2012 Kia Rio SX Sedan Review: How It Drives
During our week with the 2012 Kia Rio SX, we put about 1,000 miles on the car in mostly highway driving that gave us a good indication of the car's ride quality, fuel economy and handling. Of these three, we were most impressed by the fuel economy of the car which wasn't hard to hit the EPA estimates especially with the Eco Mode on. When turned on, the throttle response is numbed slightly to squeeze out every last mpg, and, even better, the system can be turned off at the push of a button for peak acceleration. Weighing in at more than 2,500 pounds, this Rio SX is about 100 pounds more than the 2011 Rio with an automatic transmission, but the additional horsepower being sent to the front wheels makes the car feel much sportier to drive than its predecessor. In terms of its sportiness, Kia says that the Rio SX gets a sport-tuned suspension, but we would attribute any added handling to the taller and wider tire and wheel combination. The car definitely feels sporty for an entry-level subcompact, but it doesn't have the rough ride commonly associated with cars featuring a "sport-tuned" suspension. One final aspect of the 2012 Rio that stood out to us during our long-distance road trip was the car's excellent visibility resulting from the high driver's seating position as well as the generous window openings in all four directions.