2013 Kia Rio SX Review: An Incredible Green Alternative to the Hybrid

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Kia Rio 2

For someone who grew up in 4 door, 4×4 trucks all her life the idea of driving around a subcompact was almost enough to make me feel claustrophobic. I was nervous, and the snow storm about to rock the state didn’t make me feel better. But when they dropped of the  2013 Kia Rio SX I was surprised. It’s definitely smaller than my sedan but with it’s smart design and good use of space I didn’t feel like I was driving a subcompact. Even my 6 foot tall husband didn’t have many complaints.

Kia Rio Front

Kia Rio Trunk

Eventually the snow storm did hit and I had to brave the conditions to make a 116mile, 2 and half hour, trip even further north. Even when it isn’t storming I dread this drive. In our sedan the fuel runs around $40 round trip. With the Kia Rio’s 28 MPG City and 36 Highway we were actually able to almost cut the cost in half at $24. Then I literally did a happy dance when I filled the tank for only $30! After loading up the toddler, 2 dogs and numerous bags we were on our way. I actually felt very secure driving the Kia Rio into the storm. It handled really well thanks to its Traction Control System. It even warned me when traction was less than optimal. Plus, it’s front fog lights, and it’s heater mirrors with turn signal indicators made me feel even better.

Kia Rio 3

When we finally made it to my in-laws they all managed to find excuses for me to take them somewhere,anywhere  in order to scope out my fancy new ride. Like myself, they were all surprised by the spacious feel and awesome fuel economy but what really sold them were all of the extras. They ooh’ed and ahh’ed over features like

  • Rear View Camera
  • Built in Navigation Systems
  • Sirius Satellite Radio
  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology
  • Moon Roof
  • Metal Finish and Trim
  • Steering Wheel Controls for Audio, Cruise and Bluetooth

Not to mention, the heated leather seats caused more than a few “front seat dibs.”

Kia Rio 4


Kia Rio

If there is one thing about Generation X, it’s that we like Green Technology but not all of us may be ready to commit to a Hybrid. Especially if you live in rural Michigan. But you don’t have to drive a Hybrid, or even an oh-so-hip hatchback subcompact to take advantage of green technology and it’s resulting fuel economy. In fact the Kia Rio is the first non-hybrid Kia to feature idle stop and go (ISG) technology. ISG senses when a vehicle is stopped for a period and shuts off the engine to maximize fuel efficiency. Plus, it boast a class leading 1.6 liter, 4 cylinder, 138 horse power engine.

While the Kia Rio offers blatantly obvious green technology it’s also green in more subtle ways.

  • At the end of it’s lifespan, 85% of the Rio’s materials are recyclable
  • The seat foam consist of 100% biodegradable and non-toxic castor oil which benefits the environment numerous ways, including reduced use of petroleum based products.
  • The castor oil comes from palnts, this material is a completely renewable energy resource.
  • Save $3100 in fuel cost over 5 years.
  • It’s Fuel Economy & Greenhouse Gas Rating is 8/10

Kia Rio 1

The New 2013 Kia Rio SX is paving the way for green non-hybrid vehicles while retaining a sporty look. At only $21,340 the Kia Rio SX offers huge bang for your buck. Plus, Kia is so confident in it’s reliability that every Kia Rio is covered by Kia’s 10 year/100,000 Mile limited powertrain warranty. Should anything ever go wrong it’s also covered with road side assistance for 5 years/60,000 mile.

Thank you to Kia for allowing me to test drive this vehicle for review purposes. No compensation was received and all opinions are mine.

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