Sum Up


When looking for the right car, everyone knows choice is important. With the 2012 Kia Rio5, the Japanese company offered plenty of options. The Rio5 is available as a sedan or hatchback in one of three well appointed trim levels. The exterior of the car is unique and sure to attract attention wherever it goes. Inside the cabin, there is no denying the thought and attention to detail that went into designing the model. While it isn’t a muscle car by any stretch of the imagination, the Rio5 performs at least as well as its competitors on the road. This model is attractive and fun with lots of regular standard and safety features.

New For 2012

For the 2012 model year, Kia chose to completely redesign the Rio5 line.


The Kia Rio5 for the 2012 model year is a completely redesigned model and features two available body styles, the hatchback and the sedan. Each of the body styles is available in three different trim levels. Buyers can chose from the base LX, the EX with more standard features, and the SX with its sporty accents. The LX has 15-inch steel wheels, while the EX rides around on 15-inch alloy wheels. The SX gets 17-inch alloy wheels. The front end and grille of this model is distinctive with styling sure to win it plenty of fans. The grille is narrow and uniquely shaped with the Kia emblem low on the hood, just above the grille. The headlights are high above the front fenders for good night visibility. This model features a low slung roof line that tapers back to the traditional sedan trunk or hatchback. Along the sides of the Rio5 Kia added in modern lines with a strong accent along the bottom of the doors with curved metal work ending just below the door handles.

Interior & Cargo

One of the first things to notice in the well appointed 2012 Kia Rio5 is the fine quality of materials and overall attractive interior design. This small car doesn’t feel small on the inside at all. Taller drivers are sure to appreciate the tilt telescoping steering wheel that allows for plenty of space. Even in the rear seats, passengers won’t experience that closed in feeling that occurs in many cars of this class. While on the subject of space, the cargo area is a big concern for many car buyers. The sedan version is equipped for 13.7 cubic feet of space. Putting the rear seats down in the hatchback model gives up a total of 49.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

Back to the materials used in the Kia Rio5 and even the lower trim level features nice details. The hard plastic used in the cabin is textured and remarkably soft to the touch. Step up a trim level or two and the Rio5 is even more refined with attractive metallic details and a soft to the touch dash.

Technology wasn’t forgotten in this model either. Each one is equipped with Kia’s Uvo voice command system. This system controls audio devices, cell phones, and the car’s navigation system. It is powered by Microsoft much like Ford’s similar control system. To make things simpler, the Uvo system is somewhat intuitive and pretty easy to learn to use.


The 2012 Kia Rio5 has all of the standard safety features one would expect. It also has a few you might not. This car is equipped with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, unlike many others of its class. In test drives, the Rio5 in the SX trim level stops from 60 mph in 119 feet, much faster than others in this category.

Along with the excellent braking system the Rio5 is equipped with stability and traction control as well as the full assortment of airbags. This model has front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Additionally, the car also has hill start assist on every model.

Driving Experience

Naturally what’s under the hood is important as well. The 2012 Kia Rio5 is equipped with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder. The trim level determines the gearbox options. The LX is equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission with the option of the six-speed automatic. On the EX and SX trim levels, the only transmission available is the six-speed automatic. The powertrain puts forth 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is estimated at 28/36 mpg city/highway for the automatic transmission and 29/37 mpg city/highway for the manual.

The powertrain on the Kia Rio5 is likely to sound rather pathetic next to some of the other available models on the market. Most test drivers were surprised by the acceleration and power the Rio5 possesses especially in the SX trim level. The smaller engine also helps to keep fuel costs low.

Key Competitors For The 2012 Kia Rio5

  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Honda Fit
  • Hyundai Accent
  • Nissan Versa

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