For those in the market for an incredible vehicle with incredible value, the Kia Rio is an absolute must for the test drive list.

Available in sedan and five-door hatchback body styles, this review will focus only on the Rio 5-Door, as it was this weekís test vehicle.

While this review focuses on the 5-Door, please keep in mind the Rio is also available in a sedan body style, if thatís your preference.

With a base price starting at $13,900, the five-passenger, front-wheel drive Rio 5-Door is a great ride, as well as a phenomenal value.

Powered by a 138 horsepower 1.6-liter I-4 engine, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 28 mpg city, 36 mpg highway.

When equipped with the optional Eco Package, it has an EPA city rating of 30 mpg.

Very impressive numbers, especially when you factor in Kiaís industry leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty (5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty with roadside assistance).

And before you ask, it also has impressive ride and handling characteristics. No, itís not a racecar, but it gets up to the speed limit quickly and it has more than enough torque to easily merge onto a busy freeway and it is a lot of fun to drive.

And for a subcompact, Iím impressed with the Rio 5-Doorís interior space. It actually has a real back seat that provides comfortable seating for real people ó as well as 15 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seat (49.8 cubic feet with the rear seat folded).

The Kia Rio 5-Door is available in three trim levels ó LX, EX and the top-of-the-line SX.

The base LX comes with a six-speed manual transmission (six-speed automatic available), rear wiper and washer, multi-reflector headlamps, six-way driverís seat, tilt steering column, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, trip computer, electric power steering, 60/40 split folding rear seats and cargo cover for the hatchback and 15-inch wheels.

The EX (base price starting at $16,700) adds six-speed automatic transmission, power door locks with keyless entry, chrome accents; power windows with automatic up/down, cruise control, Bluetooth wireless connectivity with voice activation controls.

The SX (base price starting at $17,900) adds 17-inch wheels, fog lamps, LED accent lights, dual chrome exhaust tips, power-folding outside heated mirrors with turn signal indicators, projector headlamps, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, metal pedals, metal grain accents, Kiaís Supervision meter cluster, leather-wrapped steering wheel, UVO voice-activated infotainment system with rear camera displays.

All three trim levels include a premium audio system with Satellite Radio and input jacks for MP3 players and iPods.

Itís also loaded with a long, long list of standard safety features.

Iím very impressed with the Kia Rio. For those looking to maximize their transportation dollars without sacrifice, the Rio is a must for a test drive.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Nuts and Bolts


2013 Kia Rio

5-seat subcompact sedan or hatchback

Front-wheel drive

Trim packages:





1.6L I-4 (138 hp/123 T)


6-speed manual

6-speed automatic

(Specifications below for Rio 5-Door models)

EPA: 29/28/30 mpg city, 37/36/36 mpg highway (MT/AT/AT w/Eco)

FUEL: Regular unleaded


Electronic stability control with vehicle stability management


LENGTH: 159.3 inches

WHEELBASE: 101.2 in.

WIDTH: 67.7 inches

HEIGHT: 57.3 inches

WEIGHT: 2410-2483 lbs.

TRACK: 59.9/60


FUEL TANK: 11.4 gallons

TIRES: 15-, or 17-inch

CARGO: 15/49.8 cubic feet (behind 2nd/1st row).