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2013 Rio5 EX w/ Convenience & ISG
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Discussion Starter #1
Got my 5 in April and am still anticipating getting around in snow and driving over icy bridges with all the fancy drivetrain controls.

All I've had in the past was ABS and new tires.

Anyone care to offer hopes and assurances from their experiences with the newer Rio?
 

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2012 Kia Rio EX
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34 Posts
The 2012 was ok. I did get from A to B safely.

There were no issues in normal/light snow conditions as long as acceleration is gradual. Sudden acceleration over slick surfaces (light snow, ice, or even wet paint) will lead to the traction control system cutting power. I found this cut to be a bit excessive.

I had personal issues with the stability control. If the car started to slide I would try to compensate, but so would the computer in the car. In really deep snow I found it better for me to turn off the system.
 

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2013 Kia Rio 5 SX UVO, 2012 Cadillac Escalade Ultra Luxury
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116 Posts
I agree that the traction control is excessive.... i've had it in other vehicles and wasn't so obtrusive. The first time it turned on for me I thought the car died... and then I got used to how much it really did it...
 

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'12 Kia Rio LX. '11 Toyota Tacoma, '07 Honda S2000, '11 Husaberg FS570, KTM 990 Adventure
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267 Posts
i agree with MD. it is "ok". with stock tires, it sucks, but with snow tires it does "ok".

the abs is very intrusive, and the traction control is beyond intrusive. turning it off is part of my car starting routine now.

the car is heavily biased toward understeer, and it is worse in inclement weather. i have found the ebrake to be my friend here... i commute 45 miles each way, and 20 of those miles are country backroads. in the nearly year of ownership, have encountered some decent storms so far. it is very quiet, and it is sometimes tough to judge what is going on at the contact patch. the car doesn't give much confidence that i won't end up in a ditch.

mine is currently stock, save for type R badges. with any luck, this year i will play with suspension/alignment settings in an attempt to make the car more communicative.
 

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I run winter tires in Canadian winters and mine (2012) is just fine. It does pack snow into the wheel wells like crazy though, enough that I'm constantly cleaning it out to avoid distorting the wheel wells when turning.
 

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2016 FIAT 500X Trekking Plus AWD; 2016 Kia Forte5 SX 1.6T A/T
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6,806 Posts
ESC/TC (electronic stability control/traction control) is not really good at low speeds. However, give it a try at higher speeds - say more than 50 km/h.
Of course do it on a closed track, or at least wide open road with no traffic (middle of the night).

I thought same with Rondo. ESC would kick in too often. Well, it comes with traction. Read=tires. Poor traction, ESC will detect even smallest slide. Of course it will not prevent from accident if you make a few sudden turns of slippery road. I tried - there is a limit to this system :D

So, my suggestion - sure, ask how it drives in snow, but the best is to try yourself. My perception of handling is different. I like cars with no systems controlling traction, but this is me.

However, one day I really enjoyed (well, I was rather happy) having ABS with EBD and ESC. One day I was driving on black ice - simply, rain started freezing while I was on a highway. When I hit brakes because I could feel on the steering wheel something was wrong, ABS and ESC were working for me. I could focus on steering only. And other cars...

It took me more than 400m to slow down from 65 km/h to 10 km/h... would it be better without them? Hard to say - the distance could have been shorter, but I would struggle to keep it straight.
 

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2013 Rio5 SX Navi, it be Black Pearl... argh matey!
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131 Posts
Now living/working here in Edmonton has opened my eyes to real winter driving conditions (as opposed to the wet winters of Victoria).

So I purchased a set General Articmax for my Rio5 - which apparently are one of the best snow tires you can get. I have to say, I've been totally impressed. The Rio handles deep snow, light snow, freezing rain, ice... literally everything without much drama. Compared to the all-seasons, it's like night and day.

However, I do also agree with what others here are saying about the ESC system. I've been at slippery intersections and found myself wondering why I am not moving (and now in the way of oncoming traffic :eek: ) But the solution is to just turn it off at low speed (say, around town), and put it back on when you hit the highway. Works like a charm.

Although all the safety systems are great, I think good winter tires make the biggest difference in the end.
 

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2013 Rio5 EX w/ Convenience & ISG
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293 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yes. I used to have studless snow & ice tires for the Crown Vic ( a canadian car btw ) and it made all the difference too compared even to brand new A/S radials.

I don't have the capacity for two sets for the Rio5 so I had to go with new Goodyear Comfortred Touring all-seasons since they had the highest rating for light snow.

Well we got 3" yesterday and just in going around curves and doing a Scandinavian flick, the ESC would kick in and limit my fun to just a mildly noticible wiggle in the rear. I can see where the ESC will help in 90% of the snow and icy curves but still its not a guarantee against the upper 10% of icy idiocy that'll get you killed.
 

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2013 Kia Rio LX (auto)
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I just took my car out in the snow and it seemed like the traction control is very harsh when I accelerated to fast it completely stopped the wheels from moving but overall i haven't really tested it out i do plan to put some weight in the truck to see if that will help the overall handling
 

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'12 Kia Rio LX. '11 Toyota Tacoma, '07 Honda S2000, '11 Husaberg FS570, KTM 990 Adventure
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267 Posts
i haven't really tested it out i do plan to put some weight in the truck to see if that will help the overall handling
i assume you are referring to trunk, not truck. that won't do anything, don't bother. stock tires are garbage in the snow, so the abs and traction control will be very aggressive.
 

