"I bought a '09 Rio Base Sedan and still enjoy driving it. When compared to other small sedans and hatchbacks this car definitely holds par.
The positives include the fuel efficiency, which can range from 30 to even 40 mpg depending on driving style and type. The handling is fairly sporty and even without power steering, the car is a joy to drive. The 110 hp and light weight really helps with acceleration and you don't feel like you are driving an underpowered economic car. The cabin is very roomy, especially compared to other compacts. The backseat has ample headroom, I have never heard of anyone complaining about hitting their heads, whereas in the ford focus I (5'11") had to duck to ride in the backseat. Legroom is also fine for kids or smaller adults, but not comfortable on long rides for taller adults.
Some of the negatives include road noise and the cheap feeling interior. When driving on the highway talking on a phone (which admittedly you shouldn't do anyways) is difficult and the engine noise is quite loud. The interior is made of very hard plastic and holds grease after handling. Also, when I tried to clean the inside using a wax product, the dashboard ended up looking even worse than before. It seems like the plastic doesn't accept that type of cleaning well. Or im doing it wrong!
Overall this has been a great car that has a great buy that I would recommend to anyone in the market."
Pros: "price, gas mileage, spacious, mechanically sound"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This has got to be the best car for the money I have owned. In over 100,000 miles, the only 2 problems I've had have been having to replace the horn (~$100) and replacing the windshield wiper rotator (I think it was around $100-150). I still get around 29 mpg.
The car is totally roomy for being so small (Rio5, not Rio). I can fit two bicycles INSIDE along with a cooler, a friend and camping equipment for 3 days. At one point I took the back seats out and put in a bed and two people (both 5/4") could sleep comfortably.
My last car was a Mitsubishi Eclipse, so at first my Rio felt slow, but now I would say it's pretty zippy (manual transmission) and goes 80 mph without feeling stressed.
I love that it doesn't let you leave your headlights on.
At first I did not like how upright the sitting position is, as my Eclipse was much more reclined, but I got used to it. And I also don't like the ding-dong-ding-dong that says your door is open, or your seatbelt isn't fastened, so I removed that fuse. Other than that, I love this car and plan on buying the same one again when/if this one dies."
Pros: "inexpensive, fun, sporty, reliable, great mpg"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Very reliable, I've had this car for 2 years now and have had zero problems with it. Everything works and it drives great, excellent on gas mileage and comfy for long road trips. The interior looks very nice for this price range of cars, sporty and fun plus it doesn't show dirt and everyday wear and tear. The hatchback is super convenient and makes getting things in and out super easy. The backseat lays down flat and I've been able to fit and incredible amount of stuff back there whether I'm going camping or moving a dining table and 4 chairs there is always enough room! Love this little car!"
"We own a 2006 Rio5 SX with an automatic. This car has been used as a company car since day one. It only 26 months old but it has over 150,000 miles on it. We have had zero problems. We have kept up on all the maintenance and replaced the timing belts on time. But for having over 150,000 miles it still looks and runs like a brand new car. We plan to run this car for at least another 50,000 miles then buy another one."
"I have only had the car for a few weeks, but I love it. I wanted the Honda Fit, but could not get leather or heated seats in that car. I am getting about 36 miles per gallon city. I have yet to test it fully on the highway. I was worried the car would blown all over the highway like my sister's Echo but it did great. I love this car and it cost way less fully loaded then any car in its class and it was worth it."
"great little car - i ve owned this one for over 6 months and logged 21k on it gas milage is terrific at 40 mpg hwy !! the car has to go up a mountain 3 days a week and has plenty of pep great everyday cummuter but not so comfortable on longer trips i shopped price all the way and did ok on buying this car"
"I bought this brand new for my son. Took it over later on and did not get the expected gas milage until about 12k miles. So, until the engine is broke in, you won't see the gas milage. After break in, have been getting 34 average for city/hwy travel at 20/80 ratio."
"For the price and quality compared with other vehicles from the same year and size, this car is dependable, sporty, roomy (based on size), refined and very easy to drive. If I had more than a 40 mile, one hour commute one way then I would recommend a larger car (I am 6'3")."
Pros: "great value , trunk space (hatch) aux input, gas"
Cons: "cheaper interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I've been driving my rio5 for the last 3 1/2 yrs. The first 3 months it needed the engine replaced. It was using too much oil between changes and creating knocking. That was fixed with warranty. Since its been driving great. Great trunk space. I fit a 50 in LCD tv in the box in it.(i had to drive with the seat all the way forward) small interior, one arm rest on driver seat. Passenger tendy to use it as well. great price, near hybrid gas mileage."