2013 Kia Rio vs. Its Competition

2013 Kia Rio
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

Today's subcompacts could be the best crop ever, and the Kia Rio meets almost all the targets for the class--gas mileage, features, styling, space.

So do a raft of other new vehicles, including some longtime favorites like the Honda Fit, which beats out the Rio on overall interior space.

It's as roomy as the Hyundai Accent, and both have high-quality cabins, with the Fit's flexible rear seat taking special honors.

The Accent's identical powertrain to the Rio is met with slightly different suspension and steering tuning, and more avant garde styling that looks quite a bit like the Ford Fiesta.

The Fiesta, meanwhile, gets kudos for its tight steering and sharp lines, but the back seat is cramped and its sluggish PowerShift automatic transmission is at odds with its sporty character.

The new Nissan Versa hatchback improves on interior room, but handling and styling, especially in its cabin, are a little drab.

Our current favorite in the segment for fun? The Chevy Sonic, for its very capable handling and turbocharged acceleration, not to mention kicky styling.

2013 Kia Rio2013 Kia Rio
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2013 Chevrolet Sonic hatchback2013 Chevrolet Sonic
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2013 Ford Fiesta 5dr HB SE Angular Front Exterior View2013 Ford Fiesta
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2013 Honda Fit2013 Honda Fit
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2013 Hyundai Accent2013 Hyundai Accent
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2013 Nissan Versa Sedan2013 Nissan Versa
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Quick Specs
The 2013 Kia Rio is no longer an also-ran--it's a tough contender in a class filled with efficient, good-looking, smartly priced subcompacts.
The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic swaps econobox blues for sporty driving feel as well as safety, refinement, and comfort.
Small cars don't need to be bland--the 2013 Ford Fiesta proves that with a saucy look and pert handling.
If you're not turned off by the utilitarian look of the 2013 Honda Fit, you'll like what you get, which is awesome practicality and space-efficiency, plus some driving verve.
The 2013 Hyundai Accent is one of the best-equipped small cars, and it gets very good gas mileage, but it's not quite as exciting to drive as it looks.
The 2013 Nissan Versa is at its best up against used cars: If you can overlook some cheap-feeling details, it's a reasonably comfortable, well-equipped new car, for used-car money.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
28 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy29 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
CompactCompact CarsSubcompactSmall Station WagonCompact CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual LS4-Door Sedan S5-Door HB Manual4-Door Sedan Manual GLS4-Door Sedan Manual 1.6 S
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Kia Rio vs. 2013 Chevrolet Sonic2013 Kia Rio vs. 2013 Ford Fiesta2013 Kia Rio vs. 2013 Honda Fit2013 Kia Rio vs. 2013 Hyundai Accent2013 Kia Rio vs. 2013 Nissan Versa