Last week, Beth posted a picture of my muddy mug after running the Tough Mudder up in Maryland. It seems like every time I head up there, Kia is more than happy to let us review a new vehicle. Maybe they know that, between that long drive and then driving the kids around for the rest of the week, we are going to put the car through it’s paces. This time they handed over the keys to a bright, shiny Signal Red Kia Rio 5- Door. When they pulled it up into the driveway, I was impressed right away. The car has smooth lines, pretty curves, and a great sporty look to it. Here, have a look!
It’s a sharp looking car, isn’t it? Let me tell you, it was pretty fun to drive, too. It corners pretty nicely and has great pickup. It does have an “Active Eco” button, which helps increase the fuel efficiency. If you are slow to accelerate, you probably won’t even notice a difference. If you have a lead foot, like me, you will find a noticeable decrease in the acceleration, but no so much as to take away the sporty feel of the car.
If you travel a lot, you will pretty much love the fuel efficiency in this car. On the way back from Maryland, I was getting 37 mpg. That’s pretty incredible, in my estimation. As I drove around for the next couple of days, though, it quickly dropped down to around 33 mpg. That’s not bad, but it seemed like a really fast drop from up as high as it was. For the rest of the week, it maintained an average of over 30. That’s pretty great considering all of the hills and stops that we have in this area.
The interior was pretty nice. There was plenty of cargo space and headroom, the seats were very comfortable, and the steering wheel was fully adjustable, including the ability to telescope in and out. That meant that my long legs did not have to be all bent up so that I could comfortably reach the steering wheel.
We only had a couple of complaints with the interior. With the car seats in, the fit for the kids was really tight. At one point, Sophie almost got stuck between the driver’s seat and the car seat behind it. This is going to be a problem with any small car, but this seemed really tight and makes me wonder about the legroom for adults sitting back there. The other issue centers around the rear window of the car. I did not notice it at first, but Beth, being shorter than me, had trouble seeing out of the small rear window. After she mentioned it, I have to say that she’s right. Looking at the rear view mirror, the rear window is very narrow. I also noticed that looking towards the front corners of the car was impeded by the frame. The little extra window there did little to address this. It seems like the curves that make the car so pretty eat into some of the visibility of the car.
Overall, this car was fun to drive. I felt safe behind the wheel, the dash was very accessible, the bluetooth set up was easy to set up, and the fuel economy was very good. It is more than powerful enough for me and it can fit two of the kids in car seats, which is fine when the oldest is in school. The biggest issues that I found were the visibility and the space in the rear seats. I do not, however, think that either of these issues automatically knock the car out of the running if we start looking for something in the near future.