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Have you scoped out the 2023 Kia Rio yet? It’s quite the subcompact car gem for several reasons. And most of the industry critics agree—the Kia Rio is the top contender in this space. For anyone interested in a great little car that exudes affordability, reliability, and value, the Rio is certainly worth a test drive.

More specifically, U.S. News says the 2023 Kia Rio has the “winning combination” of features, ability, and amenities. The Rio may not be all that luxurious or infused with innovative new must-haves that some of its competitors offer. But what it does have is the Goldilocks roster of what today’s subcompact car shoppers are looking for in a new vehicle. Learn more about what the “winning combination” is for this latest Rio. And see why it still dominates its class.

A blue 2023 Kia Rio subcompact sedan model driving through an urban city.
2023 Kia Rio | Kia America

What U.S. News calls the ‘winning combination’

Kia has a reputation for producing top-rated vehicles across a variety of segments. But in the subcompact car category, the 2023 Kia Rio comes in at number one. U.S. News weighed in and evaluated the new Rio across a slew of categories, ultimately assigning it an overall score of 7.8 out of 10, securing its top spot in this class. It’s also the winner of the 2023 ‘Best Subcompact Car for the Money’ award.

When the U.S. News team says the Kia Rio has the “winning combination,” it means this car excels in value and quality. These are typically two of the most important aspects for potential owners. And despite its shortcomings, consumers will likely overlook them, knowing they’re getting incredible value and trusted quality.

The Kia Rio delivers precisely

What Kia understands, that other automakers might not, is that the focus should first be to deliver what consumers want in a subcompact car.

The Rio demonstrates just how effective it is to deliver precisely the two key components, value, and quality. The Kia Rio doesn’t try to sell itself as something it’s not. It takes its place in the subcompact car class as an affordable new car that’s easy to drive and user-friendly to control. 

If you’re looking for a subcompact car, chances are you’re more concerned about affordability, fuel economy, and ownership experience. The 2023 Kia Rio delivers all three, with its $16,750 starting MSRP, its 32 and 41 city and highway MPG, and its industry-leading Kia warranty coverage. And for most potential owners, that’s the homerun trifecta.

Others may do it better, but Kia still reigns supreme

The 2023 Kia Rio isn’t perfect. In fact, there are others in its space that have peppier engines than the Rio’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder and 120 horses. And other models offer more standard features and creature comforts than the Rio, with flashier designs. But you can load up a 2023 Kia Rio, at its highest-end trim, with all the available options, and still have a less-than-$20,000 car. And for most consumers, that’s a win.

The other advantage the 2023 Kia Rio has over even its more impressive competitors is warranty. Kia sets itself apart every time with better reliability and more expansive warranty coverage. The Rio comes with its leading five-year or 60,000-mile basic and 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, solidifying and outperforming its competitors.

For anyone looking for that perfect commuter car, college-bound ride, or affordable subcompact car, the 2023 Kia Rio will deliver on all fronts. And while it may not be flashy or overly stylish, it’s exactly what you’re looking for when you choose one of these cars.


The 2023 Kia Rio Is the Best Subcompact Car for the Money, According to U.S. News