A proper performance benchmark for an autocross car would normally be something like a BMW M3, a Porsche Cayman or 911, or a Ford Mustang Boss 302. But for this episode of Roadkill, it was none other than a Kia Rio 5. No disrespect against the Kia, as it's a highly respectable entry in the subcompact hatch segment. But a Porsche or BMW rival, it's not. Despite its lack of a performance pedigree, the Rio was selected as the benchmark against which nine of Roadkill's project vehicles were judged as they navigated an autocross course.
The selection of vehicles ran the gamut from muscle cars, complete junkers (even by Roadkill standards) shop trucks, the Roadkill flatbed hauler, and a 700-hp LS7-powered Camaro. The drivers for the day were Roadkill's Mike Finnegan and David Freiburger, and and Motor Trend's Jonny Lieberman and Carlos Lago. Being an accomplished aficionado of high-dollar machinery, Lago laid down some impressive times, but being used to cars with modern, properly-functioning brakes and taut suspension, the Roadkill duo's experience driving cars of less-than-stellar mechanical condition proved valuable, as poor brakes proved to be the defining characteristic of most of the cars tested.
Watch the video below, and see how the Roadkill collection stood up to performance prowess of the Kia. Be sure and watch Roadkill every fourth Friday on the Motor Trend Channel!