Comfort/Involvement Index: 2012 Kia Rio

By Winding Road Staff

April 27, 2012

If you’ve been reading Winding Road, you have probably seen our Comfort and Involvement Index. If not, here’s a brief primer: The Involvement Index quantifies the amount of man/machine involvement demonstrated by each tested vehicle. The overall score, based on a 100-point scale, gives a great approximation of how much fun a vehicle is to drive, overall.

The Comfort Index measures overall vehicle comfort—in driving character, wealth or paucity of luxury and technology features, fit and finish, roominess, etc. The overall score, based on a 100-point scale, gives a great approximation of how comfortable a vehicle is to drive.
Too add a little bit of detail to each score, we show “star scores” (between zero and five stars, with five being the best) for more granular categories within the larger frameworks of Comfort and Involvement, too.
Then, to round out each listing, you’ll find a quick blurb summarizing all of the scores for the car, and our experience of it.
We’ll be updating you on new entries to our indices as we drive/review the vehicles (and will eventually get around to putting all of these scores on In the meantime, if you’d like to see the full (huge) list of every score, check out the latest issue of the magazine.
Car: 2012 Kia Rio
Involvement: 61
Variety: *
Controls: *
Handling: *
Involvement Notes: Slow and noisy engine and lifeless steering hurt the Rio’s involvement. Great small car if you don’t want to have any fun on your commute. The ride is decidedly soft for a small car, and this is reflected in the level of lateral movement during hard cornering. Might not be so bad if there weren’t so many more competent alternatives.
Comfort: 65
Visibility: *
Ride/Handling: **
Acoustics: *
Controls: **
Comfort Notes: Attractive cabin, but too noisy to really feel very comfortable. Seats could be softer and more supportive. Room in back isn’t bad for a vehicle this small though. Ample trunk space is also a bonus. Optional equipment, as has become a Kia trademark, is quite nice, with heated seats