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2013 Kia Rio

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2013 Kia Rio Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.6

Among the more well-established subcompacts like the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent comes another contender: the 2013 Kia Rio sedan and Rio 5 hatchback. All new last year, the Rio takes subcompact styling and content to new levels. The Rio's exterior looks sturdy and aggressive while its interior is filled with features normally reserved for larger, more expensive cars. With an eye toward economy, Kia equips the 5-passenger Rio with a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine that uses the latest in fuel-injection technology. The Rio is rated to attain up to 37 mpg yet still delivers fairly quick acceleration.

You'll Like This Car If...

Kia's Rio for 2013 delivers a lot of goods for very little money. If value and fuel economy are as important as style and substance, the 2013 Kia Rio is sure to please. And, is doesn't hurt that the Rio has the most horsepower and best warranty in its class.

You May Not Like This Car If...

When it comes to interior cabin space, the 2013 Kia Rio takes a back seat to cars like the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, Kia offers its Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology as part of the Rio EX's Eco package. ISG automatically shuts down the engine when stopped and then restarts it once the gas pedal is depressed. Also new are steering-wheel paddle shifters on the Rio SX.

Driving the Rio
Driving Impressions

The lion's share of our time in the 2013 Kia Rio was spent stretching its legs on long highway expanses. We were impressed not only by the Rio's stable ride,...

... quiet cabin and direct steering, but by the willingness of its little 1.6-liter engine. With 134 horsepower on tap, the eager 4-cylinder provided more than enough power for passing slower trucks, although most of the power can be felt in the higher-rpm range. Kia says it benchmarked Ford's Fiesta when tuning the Rio's suspension. While we found the Rio to be agile and confident in the turns, we wouldn't equate it to the same athletic feel as the Ford Fiesta or Mazda Mazda2. As for comfort, we found the Rio's seats to be fairly supportive, and only minimal road noise could be detected inside the cabin.

IDLE STOP AND GO (ISG) TECHNOLOGY
It's a little disconcerting at first but, once we got used to the sound of the car starting after every stop, we took comfort in the added fuel savings that the feature entails.

ONBOARD NAVIGATION
Factory navigation systems are uncommon at this price point and we like that the Kia Rio blazes the trail by offering this feature.

2013 Kia Rio Details
Interior

Aesthetics aside, what really sets the 2013 Kia Rio apart from the competition is its impressive list of standard and available features. The Rio incorporates a 3-cylinder instrument panel and wraparound dash design that is simple and user-friendly. Some of the more notable available features include Bluetooth, a 7-inch navigation system with a rearview camera, push-button start, a UVO ("your voice" in Kia-speak) voice-activated infotainment system and leather seating surfaces.

Exterior

Our time with the 2013 Kia Rio was limited to the 5-door variant, which shares the same features and mechanical details with its 4-door sibling. Kia's design engineers wedged the Rio's edges, sloped its shoulder lines and sculpted a look using design elements from its Optima and Sportage brethren. For 2013, the Rio incorporates Kia's signature grille flanked by slanted headlights and a large air dam. The base Rio sits on 15-inch steel wheel or alloys, but stepping to the up-level SX brings more stylish 17-inch alloys. All things said, it looks like the product of some serious Optima and Sportage canoodling.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Kia Rio LX comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission (a 6-speed automatic is available), air conditioning, a radio with auxiliary/USB input, steering-wheel audio controls and four speakers and that's about it. Power windows and door locks are optional. Stepping up to the EX and SX trims includes the power accessories and adds many other features: cruise control, UVO audio and rearview camera, AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM audio, Bluetooth, power door locks, power windows and other visual and convenience upgrades to the interior and exterior.

Optional Equipment

Options for the 2013 Kia Rio come in the forms of packages. For example, notable features in the SX Premium Package include push-button start with Smart Key, a navigation system, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and a moonroof. The EX Convenience Package adds 15-inch alloy wheels, power folding side mirrors, fog lights, rearview camera and the UVO infotainment system. The ECO package includes the ISG (Idle Stop and Go) technology and Active ECO system for optimal fuel-efficient driving.

