With a youthful new style, more room and more horsepower, the 2006 Kia Rio5 should make for stiff competition in the sub-compact set. Add in six airbags, including side curtain airbags as standard, and it is a car that should be on any young person's test drive list.
What it is
A new Kia that features more room - 92.3 cubic feet of passenger space - the 2006 Rio5 features an edgy style combined with safety features at a low price. Kia is determined to make entry-level cars affordable and safe, and the Kia Rio5 is the latest revamp in the model lineup.
Why it matters
A stylish, inexpensive vehicle with safety features such as standard side curtain airbags, the 2006 Kia Rio5 has more room, a handsome exterior, and a powerful-enough 110-horsepower engine.
When you can buy it
Built in South Korea, the 2006 Kia Rio5 will be available in late summer of 2005 as a 2006 model.
How much it costs
Pricing has not been announced, but expect the 2006 Kia Rio5 to be slightly more expensive than the regular Rio, and very affordable. Standard features will include six airbags including side curtain airbags, front disc brakes, air conditioning, an AM/FM/CD sound system, 60/40 spilt folding rear seats, power steering, a height adjustable steering wheel, dual body color mirrors, and body side molding. The 2006 Kia Rio5 will be offered in two trims, the entry LX and the sporty SX. The SX comes equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a rear spoiler, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob. All Kias are covered by a 5-year/60,000 mile comprehensive warranty and a 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty. Roadside assistance is included for the first five years.
How quick it is
Speed and power are not the kinds of attributes you look for in an entry-level Kia, and the Rio5 is no different. But according to company officials, it more than measures up against the competition. Kia claims that its new 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine produces 110 horsepower and 107 lb.-ft. of torque. The new engine is mated to five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
What it looks like
Kia is bringing a youthful, edgy attitude to its new models Exterior features of the Rio5 SX include 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, and a rear spoiler. Inside, the sporty SX gets metal grain trim, metal pedals and leather to wrap the steering wheel and shift knob. But even the LX trim is sporty, as its wide stance lends itself to the look of performance. While the rear lights seem a bit unrefined, the overall look is one sure to please first-time car buyers.
What we think
Assuming that the 2006 Kia Rio5 does well when crash-tested for frontal and side impacts, this very well could be a great value for young drivers. This vehicle offers plenty of value at what is sure to be a low price: safety equipment that includes side curtain airbags, up to 92.3 cubic feet of interior space, a new engine, a youthful look, and a great warranty. It's a combination that may potentially become a favorite of young drivers - and their parents.
Engine: 1.6-liter four-cylinder, producing 110 horsepower and 107 lb.-ft. of torque
Transmission: Five-speed manual or four-speed automatic
Suspension: Independent front, torsion axle with coil springs rear
Steering: Rack and pinion, power assisted
Photos by Erik Hanson and courtesy of Kia Motors America