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2013 Kia Rio Comfort & Quality

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The Rio stacks up against other subcompacts by carving a niche in the very middle of the segment. While the related Hyundai Accent and Honda's Fit venture close to compact-class interiors, as does the Nissan Versa hatchback, the Rio keeps its interior volume at 88 cubic feet, some of it shaved down versus the Accent due to its more sloped roofline.

By the numbers, the Rio sports a 101.2-inch wheelbase, has an overall length of about 160 inches, and offers up a cargo area of 15 cubic feet (or 13.7 cubic feet, for trunked sedan models). It's significantly larger than the previous model.

It's not quite as large as the similar Hyundai Accent, but the Kia Rio is bigger than some subcompacts.

The Rio's front seats have good, long bottom cushions and great, long seat travel, putting a good foot forward for solo drivers or pairs of adults. Sporty SX models have more seat bolstering, and we wouldn't mind that applied to the base cars, either.

The Rio's back seat is more confined than in the Fit, with no adult-sized knee or head room to spare; its Accent cousin does a better job of providing space for four. It's the same story in luggage room, too, where the Rio's nicely squared-off cargo hold nonetheless leaves the right kind of space for roll-on bags and Costco boxes.

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