Under the Hood

Regardless of trim, motivation for the 2013 Kia Rio comes from a 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Bolstering fuel savings on Rio models with an automatic transmission is the optional Eco package that includes ISG technology. The acronym stands for "Idle Stop and Go," which is a fuel-saving system that turns off the engine when the car is stopped and seamlessly turns it on again when the brake pedal is released. This eco-smart mechanism is good for approximately one more mpg across the board, according to Kia.

1.6-liter inline-4
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
123 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/37 (manual), 28/36 (automatic), 30/36 (automatic with Eco package)

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2013 Kia Rio Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 48 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    7.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.0/10
    Styling
    8.1/10

I am LOVING this vehicle!!!

By on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great car, great price & really is fun to drive!"

Cons: "No complaints"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

We now have 3 black vehicles in front but my Kia's the best of the bunch.

"I'm going from an SUV that was fun but I really didn't need. This vehicle found me and I'm glad it did because I'm having so much fun with it. Lots of room, power windows, a driver's seat that I can feel comfortable in with great support. Great gas mileage which I haven't had in a long time. AM/FM CD/MP3 SiriusXM radio (which I've never had before). I can't say enough good about it and a great dealership experience only added to it. I'm VERY happy with my purchase!!!"

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

We now have 3 black vehicles in front but my Kia's the best of the bunch.

HAPPY ACCIDENT!!!

By on Friday, May 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, good on gas, sporty look and design"

Cons: "no middle console"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I went to the dealership with intentions on buying a toyota camry. The Rio was next to the camry and it's red color caught my eye so I asked to test drive it. What a great surprise! It's very roomy on the inside and the body is a sleek, sporty design that I really love. It had a lot of features the camry didn't offer, such as the warranty, satellite radio, and eco function for gas. I have had it for about 2 months and so far no complaints! Really great on gas, and handles well on the road. I would recommend this car to anyone who wants a sporty sedan, with bells and whistles, without the high costs. Great for the price! Good luck :-)"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

One of my favorite cars ive owned

By on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Cant beat the price for the goods."

Cons: "I miss power door locks but it aint a deal breaker"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is amazing for the money. Fit n finish is high, peppy engine, solid auto trans 6 speed, 34 mpg city / 43 mpg highway., lots of width in the front for driver and passenger, lots of length for driver (I'm 6'3.5") , sporty looks, radio above average sound, road noise minimal with stock tires. I have 35 k. miles on the odometer. No trouble ----- I like to drive it each day."

21 people out of 40 found this review helpful

My little dream

By on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, easy to park, fun to drive"

Cons: "Road noise if you don't upgrade tires"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Had this car for about a month now and it's really great! I drive on the highway on my way to work and it handles really well even as big trucks went by. Accelerates pretty well. I average 35 mpg. The interior is the best part, love my clear back up camera, nice room in front&back, lots of cup holders and overall nice details! The outside of the car is very stylish looks like a smaller optima and I love the turn signal lights on the mirrors. Love the warranty and love this car!"

16 people out of 34 found this review helpful

great car

By on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great quality, great warranty"

Cons: "so far none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"had a 2010 yaris, was a gutless worm, really noisy, traded it in after 3yrs, got rio5 & really happy, better gas mileage, way better brakes, handling, quieter, better performance, just a great little hatchback, get the upgraded model though, I like cc, tilt wheel, I bought the sx top of the line model, no problems with anything so far........"

14 people out of 24 found this review helpful

I love my Kia Rio!

By on Sunday, June 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great MPG, affordable, sleek car seats"

Cons: "no center console"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I had recently bought a Kia Rio brand new, and after driving it for about 40-50 miles, which by now is about 70, I love this car! It has 37 MPG and honestly the only small gripe about it, is that there is no center armrest, which hurts my elbow as it is used to having something to place it on. There is also more than plenty of room for people in the back and front. The trunk is great because how it is built, if you have something like metal in the back and it hits the side of the car, it won't dent the car's side body. I truly love this car, and Kia's 100,000 mile, 10 year warranty!"

36 people out of 60 found this review helpful

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