Sum Up


The 2013 Kia Rio5 has a sporty look to it, with an aggressive front fascia. Although it is not particularly powerful, the inside is nicer looking than most economy cars and the fuel economy is quite good.

New For 2013

Kia is releasing about 500 SX hatchbacks with manual transmissions this year. There’s a new “”Kia”” badge on the hood, trunk, and steering wheel of all Rios. Steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles are standard on SX models. Five-door models get new rear seatback release levers, and a cargo floor tray and net come standard on EX and SX trim levels.


The fully galvanized steel body of the 2013 Kia Rio5 comes in four to eight choices, depending upon the trim level selected, of clearcoat monotone paint. The grille is either black or black with chrome trim, also depending on the model chosen. A lip spoiler adds a little style. Windows are lightly tinted for a little extra privacy. Wheels are steel on the LX, steel with the option of silver aluminum on the EX, and machined aluminum on the SX. All wheels come paired with all-season tires, capable of good performance on most roads in most weather conditions.

Interior & Cargo

Air-conditioning is manually controlled and comes complete with an air filter for maximum freshness. Under-seat ducts help circulate the air through the hatchback’s cabin. Front seats are bucket seats and rear seats use a 60/40 bench. The LX’s seats come upholstered in cloth, while the EX and SX have premium cloth. The SX, the Rio5’s top trim, even has the option of leather upholstery and heated front seats.

The audio system is decent; it comes with an AM/FM/Satellite/CD player. This audio system can play MP3s and auxiliary audio. It is also Bluetooth compatible and comes with voice recognition on EX and SX models. Audio systems for all models feature speed-sensitive volume for easier listening on high-speed highways and steering wheel audio controls for added convenience. A UVO Powered by Microsoft Infotainment System is optional on the EX and standard on the SX. This system is voice activated and allows the driver to make hands-free calls and stream music from a Bluetooth-enabled phone. It also has an integrated rearview camera display and can control the HD radio. It has a feature called Digital Jukebox, which serves as the in-dash hard drive included in the unit that allows the driver to store up to 700MB of music.

A navigation system is available for the SX and comes with one LCD screen. This feature is unfortunately not available on the other submodels, so it will have to be purchased separately if the LX or EX submodels are chosen. The driver stays updated on outside conditions through an exterior temperature display. A programmable garage door opener is available for drivers who would like help opening their automatic garage doors.

Cargo tie-downs manage larger items in the rear cargo space, which can hold 15 cubic feet of cargo. This expands to a maximum of 49.8 cubic feet if there are no rear passengers.


The 2013 Kia Rio5 received a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, with five stars in side-pole, rear-seat side, side-pole barrier rear, and overall side. Driver and front-passenger frontal-impact airbags are equipped on the hatchback, along with seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side-curtain airbags in the first and second rows. Airbags come with an occupant sensor, for added safety and convenience. Anti-lock brakes and driveline traction control work together to help the driver stay in control of the vehicle during a skid or on slippery road surfaces. Brake assist comes standard. An electronic stability system also comes standard, for additional stability when cornering and performing other difficult or high-speed maneuvers.

Remote keyless entry is available in the LX in the form of a key fob, which also contains a panic alarm that can be used to prevent theft. This key fob comes standard on the EX and SX. A keyless access system is only available, as an option, on the top-of-the-line SX model. Ignition disable, another theft deterrent feature which prevents the car from being started without the ignition key, comes standard on all models. The Rio5 warns the driver when the fuel level becomes low and when the tires need to be refilled. Fortunately, an air compressor is included to help with keeping the tires filled when away from a service station. The Rio5 also lets the driver know when it is time for the vehicle to be serviced.

Driving Experience

The 1.6-liter, 138-horsepower, four-cylinder engine on the 2013 Kia Rio5 produces 123 lb-ft of torque. It is rated at 30-31/40 mpg city/highway. This engine pairs with a six-speed manual with overdrive on the LX and a six-speed automatic with overdrive and auto-manual on the other two models. The automatic transmission is also available for the LX, as an option. Cruise control is standard on the EX and SX, but unfortunately not available on the LX.

The Kia Rio5 comes with a strut suspension in the front, supported by an anti-roll bar, coil springs, and gas-pressurized shocks. A torsion beam suspension is equipped in the rear and supported by coil springs and gas-pressurized shocks. This suspension and support combination allows for a moderately smooth ride and a reasonably versatile drive. The SX has a sport-tuned suspension for maximum handling capabilities. Steering is speed-sensitive on all models, for a more responsive drive.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Kia Rio5

  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Hyundai Accent
  • Nissan Versa

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