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2013 Kia Rio Review

If you are looking for a used car with a generous features list, a refined ride, and an attractive cabin, you’ll be impressed by a used 2013 Kia Rio. However, its driving dynamics could be more engaging. 

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of available features
  • Composed ride
  • Upscale cabin
  • Ample cargo space in hatchback


  • Less agile and fun to drive than rivals





Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.5
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Kia Rio Overview

Is the 2013 Kia Rio a Good Used Car? 

The 2013 Kia Rio is a good used subcompact car that provides a combination of factors few rivals offer. While it’s not the most fun-to-drive car in the segment, the Kia Rio has satisfactory engine power, is easy to maneuver through turns, and has a pleasant ride for day-to-day driving. It also has a number of available features that its competitors lack.

Used 2013 Kia Rio Performance and Interior

The front-wheel-drive 2013 Kia Rio has a 138-horsepower four-cylinder engine that isn’t particularly strong but has sufficient power for highway commuting. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a quick, smooth-shifting six-speed automatic is available. With the automatic transmission, the Rio achieves 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which is on par with rivals’ fuel economy estimates. The Rio’s ride is well-balanced between comfort and composure, and its steering is accurate.

Read more about Rio performance »

The Kia Rio is available as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. Its cabin is good-looking and built with a mix of class-appropriate hard and soft materials. The front seats are supportive and offer a good amount of head- and legroom. The Rio doesn’t offer much headroom for tall passengers in the rear, which is the case with most subcompact cars. The rear outboard seats have full sets of LATCH connectors for child safety seats, while the rear middle seat has an upper tether anchor. The Kia Rio sedan has a competitive amount of trunk space, at 13.7 cubic feet. The Kia Rio hatchback has more cargo space than competing hatchbacks, with a maximum of 49.8 cubic feet.

The Rio comes well-equipped with a USB port, an auxiliary input jack, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Navigation, Bluetooth, and Kia’s UVO infotainment system are available. The Rio’s standard dashboard controls are straightforward, and the available UVO infotainment system has better voice recognition than some competitors’ systems. The touch screen is well-organized and easy to maneuver.

Read more about Rio interior »

Used 2013 Kia Rio Prices

The average price of a used 2013 Kia Rio ranges from nearly $6,800 for the base LX model with a manual transmission up to about $8,700 for the Rio SX with an automatic transmission. Still, prices vary depending on the car’s mileage, condition, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals » 

We Did the Research for You: 40 Reviews Analyzed

We base our used car rankings and reviews on an analysis of hard data – including crash test scores, reliability ratings, and total cost of ownership estimates – as well as the opinions of the automotive press. We researched and analyzed 40 Kia Rio reviews for this 2013 Rio overview.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of car industry experience combined. You can trust that our reviews are impartial because we never accept pricey gifts or trips from automakers, and another company takes care of our website's advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Kia Rio?

The 2013 Kia Rio has a reliability rating of three out of five stars from J.D. Power, which is average for the automotive industry.

See Rio reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Rio?

The 2013 Rio received the highest score of Good in three Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests (moderate overlap front, rear crash protection, and roof strength). It earned an Acceptable rating – the second-highest score – in the side impact test, but the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the small overlap crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2013 Rio four out of five stars for overall safety, as well as in the frontal and rollover crash tests. The Rio earned five stars in the NHTSA’s side crash test. 

The 2013 Rio is available with a rearview camera. 

See Rio safety scores »

Is the 2013 Rio the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Kia Rio is part of a generation that was produced from the 2012 to 2017 model years. The Rio was redesigned for 2012, and the 2013 model offers few updates besides stop-start technology and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters in the SX trim. The 2014 model will probably cost you a little more, and it offers no advantages over the 2013 model. If saving money is your priority, you may find a used 2012 Rio that meets your needs. 

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Rio »

Which Used Kia Rio Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Rio – available in sedan and hatchback body styles – has three trim levels: LX (base), EX, and SX. The Rio LX comes with a good number of standard features, including a USB port, an auxiliary input jack, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. However, the EX trim offers a few more desirable convenience features that make it a better value, like Bluetooth, cruise control, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, and a tilting and telescoping steering wheel. The Rio SX offers some performance-enhancing features, including a sport-tuned suspension and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters (automatic transmission only). It also comes with a rearview camera and Kia’s UVO infotainment system, and it’s the only trim available with navigation and push-button start.

You also have the option to purchase a certified pre-owned Kia. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty, plus a one-year/12,000-mile Platinum warranty for non-powertrain parts. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Kia certified pre-owned program » 

2013 Kia Rio and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Kia Rio or 2013 Ford Fiesta?

If you’re in the market for a fun-to-drive subcompact car, they don’t get much more exciting than the Ford Fiesta. It has corner-carving agility, sharp steering, good ride comfort, and slightly better fuel economy than the Kia. Additionally, the Fiesta has an upscale cabin and roomy seats for all. Its reliability can’t match the Rio’s – the Fiesta earns the lowing score possible from J.D. Power – but it’s the choice to make for a thrilling drive. For a more comfortable ride, stick with the Rio.

Which Is Better: 2013 Kia Rio or 2013 Hyundai Accent?

Aside from its slightly better reliability rating, the Hyundai Accent doesn’t have much to offer over the Kia Rio. Unlike the Rio, the Accent has sluggish highway acceleration, and it isn’t available with technology features like navigation, an infotainment system, or a rearview camera.

Compare the Rio, Fiesta, and Accent »


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