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2013 Kia Rio – High Tech, Economic Luxury


There’s never been a better time to buy a subcompact, and the 2013 Kia Rio joins an esteemed group of small, affordable, and efficient vehicles that make sense for anyone who wants a dependable ride without breaking the bank. The 2013 Kia Rio starts at a sticker price of $13,000 for the low-end Kia Rio LX with the manual transmission, to less than $20,000 for the top-ranking Kia Rio SX.

What do you get for that upper price tag? For starters, you can choose either manual or automatic transmissions, and you have a choice of a five-door hatchback or a four-door sedan. Kia Rio SX features 17-inch tires with beautiful alloy wheels, cloth seats, split-fold rear seats, and a steering column that tilts and telescopes.

Beautiful sporty Alloy wheels on the Kia Rio.

Beautiful sporty Alloy wheels on the Kia Rio.

Kia also introduces more bonuses, like all the other Kia models– excellent touches that make that extra special difference, like a push-button engine start, a 7.0-inch display for navigation, and Sirius satellite radio, power-heated exterior mirrors, and sport tuning. With the six-speed automatic, you’ll get the leather trim.

That’s all on the inside and under the hood of the 2013 Kia Rio. Most likely, you’ll first notice the outer shell, and it won’t disappoint. The rounded bubble shape formerly favored by bargain vehicle brands has been replaced by a crisper, more sophisticated profile. In fact, you can say Kia has borrowed from such design icons as BMW and Honda for the Rio.

Interior Technology

Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the 2014 Kia Rio’s interior features, including a height-adjustable driver’s seat, an iPod-compatible stereo (connecting through a USB port or an auxiliary audio input jack), three free months of satellite radio, power windows, power door locks, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control.

Go for the cream-of-the-crop SX and you’ll get upgraded gauges, a color touchscreen control system with voice activation, and a rear-view camera, with the option of a power sunroof and keyless entry. An Eco package with automatic stop/start engine technology is also offered. Standard on only the SX, Kia UVO provides Microsoft-powered voice control (you may be familiar with Sync, the version sold by Ford), though with fewer vocal commands for phone and audio.

It’s easy to forget that the 2013 Kia Rio is a subcompact when you’re sitting in the front; adults will find a comfy, generous fit. In the back, however, the squeeze is on, especially with headroom and knee room for grownups. The hatchback opens up with just enough space for roll-on bags and bulk boxes.

Most Importantly, the Safety Features

All these features are wonderful, but the bottom line — especially with smaller cars, which are often considered (fairly or not) more vulnerable to accidents and collisions — comes down to safety. The Kia Rio covers these concerns with six air bags (dual front, side, and curtain), traction/stability control, and antilock brakes.


The Kia Rio takes on more rugged terrains with a standard hill-start assist system, which keeps the Rio in place on inclines while you switch from the brake to the accelerator. The 2013 Kia Rio rates 4 out of 5 stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s crash tests.

You’ll never mistake the 2013 Kia Rio for a Ferrari, but then again, you won’t make the same payments either. However, the Rio does a good job. It’s rated at 138 horsepower and enjoys direct fuel injection, so it can rev nicely under certain conditions. You can look forward to smooth, comfortable ride (as long as the roads stay smooth).


The 2013 Kia Rio gets very good mileage. The Rio averages 30 mpg or 31 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 33 mpg or 34 mpg combined. The new stop/start system cuts off the engine at longer breaks and stoplights, adding about 2 mpg to the city numbers. All Kia models are covered by a five-year, 60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10 year, 100,000 miles warrenty for the drive train.

The 2013 Kia Rio offers a nearly irresistible package of a great price, an attractive profile, good mileage, respectable safety, and ample features. It should find an appreciative audience among a sizable pool of car buyers, not just those looking for a bargain but those who simply want a solid, modern, and safe car. Think of the pleasing bottom line as a bonus.

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