Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's the most under-appreciated subcompact?

I was looking through my photos this morning and ran across some tricked-out Kia Rios. I thought, dang, those look good dropped on some custom wheels. Yet, you don't see many tricked-out Kia Rios even though they sell pretty well.

There is a Kia Rio enthusiast base, and as evidenced above, they can look pretty good. They're pretty good cars and you get a lot for your money, especially the 2010s, which have Bluetooth standard on the SX ...

So what's the most under-appreciated subcompact on the market these days?


Steven Rahn said...

I think I'm driving it. The Hyundai Accent hatchback is
mentioned only as a cute, cheap, econo-car. The SE version is a lot more than that. While apparently somewhat uncommon, it is a little known gem, frequently ignored next to the Fit or Fiesta. The classic (rather than garish) hatch styling wears well, the reliability and solidness is impressive, and the fun-to-drive factor makes it a pleasure to own. It has the key features, but isn't over-complicated with techno-gadgets. The new restyled Accent will get better MPG, and more tech stuff, which is great. I just hope that it retains the fun and uncomplicated personality. I doubt that I will part with mine, because I still love it, and expect that it will be more appreciated as we look back.

Anonymous said...

The Toyota Yaris, of course! Very few people approve of modifying the car, the general perception is that it's a purposed econobox and cannot be anything else. I disagree, obviously. :-)

Unknown said...

As a former Rio5 owner, I can tell you that unfortunately, the Rio looks much better than it drives. Even in the SX trim level with the 5-speed manual and 16-inch alloys, it is not "sporty" in the least.

The Rio's strengths lie in creature comforts, like lots of interior room for its size, ice cold A/C, a great sounding stereo, and easy to use controls. But behind the wheel, it does nothing to engage the driver.

The steering is dreafully numb, the shifter is very clunky and imprecise, the ride is rough and bouncy, the engine produces a coarse, unpleasant growl, and the suspension has excessive tail squat and nose dive upon accelerating, shifting, and braking. Its only "sporty" virtue is better than expected cornering, with good grip and minimal body roll.

The Rio5 is still a pleasure to look at, with its cute "Euro" hatchback profile and unique black trim accents (unfortunately deleted in the 2010 facelift), but I ultimately found out that looks alone aren't enough to make it a desirable car to own -- especially coming for a long-time VW Golf owner.

burnitwithfire said...

The Accent is seen as the bottom of the barrel by lots of people, mostly in the US. Even though I drive a 2010 Accent, I've been told I must be using food stamps for owning such a cheap car.

It's a brand new car, not an old clapped out Honda or VW. If I were using food stamps, I'd take public transit.

Aftermarket for the Accent/RIO is pathetic compared to some other subcompacts.

theKiaGuy said...

how 'bout postin some of those pics of some tricked out Rio's??? pleeeaaassseee??? :) great site btw, longtime follower, first time poster