Last year, the Kia Rio made a big splash with a complete redesign that exceeded the expectations of most car reviewers and shoppers. Immediately catapulting the Rio's status from also-ran into the echelon of top picks for the class, the 2013 Kia Rio returns to offer a lot of vehicle for not a lot of money. Keep reading to review the 2013 Kia Rio and determine if it is the right vehicle for you.
Styling: 2013 Kia Rio
The Kia Rio is available as either a sedan or hatchback. Both models come with a four-door design. While many vehicles in the Rio's price point skimp on style in favor of affordability, Kia manages to deliver quite a bit of panache both inside and out.
Kia's engineers have also done a good job of making the Rio appear much bigger than it actually is. The subcompact class isn't really known for roominess. However, four adults will likely find plenty of comfort in either the sedan or hatchback body style.
Throw in a build quality that belies its bargain basement price tag, and you've got a little car that offers quite a lot. Upper level trims deliver a fit and finish that is much more upscale than the vast majority of the competition.
Performance: 2013 Kia Rio
All Kia Rio models receive a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 138 horsepower and 123 lb-ft. of torque. This powerplant delivers slightly above-average acceleration for the class. However, handling and cornering is a bit stiff when compared to top competitors.
Fuel estimates suggest that the Kia Rio delivers 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway (33 mpg combined). An EX Eco package is also available that adds one mpg to city driving (31 mpg city/40 mpg highway/34 mpg combined). Compare these figures across the small car class, and you'll find the Rio is one of the most efficient non-hybrid vehicles on the road.
If fuel efficiency is a main concern for you, then other vehicles you may want to cross-shop against the Rio include the Volkswagen Golf, Scion iQ and Hyundai Accent.
Safety: 2013 Kia Rio
Base Rio models come standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, traction control and stability control. Thanks in part to the four-wheel disc brakes (many competitors start with front disc/rear drum brakes), the Rio delivers above-average braking for the class. In crash tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Kia Rio earned four out of five stars for overall protection.
Pricing and Features: 2013 Kia Rio
The 2013 Rio comes with an initial asking price of $13,600 (or $13,800 for a hatchback model). For that price, you'll get 15-inch wheels, heated power mirrors, height-adjustable driver's seat, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, four-speaker stereo, satellite radio, CD player, auxiliary input and iPod/USB interface. A Power package can be added that includes power windows, power locks and keyless entry.
The mid-level EX trim starts at $16,500 and boosts the level of interior materials quality considerably. Added standard equipment for the EX includes cruise control, telescoping steering wheel, sliding front armrest, Bluetooth and a six-speaker stereo. Options for the EX include alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rearview camera, touchscreen interface, voice-activated media player, automatic start/stop, foglamps and power-folding mirrors.
The top-of-the-line Rio SX trim begins at $17,700 and adds sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels, LED lights, dual-exhaust tips and steering wheel paddle shifters. SX options include keyless ignition, heated front seats, leather upholstery, GPS navigation, larger touchscreen interface and a sunroof.