2013 Kia Rio Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jul 21, 2013
  • Cargo net and tray are standard on upper trim levels
  • Paddle shifters are standard on SX trim level
  • Optional Eco package includes automatic engine start/stop
  • Menu of options adjusted for 2013
  • Hatchback version offers maximum 49.8 cubic feet of cargo space


The 2013 Kia Rio is a subcompact vehicle that's available as a 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatchback. The Kia Rio has been available on the U.S. market since 2000, and underwent a significant redesign for the 2012 model year. The 2013 Kia Rio is touted for its extensive menu of features, especially on the upper trim levels. Its main competitors include the Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Spark, Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris, and Mazda 2. The 2013 Kia Rio is available in the base LX trim level, plus the EX and SX trim levels.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Kia Rio is available in eight exterior colors: Clear White, Bright Silver, Platinum Graphite, Silverstone Beige, Chestnut, Midnight Sapphire, Signal Red, and Aurora Black. All trim levels include body-color exterior door handles, dual body-color power heated mirrors, and 2-lens headlights. The LX trim level features 15-inch steel wheels. The EX adds a chrome surround to the front grille as well as the Active Eco system, which automatically stops and starts the engine in city driving to save fuel. The SX trim level upgrades to 17-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, turn signal indicators on the power-folding outside mirrors, front fog lights, front LED accent lights, LED taillights, and dual exhaust tips.

Interior Features

The base LX trim level includes black or grey cloth upholstery, air conditioning, USB/auxiliary input jack, trip computer, dual front cupholders, 6-way adjustable driver's seat, and 60/40 split-folding rear seat with adjustable headrests. Also standard are four audio speakers, tilt steering column, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The EX trim level adds an upgraded audio system, Bluetooth with steering-wheel-mounted controls, power windows and locks with keyless remote, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, center console with sliding armrest and storage compartment, upgraded cloth upholstery, and upgraded interior trim. The SX trim level includes an infotainment system (UVO powered by Microsoft), rear camera display, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knobs, soft-touch dashboard, metal pedals, auto on-off headlights, and dual LED map lights. With the rear seats folded, the hatchback version of the 2013 Kia Rio boasts a maximum 49.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

Optional Features

Many of the features that are standard on the upper trim levels are available as options on the lower trim levels, usually as part of a package. Options on the Rio SX include a navigation system, leather-trimmed seats, push-button start with smart key, heated front seats, and a power tilt sunroof. Individual options include an auto-dimming mirror with compass and HomeLink, carpeted floor mats, rear spoiler, cargo mat, and rear bumper appliqué.

Under the Hood

Every 2013 Kia Rio is equipped with a direct-injection, 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 123 lb.-ft. of torque. The Rio LX comes with a 6-speed manual transmission. A 6-speed automatic is optional on the LX and standard on the EX and SX trim levels.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Kia Rio are:
  • Rio with manual transmission: 28/36/31 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Rio with manual transmission and Eco package: 29/37/32 mpg
  • Rio with automatic transmission and Eco package: 30/36/32 mpg


The 2013 Rio is equipped with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, front side air bags, side curtain air bags, and an optional rearview camera.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Rio received 4 (out of 5) stars in frontal crash tests, 5 stars in side crash tests, 4 stars for rollover resistance, and 4 stars overall. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Kia Rio received a rating of "Good"--the Institute's highest--in the moderate overlap front test. The IIHS has not yet published other test ratings for the 2013 Kia Rio.
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