Used 2013 Kia Rio Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Kia Rio Review

2013 Kia Rio

Reviews from owners of the 2013 Kia Rio

Average Consumer Rating (See all 14 reviews) Write a Review

Great little car

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Vehicle: 2013 Kia Rio LX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

I love this car. My wife and I bought it about 1 year ago used and it has not given us any trouble. Had 21000 K miles on it when we bought it and we've now got 37000 K miles now. Will be giving this to our daughter, though as she just finished med school and needs a reliable little car where she lives. Shipping it to her today. Got the LX package and it didn't have a few items that I added. For one thing, it had no cruise control, but there's an OEM change that you can do through your steering wheel to add it. Works like a charm. Would not hesitate to buy again.

Horrible customer service

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Vehicle: 2013 Kia Rio EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

Car is so so, but the dealer service and quality is horrible, I took my Kia to 3 different Kia dealer and they have no customer service. My car purchased came with wrong battery installed. after 2 years the battery died, I took into the dealer to have them provide the correct battery the dealers refused.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Excellent value!

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Vehicle: 2013 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

I bought my Kia Rio LX Sedan brand new in 2013 for about $15,000. I have the automatic transmission and also added the "Power Package" (Power Windows and Power Door Locks with keyless remote). The car has been absolutely great! I commute 100 miles per day, mostly on the Interstate. In 3 years time, I put more than 65,000 miles on the car. I have had zero issues, no repairs, no recalls. I change the oil every 5,000 miles and that is the only time I see the dealer. For a small car like the Rio, I am really impressed how comfortable it is on the Interstate. My cruising speed is usually around 85 MPH and tire noise, engine noise and wind noise are very low. No rattles or squeaks inside the cabin either. Car manufacturers do not make big profits on sub-compact cars and as a result most of them not only make the cars small, they also make them cheap (save money on sound insulation, thin glass, etc.). Not the case with this Rio! My average gas mileage is about 37 MPG and I am sporty driver. I must say my commute is 90% Interstate. City driving definitely requires more gas. You can actually get 40 MPG on the Highway if you stick to the 75 MPH speed limit and don't drive with a heavy right foot. I never use the "eco" button. Just makes the car sluggish. Compared to other small cars, this Rio is nicely equipped. It has a relatively large wheelbase, which means it is pretty stable on the Interstate. If you push it over 100 MPH, stability suffers a bit but by that time you are also going way over the speed limit (unless you live in Germany). No other reviewer has mentioned this, but the Rio also has excellent brakes. It does not have cheap drum brakes in the rear like most competitors. Instead, it has discs all around. Stopping power is awesome. I did not pay the extra money for the EX version, but instead I got the accessories I wanted on Ebay and installed them myself (i.e. fog lights, chrome grille, mudguards). I even put a trailer hitch on it, so I can use a bike carrier. The Rio does not come with a spare tire, only a compressor and tire repair kit/foam. So I bought the spare tire kit as well. One of the features the LX did not have, was cruise control. However, the computer in the car already has the cruise control software and the throttle is "fly by wire". So all you need to do is buy an EX-steering wheel and install it in your LX...and that gives you the cruise control buttons! I plan to keep the Rio for many more years. It is nice to know that the engine is using a timing chain, so you don't have to worry about a belt that needs to be replaced every 60,000 miles. The transmission is a "sealed unit" and according to the manual, you do not have to replace the transmission fluid...ever. I'm not sure if I believe that, and my dealer recommends changing the fluid at 90,000 miles. I will probably do that. The automatic transmission is actually pretty smooth and quick. I use it in "manual/sport mode" all the time, so I can determine my own shift points. The engine is impressively powerful for just a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder. It does not make it a sports car, but the Rio does not weigh much and if you are willing to rev the engine a bit it is pretty quick! The last thing I want to say is that the styling of the Rio is best in class. I know taste is personal, but many sub-compact cars are just ugly. Go look at a Tpyota Yaris, or Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta, etc... the proportions just don't look "right". The Rio on the other hand is really a good looking car! Overall I am very impressed with this little car. It is great value for money! Oh, and it has a 10-year 100,000 mile warranty (but you will probably never need it).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great value for your money and needs

