TorqueNews review of the 2012 Kia Rio 5-door
The Kia brand as a whole has come a long way since their early days in the North American market with an influx of more powerful and luxurious models like the Optima and the upcoming KH Concept but even the 2012 Kia Rio 5-door (the least expensive model in the Korean automakers lineup) offers a surprising level of quality – from the peppy 4-cylinder engine to the loaded up interior packed with modern amenities.
The 2012 Kia Rio 5-door offers an exterior design that is very similar to the rest of the brand’s lineup, with a uniquely shaped upper grille area and large, bright headlights. My test car came in the striking Electronic Blue with the big, bright 5-spoke wheels that are standard for the SX package. The Rio 5-door has a very compact exterior shape but the large greenhouse and short bonnet area allow for a sporty shape while also improving the amount of interior space – both for people and cargo. The Rio 5-door features a unique lower front fascia from the 4-door models with the center section separated from the outer fog light areas and those fog light bezels hold small, projection style lights in a black surround rather than the larger mirrored bezels of the Rio sedan.
Along the sides, the Kia Rio 5-door wears black pillar covers that accentuate the sporty feel of this compact 5-door hatch and out back, the lower fascia sports more black trim. The shape of the 5-door Rio allows Kia to mount large, rounded taillights that are also unique from the 4-door models – all of which are points that make me prefer the 5-door over the 4-door models. I’m typically not a wagon/hatchback lover but in the case of the Kia Rio, 5-Door SX models are my favorite of the model lineup.