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2013 Kia Rio LX (auto)
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yea i meant trunk and i wanted to add some weight just cause i noticed in previous cars some extra weight in the back has helped
 

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2013 Rio5 EX w/ Convenience & ISG
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Discussion Starter #12
Add weight at all 4 corners. Just in the trunk will shift the balance to the rear and the front will lose traction for acceleration and braking.
 

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2K13 Forte SX Lux yada yada yada...
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"...It took me more than 400m to slow down from 65 km/h to 10 km/h... would it be better without them? Hard to say - the distance could have been shorter, but I would struggle to keep it straight..."

400m just to get to 10km/h?? That's too long! In Europe, some car makers have an ABS disable button (ie. winter mode). I can confirm that stopping distance is at least 50% shorter without ABS regardless of tires. My old nissan had a single abs fuse I used to pop out in winters. It was great!

Unfortunately, todays cars are more complex and have co-dependent fuses that inter-correlate with other components. So you can't do the same. Personally, I'd rather stop shorter than plow into someone. As for steering, you need only train yourself on how to keep a straight line.
 

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2013 Rio5 EX w/ Convenience & ISG
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Discussion Starter #14
Getting 10-12" of snow by Thursday evening. Guess I'll find out now.
WooHooo! ;)
 

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'12 Kia Rio LX. '11 Toyota Tacoma, '07 Honda S2000, '11 Husaberg FS570, KTM 990 Adventure
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just ran mine though some snow on my newish snow tires, it is "ok". i have said it before, but the car is devoid of any feel. i may have to cut the muffler off just so i can hear the friggin thing.
 

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2013 Rio5 EX w/ Convenience & ISG
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Getting 10-12" of snow by Thursday evening.
Only got 6". What a rip. Still she was able to go up a 20degree incline concrete driveway with 6" snow and just the Comfortreds on. No drama or even wheel spin. Even stopped halfway one time and she hooked right up. Not too bad.

Curious about the ESC though. As I was going around the neighborhood's curved roads, I'd oversteer on the roads and rarely did the wavy car dash light light up despite going a bit sideways. I guess I need better testing facilities. I don't think it was enough of a test. I'll wait later for some ice.

You guys are right though, very non-feel car. Very nanny-fied for the idiot population. Practically drives itself. I like it for most all my driving needs, but not as a sports car.
 

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2K13 Forte SX Lux yada yada yada...
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What I find about ABS and ESC is that with 6 to 12 inches of snow (or less), those 'safety' features actually decrease your safety.

ESC will cause you to more than likely get stuck in snow as the system retards the wheel spin in order compensate for 'stability' at low speeds. If anything, ESC only works well at higher speeds and wet pavement. Snow is almost a total fail and in my view barely helps in snow.

And ABS doubles your stopping distance (but you stop in a straight-ish line)

The two together screws you over in winter driving. I had do disable ESC today so that I can power through 6 inches of snow. I could spend 1200 for a set of Hakapolitas but then again why spoil the fun. ;-)

Wish I could add a switch for ABS just as they have one for ESC.
 

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'13 Rio5 LX Manual, '15 ZX14R, Honda VFR800, Ducati 748, '87 Buick Grand National, '13 Subaru BRZ
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We had 8" of snow this week so I made a crappy video with my iPhone of some highway driving... lol. I have good snow tires and had no issues. The only problem for me was getting around all the idiots that think they can drive in western Pennsylvania in the snow with bad tires. Come on people! - if you can't afford tires how are you going to afford to repair or replace your wrecked vehicle. One hill and I easily passed two cars in a ditch. Dumb...

Here my youtube vid...
 

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2013 Rio5 EX w/ Convenience & ISG
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293 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
LOL. Nice vid. You were hustling right along there. Shot it between texts? :p

Seriously, I'd love to have a GoPro with video rollover just so I can capture some of the better moments. Last week a stag jumped over my hood chasing a doe. Why do guys do stupid stuff like that?
 

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2013 Soul+ Shadow, 1970 Opel GT 1.9 CIH 4M
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just ran mine though some snow on my newish snow tires, it is "ok". i have said it before, but the car is devoid of any feel. i may have to cut the muffler off just so i can hear the friggin thing.
We just received 15" of snow yesterday in Upstate NY. I have Firestone Winterforce snow tires and my Rio5 came through with flying colors.

I love ABS, but ESC not so much, in particular when starting from a full stop on ice or snow. I shut off ESC at slow speeds during snowy weather and start in 2nd gear - works perfect every time. I turn ESC back on when traveling over 35 MPH. In "normal" weather I never play with ESC - it is always on.

It's too bad our cars lack road feel because I LOVE the engine and tranny in my car. The stock tires on the EX and LX really suck so swapping out with better tires helps some, but doesn't totally solve the problem. My original tires sold quickly on Craigslist so to me the swap was a no-brainer.

It's funny because when I test drove the Rio5 it did not seem so mundane until after I drove it for a couple of days. A "new" car will do that to you I guess :) Overall, however, my 2010 Soul had MUCH better road feel than my 2013 Rio. The Soul actually does have a nice sporty feel to it at mid trim level.

No dealers in the area had a Rio SX to test drive - so I can't speak to that model, but one would think it has to have better road feel than the EX and LX models...
 
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