings (bumper and door) on the new Rio go, I like them too. I've read a handful of complaints online about them, esp. the black/dark gray color.

    I don't mind the color though, because my '88 Mustang 5.0 has a black molding that goes entirely around the car. The car is a candy apple red, so I think the two colors contrast nicely.

    The same goes for the Rio. I think the molding will defintely look good on the red, blue, and orange colors. White is about the only color where there's maybe a bit too much contrast, but oh well.

    And I agree on the size and placement being good too. I abhor door dings, and so far I've avoided them with my Spectra in the structures and lots I park in.... but it takes some work and intelligent parking to accomplish it. People can be complete morons when they pull in and just whip their doors open into your car. I once had my Acclaim swung into 2 days in a row while I was finishing up a radio segment before getting out of my car. Did I ever give those people the evil eye! :mad:

    So... the Rio gets two thumbs up in the body molding category from me!

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    to a store in NW Washington state once. It was windy, real windy, and I wanted to just pull up to the curb and get out and get a pop at a machine that was outside a supermarket. The wind blew a shopping cart into my '97 Ford Escort and it was not a soft collision, either. Big 'ole dent in my door, I don't remember if my insurance covered it or not, but I did have it repaired, it was a nasty dent.

    I also like the placement of the '06 Rio's side mouldings, they are intelligently placed to actually stop dings. It's a nice feature of the car.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I had the same thing happen to me. Most likely your insurance didn't pay, mine didn't. They called it an "act of God" and denied the claim. I tried suing the grocery store but lost for the same reason. The judge it was merrily an "act of God" and the the store was not negligent.
  • 1. Backy.. I suppose cruise control might be a reason for having shorter gearing on the Manual... but I didn't think the Rio offered cruise control? Or maybe it does in other markets. Still I would like the option of having a higher overdrive... even automatics don't kick down on every hill.. just the more significant ones.

    2. Side moldings... I actually kind of like them.. adds an interesting visual element to the car. Is also kind of retro. Look at it this way.. No one in a late 80s early 90s BMW ever complained about the black molding on those cars and they are now classics :).
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    my insurance didn't cover it. I just recalled my Kia salesman's face when he realized my '97 Escort had a big 'ole dent on the door he didn't see earlier when I was test driving the '99 Sephia! I traded the Escort in with that dent in the door-fortunately it didn't hurt me at trade-in time.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I don't want to retread old news about the MPG numbers except to say they are discouraging. In a car this size you really expect an efficiency equivalent to the Echo. Even my girlfriends 97 Escort is listed at better MPG with a 110HP engine (yes I mean the MT), that has plenty of power. This is the 2006 model and I wish Rio took some more risks than packaging the same small car package that has been sold for 20 years now. On the outside the car looks good even with the Retro black side-moldings. I just feel I've seen this car before, except more boxy. What I'd like to see is soft touch plastics or an interior more like the Spectra since they want a premium price for this segment. Its a good stab but not revolutionary. Does make me curious to see what they do with the hybrid. It would be nice to have a choice of engines, with a diesel and a smaller displacement. I guess they think that wouldn't sell. I don't think this logic holds up, in the end. If you have a good package you could put in a lower displacement and have fun with it. MINI could do it, and Europe's been doing it for years. KIA does sell a diesel and a 1.5L in Europe by the way, giving other counties citizens options.
  • I keep popping by my KIA dealer hoping to see a shipment of 2006 Rios, but they only have the one little base level sedan sitting in the back corner of the lot.

    I know that they've got a bunch of 2005's to get rid of, which NOT having the 2006's around will help do, BUT.... I really want to take a test drive, esp. in a Rio5.

    What are the rest of you folks seeing on the dealer lots out there, as far as 2006 Rio inventory goes? Has anyone even seen a Rio5 anywhere yet?

  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    My dealer had 5 last weekend. No Rio5s however; I wonder if any have been shipped yet. All of the RIOs were LXs, and just one had a manual transmission. None had any options such as the power package or ABS brakes.
  • Thats the same out here in southern California. I have seen many 06 Rios but no Rio5 yet. A dealer is suppose to call me so I can take a test drive when a Rio5 shows up. I live practically next door to Kia North American headquarters. Maybe I will drive by this weekend to see if they have any Rio5s on their lot. I saw the 06 Rio on their lot about 2 months before the dealers had them.

    Happy motoring
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    on the lot in Pocatello, ID, this week. It was jet black and looked very good to me. A lot better body design than Rio's of old IMO. It was an automatic, though, and was selling for around $13,500. The solid side moulding built in from the factory looked good on it. This would be a good small car to have black as a color for. I like it's front end design, the grille and hood design meshes together in a crisp, smart new way. I also liked the rear end design. My concern with getting one of these would be it's small size, would there be ample room for our two small "kids", our two Pomeranians? My wife and I love the nice cabin room in our Sportage and I would guess we'll look at a new world order Kia Sportage when trade-in time rolls around again. The dogs have ample room in our present Sportsman. Not gonna be tradin' in for a good while yet...she's purrin' like a kitten, gentlemen!