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Vehicle: 2013 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

great car for regular commuters (work, school, etc). We needed a car for daily job commute. Hence fuel economy, safety, warranty, powerful engine and few tech features were on our list. My car is mostly on highways; even in downtown Chicago this is fun to ride. We didn't emphasize on interiors that much bcoz this is a commuting car! Our car is almost 100k miles now, and we are glad for the decision we made. We had compared to Elantra, Civic, Camry, Corolla, Sonic, Cruize and Focus; but selected this for its price, safety ratings, fuel and warranty.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

Very happy so far

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Vehicle: 2013 Kia Rio LX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

I bought my Rio LX hatchback a little over a month ago. I have the 6 speed automatic, and just about nothing else as far as extras. I am not into fluff on cars, but this one is nicely equipped and has all the amenities that one needs in a basic daily driver. The little 1.6 liter engine is spirited off the line (slows down a little bit after that), and gives me decent numbers. I drive in a lot of heavy, stop and start, traffic, and I get about 26-28 mpg overall. Highway mileage hovers around 40....this is without the active ECO button engaged (turns the car into a slug).

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Alot of bang for the buck !

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Vehicle: 2013 Kia Rio LX 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6A)

I was out the door at $15,250 with my new Rio. An exceptional deal . Car has 3,000 miles on it and I love it. Best to use NON-ethanol gasoline as the engine works better and youll pick up a couple more MPG. I get 33 MPG combined driving . Car is very comfortable for my 6'3" big frame. I swapped out the steering wheel so now I have cruise control which is a must for me. Color is red and it looks clean even when you haven't washed it in weeks. Very pleased I got this over the Nissan Versa with the lower warranty.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Kia Rio

  • C Edmunds Rating
  • On the basis of its inviting cabin, generous equipment list and strong engine performance, the 2013 Kia Rio is a solid pick in the subcompact segment. It doesn't ride or handle particularly well, though, so its rivals might suit you better.

  • Pros

    Stylish inside and out; ample standard and optional features; high-quality interior materials on EX and SX; long warranty; strong acceleration; feels bigger than it is.

  • Cons

    Lacks the ride/handling sophistication of its American rivals.

  • What's New for 2013

    For 2013 the Kia Rio EX can now be equipped with automatic stop-start technology for improved fuel efficiency around town. The Rio SX gets standard steering wheel paddle shifters for the automatic transmission.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Kia Rio

What's New for 2013

For 2013 the Kia Rio EX can now be equipped with automatic stop-start technology for improved fuel efficiency around town. The Rio SX gets standard steering wheel paddle shifters for the automatic transmission.


These days it seems as if cars are being radically transformed from woefully forgettable to wowie class leaders all the time. Most of these transformations, however, come attached to a name change to ensure that no residual bad taste is left in the mouths of potential buyers. Nevertheless, the 2013 Kia Rio bucks this trend, standing proud with a name previously associated with one of the cheapest and crummiest cars on the road (not to mention Brazil and Duran Duran).

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. Tiny is a relative term, however, as full-size adults can still fit comfortably in all the outboard positions of the Rio's four-door sedan or hatchback body. Plus, with its high-mounted dash and reasonably quiet cabin, the Rio feels much bigger than it is when you are behind the wheel.

This Kia can also seem more expensive than it really is. While the LX trim is rather bare bones, the EX and SX step things up with higher-quality cabin materials and near-luxury levels of equipment. Every time we've driven a Rio, we've been amazed when the window sticker shows a price lower than $20,000. Ultimately, the only real knock against the Kia Rio is its ride and handling. Although it's a vast improvement over previous Rios, this car doesn't feel particularly sharp going around corners, nor does it have the most refined highway ride. If a spirited driving experience is important to you, it's a good idea to try a few different subcompact cars before deciding on the Rio.

And the Rio is certainly not alone when it comes to radically improved subcompact sedans and hatchbacks. The Hyundai Accent is mechanically related to the Rio and offers similar value, but differs in equipment availability and styling. The Chevy Sonic is one of the more fun-to-drive subcompacts, especially with its turbocharged engine that still achieves standout fuel economy. The Ford Fiesta's sophisticated balance of ride and handling helps make it another of our top choices. The Honda Fit is also worth a look if you prioritize interior space and versatility.

