I was given a 2013 Kia Rio 5-door (SX) to test drive for one week. No monetary compensation was received and all thoughts are my own.
I like to start off each of my car review posts with an additional disclaimer: I am not an expert on cars. I don’t fully understand what a lot of the technical features and specifications are, so I base my reviews primarily on comfort, value, and similar criteria. I ask the questions: “Is it comfortable to drive?” “Are the features that I want available?” (I’m especially interested in what comes standard). “Are features like the stereo, AC/heat, and GPS system intuitive and easy to control when I’m on the road?” and “How much space is there for my family and all our stuff?”
I’ve spent so many years in the little kid/big family stage that I didn’t give much attention to smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles….but now that my oldest daughter is a senior in high school (as of 9:00 this morning. Eek!), soon-to-be-independent driver, and employed full-time, I’ve been looking at compact cars very differently. If nothing else, having a chance to drive a car like the Kia Rio 5-door around for a week has reminded me that driving can be FUN!
On the outside, the Kia Rio 5-door looks pretty small, but the interior felt very roomy. I was especially impressed with the amount of space in the trunk. I was able to load a full grocery haul in the back with plenty of room to spare. The driver’s seat (the most important seat in the car!) had plenty of room to adjust and move around – no cramping.
The Navigation System with Sirius traffic (part of the premium package) was easy to figure out, and I loved the rear back-up camera – it gave me a clear, thorough view of the entire area behind the car. The entertainment system was fairly simple and easy to adjust – I especially enjoyed the touch-screen radio option. I was impressed that the UVO (powered by Microsoft) with rear camera display is a standard feature in the model I drove. Both my husband and teenage driver remarked that you could see so much more through the back up camera than you could through the the windows and mirrors.
The SX model that I drove features 28 MPG for city driving and 36 MGP on the highway, with an estimated annual fuel cost of $1700 a year – a $3100 fuel cost savings over 5 years compared to the average new vehicle. I loved being able to do all of my normal driving for an entire week without getting even close to emptying the tank. The odometer conveniently indicates how many miles you can go before the gas tank runs dry, based on your driving trends.
Standard safety features on the Kia Rio 5-door:
- Dual front advanced airbags
- Front seat-mounted side airbags
- Full-length side curtain airbags
- 3-point seatbelts for all 5 seating positions
- Antio-lock brake system
- Traction-control system
- Vehicle stability management
- Hill assist control
The Kia Rio 5-door rated all 4 and 5 stars in the government’s 5-star safety rating system.
The Rio is available in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX. The basic LX trim comes standard with air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, an AM/FM stereo system with CD, USB and AUX input jacks and convenient audio controls on the steering wheel. The EX trim adds additional standard features, such as power windows with automatic up/down on the driver’s side, a telescoping steering column, folding rear seats (60/40 split) and leatherette door trim. The SX trim adds leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, maplight with sunglasses holder, trip computer, illuminated vanity mirrors, UVO powered by Microsoft hands-free communication and entertainment system with rear camera display, chrome accents and more.
One of the Premium Package upgrades that I enjoyed was the power tilt/slide sunroof. I’m not a fan of driving with the windows down (it drives me crazy to have my hair flying all over the place while I’m driving) but I do love driving with the sunroom open, especially in the pre-summer pleasant spring weather.
Beyond the fun and convenient features that I enjoyed on the Rio, my favorite thing about driving this car was the maneuverability. It’s easy to drive, a breeze to park (NOT one of my favorite things to do in my minivan!), and quick to learn. And with a MSRP ranging from $13,800 for the basic LX trim to $17,900 for the SX. The SX trim with the Premium Package is still affordable at $20,790 MSRP.
All KIAs include a 10-year / 100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year / 60,000 mile limited basic warranty, 5-year / 100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty and a 5-year / 60,000 mile 24-hour roadside assistance.
Note: The photos of the blue Rio are pictures that I took with my cell phone camera while I was test driving. Other photos within this post are stock photos from Kia. I’m guessing it won’t be tough to tell the difference… Thank you again to Drive STI for another fantastic test drive opportunity!
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