Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: 2013 Kia Rio 5-door EX Eco

I have never been a fan of sub-compact cars until now. The 2013 Kia Rio EX has surely changed my mind about sub-compacts. The '13 Rio competes against the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Accent, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta, and Chevy Sonic. There are three Rio 5-door models to choose from, LX, EX, and SX. My tester was a Rio 5-door EX Eco that came in at $19, 465.

The 2013 Rio 5-door to me is the best looking car in it's class. The Kia designers have done an amazing job at crafting attractive vehicles. The Kia Rio definitely resembles and falls in-line with the rest of the Kia family. I showed some of my family members the Rio and they thought it was a very good looking car. My tester's exterior color was Platinum Silver.

The interior of the '13 Rio 5-door really shocked me. I wasn't expecting the interior to be as nice as it is. There is a mix of soft touch materials and hard plastics throughout the cabin. I found the seats in the Rio to be firm but comfortable. My uncle who is 6'2" got in the driver's seat and said it was spacious enough for him. The backseats offered plenty of legroom and headroom. The buttons and knobs are easy to reach from the driver's seat. My tester came with a leather wrapped steering wheel.

My tester came with the convenience package which brought along Kia's UVO system and backup camera. There was also Bluetooth connectivity which is very important to me. I really like the UVO system. I thought that it worked well and was easy to use. I really appreciated the Rio's power folding outside mirrors.

The Rio 5-door safety features include a Tire-Pressure Monitoring System, Side-Impact Door Beams, and 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Brakes. Other features include Dual Front Advanced Airbags, Front Seat-Belt Pretensioners, Full-Length Side Curtain Airbags, and Lower Anchors & Tethers for Children (LATCH).

Behind the Wheel
The '13 Rio 5-door is powered by a 1.6L GDI 4-cylinder engine producing 138 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. My tester's engine was mated to an Electronically Controlled 6-Speed Automatic transmission. I thought that the 6-speed automatic worked well with the engine. While driving around I kept the Rio in driver but once I got on twisty roads I preferred to manually shift the Rio. The Rio is by no means a sporty car but I did have a little fun while driving. The power from the engine moved the Rio smoothly. The city that I live in here in North Carolina has really smooth streets so the Rio didn't experience any rough roads or potholes. While driving I didn't even realize that my tester came with the Idle Stop and Go System. It was not until I looked down and seen the Idle Stop and Go Icon. From most reviews I've watched and read, the reviewers thought the system worked really well. I really liked the Stop and Go system and at no time did I turn it off. The Rio 5-door with the seats up has 15 cu. ft of storage and with the seats down has 49.8 cu. ft of storage.

I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the 2013 Kia Rio 5-door. I think that the Rio is a great city car and people should definitely take a look at it. With the high prices of gas this is a vehicle that should be at the top of buyer's lists. One thing that makes the Rio a winner is the overall value. When I was telling my family about the price of the vehicle and the features it came with, they were all surprised. They could not believe all the features that came with it at the price. By the way one of those people who was surprised was my grandmother who drives an Infiniti EX35. I can do nothing else but recommend this vehicle! A base Rio 5-door starts at $13,800 and delivers 30 city and 40 hwy.  If you are in the Eastern Carolina area please stop by and visit the wonderful people at Lee Kia of Greenville to check out the Rio 5-door.

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