2023 Kia Rio: Affordable Little Cruiser Offers Good Fuel Economy & Safety Features

The 2023 Kia Rio makes more fiscal sense than a similarly-sized crossover or SUV. We’re aware the subcompact sedan market is a shrinking daisy compared to more popular alternatives. Still, a small, affordable, fuel-efficient city car is typically enough to fulfill most needs. Kia is offering the Rio in sedan and hatchback body styles, not to mention having one of the best warranties on the market. Despite its economical and practical spirit, we also praise the Rio for having the driving feel of a bigger and more expensive car.

2023 Kia Rio: What’s New?

The 2023 Kia Rio is entering the new year unchanged from the outgoing variant. Kia updated the Rio with an engine immobilizer for 2022, a feature that would hopefully quell the rampant theft of Kia and Hyundai vehicles propagated by a TikTok group known as the “Kia Boyz.” The 2022 Rio was also the last new Kia vehicle to receive the South Korean automaker’s updated logo.

Engine, Transmission & Fuel Economy

The new Kia Rio remains motivated by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine that generates 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft. of torque. Kia has given the four-cylinder an oil level sensor for 2023, making it easy to know the oil level without opening the hood and pulling out the dipstick.

All trim variants of the Kia Rio have a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels. One of Rio’s most significant merits is fuel economy, with an EPA-estimated 32 city, 41 highway, and a combined 36 mpg.

2023 Kia Rio
2023 Kia Rio. Photo: Kia Motors America.

Trim Levels & Pricing

The 2023 Kia Rio sedan is available in LX and S trim variants. Meanwhile, the Rio 5-Door hatchback is only available in a single S trim model. The MSRP figures below are inclusive of the $1,055 destination fee. If you have questions about new vehicle financing, this auto loans 101 guide will point you in the right direction. 

Rio LX 4-Door Sedan

The base Kia Rio LX starts at $17,505. The features list includes a tilt steering wheel, 15-inch steel wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a four-speaker audio system, a front USB port, and cloth seats.

Rio S 4-Door Sedan

The Rio S is our pick for a few more hundred bucks. It starts at $18,145 and comes with more niceties like a sliding center armrest, rear USB ports, satellite radio, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and a 60/40 split-folding back seat. Meanwhile, the new Kia Rio S 5-Door hatchback starts at $18,445 and has all the standard features of the S 4-Door Sedan.

2023 Kia Rio 5-Door Hatchback.
2023 Kia Rio 5-Door Hatchback. Photo: Kia Motors America.

Kia Drive Wise

The 2023 Kia Rio has many standard and optional advanced safety features, despite being a more economical car. On the window sticker, they will be listed under a category called “Kia Drive Wise.” This will include features like electronic stability control, stability management, and hill-start assist control. At the same time, the optional S Tech Package adds forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, high beam assist, and lane departure assist, to name a few. The optional package also adds 15-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, automatic climate control, and push-button start.

Kia Warranty

Like all new Kia vehicles, the 2023 Rio sedan and hatchback leave the factory with one of the best warranties in the business. It has a five-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

An extended warranty may give you extra peace of mind if you are concerned about long-term maintenance costs. Our helpful guide will provide more insight into Kia extended warranties and whether or not they are right for you.

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.

Photos & Source: Kia Motors America.