Quite frankly, never have subcompact cars been so genuinely desirable. Although we wish the 2013 Kia Rio was a bit more enjoyable to drive, it's still a good choice if you're looking for a small, inexpensive car with a livable equipment list, a dash of style and the occasional ability to cart around three friends.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Kia Rio is a subcompact car available as a four-door sedan and a four-door hatchback. Trim levels are LX, EX and SX.

The base LX comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, heated power mirrors, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a trip computer, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. The LX Power package adds power windows, power locks and keyless entry.

The EX trim level includes the above equipment and adds to it cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, upgraded cloth upholstery, a sliding front armrest, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system. The EX Convenience package adds 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, power-folding mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, map lights, upgraded interior materials, a rearview camera, a small touchscreen interface and the Uvo voice-activated media player interface. To that package the EX Eco package includes automatic stop/start, which shuts the car down when stopped to save fuel.

The SX trim level includes the EX Convenience package items, plus 17-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, LED running lights and taillights, dual exhaust tips and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The SX Premium package adds a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a navigation system, real-time traffic and a larger touchscreen interface.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Kia Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the LX, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional on the LX and standard on the other trims. The EX Eco package adds the fuel-saving automatic stop/start technology.

In Edmunds testing, the Kia Rio SX hatchback went from zero to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, while an SX sedan reached 60 in 9.4 seconds -- about a second quicker than the class average in either case.

Fuel economy estimates stand at 28 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined for the automatic. The EX Eco package for the automatic bumps the estimates to 30/36/32, while the manual rates 29/37/32.


Every 2013 Kia Rio comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is available.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Rio SX hatchback came to a stop from 60 mph in just 119 feet, while the SX sedan needed 124 feet -- again, better than average for the class. In government crash testing, the Rio received four out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for frontal protection and five stars for side protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Kia Rio's cabin boasts a restrained yet stylish design that evokes German cars. The materials quality is nothing special in the base LX, but the added soft-touch surfaces, armrest cushioning and tasteful metallic accents found in the upper trims make the Rio's cabin one of the finest in the subcompact segment. We highly encourage you to go that extra mile to get an EX or SX, especially since they come with a truly impressive amount of equipment.

The climate and audio controls are easy to use, while the available Uvo voice-activated electronics interface is another nice bonus. Although we've found its voice recognition abilities aren't quite to the level of Ford's Sync, its accompanying touchscreen interfaces are more user-friendly than the buttons and screens found in Ford's Fiesta and Focus.

The Rio also scores in the areas of space and comfort. Even tall drivers should be comfortable behind the available tilt-and-telescoping wheel, while the backseat offers a competitive amount of space. Count this as another subcompact that doesn't feel all that subcompact. When it comes time to carry cargo as well as passengers, the sedan has a generous 13.7-cubic-foot trunk. For maximum stuff-hauling potential, though, you'll want to consider the hatchback, which measures about 50 cubic feet with the seats down. That's less than a Honda Fit, but more than a Ford Fiesta.

Driving Impressions

As we've only driven SX versions of the Rio, these impressions pertain mostly to that trim, which provides larger wheels and tires, and firmer suspension tuning than the LX and EX models. The Rio SX is competent around turns, but it's definitely not the best handling car in this class. In addition, the Kia's ride is choppy bordering on harsh depending on the condition of the pavement. If you're looking for a small car that feels a little more sophisticated in the way it rides and handles, the Chevy Sonic and Ford Fiesta are both worth a look.

Given that midsize family sedans are now approaching 300 hp, it's hard to get excited about the 138-hp 2013 Kia Rio. Even so, its direct-injected four-cylinder is one of the more robust in its class and delivers impressive acceleration for a subcompact. It can get a bit noisy, and while the engines of other subcompacts make a noticeable amount of noise, the timbre of the Rio's is particularly thrashy.


Talk About The 2013 Rio

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Kia Rio in VA is:

$170.25 per month*

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Gas Mileage


  • 29
  • cty
  • 37
  • highway
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