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The subcompact car market brings you to small, well-packaged, useful cars such as the 2023 Kia Rio. This little Kia delivers good fuel mileage, a low starting price, an impressive warranty, and a useful infotainment system. The Kia Rio could be that car when you want a small car that hits all the right notes.

What makes the 2023 Kia Rio the best subcompact car for the money?

U.S. News & World Report awarded the latest Kia Rio as the 2023 Best Subcompact Car for the Money. This doesn’t mean the Rio is the best overall car in its class but it offers the most impressive combination of quality and value.

Although some winners of the Best Car for the Money awards aren’t the top overall models in their respective classes, the Kia Rio is. U.S. News ranks this little Kia sedan as:

  • #1 in Subcompact Cars
  • #8 in Hatchbacks
  • #12 in Small Cars
  • Winner 2023 Best Subcompact Car for the Money

The Kia Rio brings pros and cons that help determine if this is the right small car to drive. These pros and cons are:


  • Comfortable ride
  • Great fuel economy
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system


  • The engine can be loud at higher speeds
  • Few standard safety features

What’s new for the 2023 Kia Rio?

A silver 2023 Kia Rio parked outdoors in front of a city skyline.
2023 Kia Rio | Kia Media

The 2023 model of this small Kia doesn’t have any changes compared to the 2022 version. In fact, the 2022 version didn’t bring any added items compared to the 2021 model. We might be approaching a time when a new Kia subcompact car is due, but for now, we have this Kia Rio, which tops the U.S. News charts.

Kia Rio powertrain and fuel economy

Every model of this subcompact car uses the same 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque. This engine mates to a CVT and is only offered in FWD. This setup is one of the best ways for Kia to keep the price of the Rio at the most affordable level possible. The fuel mileage for the Rio is 32 city/41 hwy mpg.

How much does the newest subcompact Kia Rio sedan cost?

White 2023 Kia Rio Sedan parked and posed
2023 Kia Rio Sedan | Kia

The 2023 Kia Rio is one of the most affordable cars in the entire automotive market, with a starting price of $16,045 for the base sedan. Move up to the S model, and you’ll spend $17,090 for the sedan version. The Kia Rio S hatchback begins at $17,390.

The only optional package above these trims is the Technology package for the S trim, which adds $1,800 to the price of this subcompact car.

Is the 2023 Kia Rio a good subcompact car?

Red 2023 Kia Rio 5-Door Hatchback Parked on a Street
2023 Kia Rio 5-Door Hatchback | Kia

As long as you remember, the Kia Rio is a subcompact car at a bargain level price, you’ll understand what to expect from this car. The fuel economy is impressive, but the driving dynamics leave something to be desired. You’ll find a comfortable ride but won’t see any standard driver-assistance features offered other than the rearview camera. The engine of the 2023 Kia Rio is loud under hard acceleration, but that’s typical of most cars in the subcompact car class.

Next, check out more qualities of the Kia Rio, or learn more about the 2023 Kia Rio in this video below:


Only 1 Kia Model Costs Under $20,000 and Is the Least Expensive Car to Own