    I really like the way Kia is heading with all of their new models...they get better and better each model year IMHO. The Long Haul Warranty remains yet prices don't seem to climb. Ya gotta love that aspect of the Kia shopping experience. This new Rio will sell in large numbers in Europe-in fact, Kia says it already is selling like hotcakes there.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    That may be why Kia designed the Rio with a European flavor. This is most apparent with the black moldings and also in the styling of the Rio5--very similar to some small hatches I've seen in Europe.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    exactly. I think we tend to think in terms of the U.S. market when we examine new cars. Of course, we're in America so it stands to reason we think of ourselves when we see a new rig. The thing is is Europe's roadways are thinner without the room we have here in the States. The new '06 Kia Rio 4-door sedan I saw last week in Idaho looked way better in person than seeing it on the net. The black looked great to me for some reason...I'm gonna look at more of them in person in the coming months. The price is sure right. If they can accelerate up to freeway speeds nicely I would be even more enthused with them. Wait a minute...I'm driving a '01 Kia Sportage right now! Not exactly a speed wagon either! Yeah, it'll be cool to see the Rio5 coming up here soon, too.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I just happened to see a black '06 Rio automatic today. It was after closing time at the dealer, but I was in the neighborhood so I went in to see if the Rios had arrived yet. I saw only one on the lot or in the showroom, the black sedan, and it had a SOLD sign on it. It did look good in black, and the tan interior was a nice complement. I thought the interior was well done for an inexpensive car. I happened to look at some '05 Accents a few minutes later and the Rio's interior looked much richer and more modern--and the Rio was only about $500 more, even with its side curtains. The fit and finish outside were excellent, also--shiny paint with no discernable orange peel, and narrow and even panel gaps. The wheel covers looked like alloys if you stood a few feet away, and even have the little covers over the lug nuts like some alloys do. Can't wait to go back next week and drive one--if they still have one. That dealer said they were only getting one for now, and maybe that was it!
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    look small to you? Would it seem too small compared to driving a Kia Spectra or Hyundai Elantra around, if someone was used to those size of cars?

    I was impressed with the '06 Rio's stature and exterior look in that black color. All I could think when looking at it at night was how it would be to drive it and would it be too small. Guess that's what test drives are for.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Depends on how much size/space you need. I don't need much, as long as I fit in the driver's seat and can hold an adult and three kids in a pinch. For around-town commuting, which is what I'd use it for 95% of the time, I think it would be fine. It's about a foot shorter than my Elantras, but I think most of that space is taken off the front and back, not the interior compartment. The rear leg space looks a little smaller than on my Elantras, but bear in mind that car is classified as a midsize by the EPA. The rear leg room looked sufficient for small adults or kids. As you say, that's what test drives (and sits) are for.

    FWIW, I've owned some cars that were smaller than the Rio, including a '85 Civic S hatchback. I really enjoyed tossing that little car around, so driving a small car doesn't bother me as long as Kia got the crash protection right. I wouldn't buy a Rio until the crash test results are out--I got burned before by Hyundai, buying a brand-new design before the crash tests were released, so I won't make that mistake again.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    good point. It's cool for me to wait on '06 Kia Rio crash test results as I'm not in a rush to trade in just yet, anyway. These will be interesting crash results because if I'm not mistaken this is a brand new Kia Rio design. Also, these are the CVVT engines, too, that put out less emissions and get better gas mileage than their old Rio motors.

    I'm thinking about putting the Rio 4-door sedan on my futures list, which also includes the 2006 Kia Spectra SX, 2006 Kia Spectra5, 2006 Kia Sportage and also the 2006 Scion xA and 2007 Toyota Echo/Yaris/Vitz. From all 6 of these cars will come my probable next car, but not until the '01 Sportage 4x4 gives me a strong reason to discard it.

    Whatever my next rig ends up being it must have a 5-speed manual tranny in it.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Don't forget the Rio's first cousin, the Accent. Same platform but standard ABS.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    IIRC I liked the early look of the 2006 Hyundai Accent's body a tad better than the 2006 Kia Rio's body. I think with these small HyunKia cars it will come down to how they look in person and how they drive during test drives.

    It will be hard to let go of the "sitting up higher" driving experience of the '01 Kia Sportage 4x4 and what I am thinking the sitting position will be on the 2006 Kia Sportage. I really like the job Kia did with the new Sportage and I really like the new Hyundai Tucson as well. Fantastic new designs and Kia has already won JD Power awards for the new Sportage and Amanti designs.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • chuck1959chuck1959 Posts: 654
    On August 9th my local dealer were all out of 2005 Rio's....sedans and wagons, They told me they were expecting 2006's in 2 weeks. As of today they have a few stripped sedans and a couple of LX's but no Cincos...whoops Rio 5s! LOL
    I went there to buy a 2005 Rio Cinco Please don't anyone tell me I should have bought a Spectra instead! However it worked out great as they had a 2004 Rio Cinco with 1,917 VERFIED miles on it (I had it checked it out myself) Sure saved me a bundle!
  • I am a total sucker for hatchbacks, so I'm waiting for this Rio5 to get here ASAP. I need a car pretty quick. I mean within a couple of weeks. Any word, Kia people?

    I saw the 06 Rio, and it definitely looked serviceable. The 5-door would just fit my needs more.
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