Kia Rio Review
The 2013 Kia Rio ranks 9 out of 43 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 24 published reviews and test drives of the Kia Rio, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
The 2013 Kia Rio is ranked:
The 2013 Kia Rio is a good car for anyone looking for a competent daily driver with a comfortable ride and a healthy amount of cargo space.
While it’s no rocket ship, most test drivers agree the 2013 Kia Rio has plenty of power for most drivers. They say that its ride is soft enough to not be jarring over rough roads, yet firm enough to feel composed going through turns. They also say that its steering is well-controlled in low-speed parking lot situations and on the highway. Reviewers say the Rio has no problems with highway merging or passing, and that its optional automatic transmission shifts smoothly. Its four-cylinder powerplant is capable of propelling the Rio to a 29/37 mpg city/highway EPA fuel economy rating, which is good for the class.
Reviewers generally like the Rio’s cabin. They say that it offers plenty of leg space in the front and back seats, with plenty of comfort for day-long trips. Reviewers say that material quality is generally good, and like most Kia vehicles, the Rio comes with an abundance of standard equipment, including Bluetooth and a USB port for hooking up your iPod or smartphone to the car’s stereo. There is plenty of trunk space in sedan models, and those who are looking for even more cargo carrying flexibility can opt for the hatchback model.
- "Since its redesign last year, the Rio has become one of the best subcompact cars you can buy. It starts with the car's styling, which is not only timelessly handsome but also manages to avoid the awkward proportions associated with other tiny sedans." -- Edmunds
- "But it's safe to say the circle is complete: the Rio is now one of the more refined, better-looking offerings in a segment brimming with good cars." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
- "The size and price range categories the 2012 Rio plays in are highly competitive, and standing out can be a real challenge. But the Rio 5-door pulls it off with a combination of power, fuel economy, value, and great looks." -- Motor Trend (2012)
- "Although it might not be the B-segment pack leader, the Rio has improved in pretty much every measurable and subjective way. If fuel economy is your thing, the Rio is one of many new small cars to hit the magic 40-mpg highway number. It should satisfy the little-car, big-feature crowd, too." -- Car and Driver (2012)
Other Cars to Consider
The Ford Fiesta is also available as either a sedan or hatchback, and critics say it’s one of the better handling subcompacts available. They also like that it offers a comfortable, high-quality interior. Bluetooth and a USB port aren’t standard on the base model, but they are standard on all other trims. However, opting for a higher trim will cost you about $1,600 more than you’d pay for a Rio with these features. The trunks of both sedan models are comparable in size, though the Rio5 hatchback has a lot more room than the Fiesta hatchback when the rear seats are folded.
The Honda Fit is among the top-ranked affordable small cars thanks to its solid safety and reliability scores, as well as its incredibly versatile interior, which can be configured multiple ways to handle awkward cargo. The Fit can’t match the Rio’s fuel economy numbers.
Details: 2013 Kia Rio
The Kia Rio, which was completely redesigned for 2012, is largely unchanged for 2013. It is available as a sedan or hatchback and comes in three trim levels: base LX, mid-level EX and top-of-the-line SX. Base models include features like USB and auxiliary input ports and Bluetooth. The EX gets a few more standard features for 2013, and makes available optional features like a backup camera and Kia’s UVO infotainment system. The top SX trim gets the backup camera and UVO standard, as well as a sport-tuned suspension and optional features like push-button start and leather seats. Since the Rio was recently redesigned, this review uses applicable research from 2012 and 2013 model-year reviews.