Man, that was a long Day 5. Apologies for the delay in getting this final post up on the 2006 Kia Rio5 SX, but now we have some time to sit down and ruminate on the interior appointments of Kia's entry-level commuter.
The first thing we noticed when climbing into the 2006 Kia Rio5 SX was [bonus points if you guess it] the length of
the seat cushion. Just like in the Hyundai Sonata we said goodbye to the week before, our knees find themselves far out
beyond the edge of the seat cushion. That said, we enjoyed the upright posture in the Rio5 SX. The seats are also high
off the floor, which makes you feel like you?re driving a bigger car than you actually are.
One of the items in the interior that impressed us most was the steering wheel. It?s made from solid magnesium, which supposedly absorbs vibration emanating from the engine bay. Ok, we?ll buy that. More than that, however, the wheel was weighted very well and did indeed feel like it part of the steeling column rather than merely attached to it.
The simple ergonomics of the Rio5?s interior is par for the course in this class. Everything is easy to find, easy to turn and easy to push. We weren?t admirers of the six radio presets having to share three large toggle-like buttons, as winter gloves would make channel changing a delicate maneuver. Nice touches include a slot dead center in the dash for highway toll tickets, nicely damped grab handles and two power outlets at the bottom of the center console. There?s also a cubby hole and all-purpose swing out compartment at the driver?s left knee, which, while we never got a chance to use, would probably appreciate more over time.
The rear seats of the Rio5 SX were a bit short on legroom, but we find it difficult in good conscience to hold that against such a small car. Its direct competitors will suffer from the same space constraints, so we?re more concerned with how the car packages its interior and makes the best use of the space allotted.
The Rio5 SX has a trunk capacity of 11.9 cubic feet and full carbo space of 15.8 cubic when the rear seats have been folded flat. The latter figure is larger than both the Chevy Aveo five-door and Scion xA. Gaining that extra cubic feet of cargo space requires the removal of a cargo tray that spans the width of the rear and lifting a latch to fold down the rear seats. Pretty simple and well worth the effort if you?re loading up that new 42? plasma screen.
With a base price of just $13,500 for the 2006 Kia Rio5 SX, you may have the funds for that plasma screen after all. The Rio5 isn?t the value leader in its class like the new Sonata, but it still follows the now familiar Korean formula of giving you more than you expect. Its interesting styling, relatively powerful engine for its class, versatile interior space and inherently fun small car handling make the Kia Rio5 SX an attractive prospect for budget shoppers. Throw in the industry?s best warranty with 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain coverage, and five years/60,000 miles of roadside assistance and you won?t be worrying about the end of your blue light special anytime soon.