Admirably representing the flagship trim of Kia’s Rio5 lineup for 2013 is the Rio5 SX. Flaunting a sport-tuned suspension over its siblings, this 5-seat subcompact hatchback stands with them in boasting 49.8 cubic feet of cargo area with the rear seatbacks folded, as well as a surprisingly spacious cabin and the ubiquitous 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant. Sporting variable valve timing (VVT) and 138 hp, this peppy four-banger mates with a standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission for 123 lb-ft of torque and some 28 mpg city/38 highway. Should the available 6-speed manual transmission be selected, power numbers stay the same, and mileage shifts marginally to 29/37.
Standard appearance goodies, meantime, include 17-inch alloy wheels, heated, power-adjustable and power-folding rear-view mirrors, dual exhaust tips, LED taillights and a rear spoiler. Inside look for premium cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and full power accessories adorning the inside, while cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering, of course, remain standard convenience features. An upgraded trip computer comes standard in the top-shelf SX, as do sport pedals, simulated alloy cabin trim accents and a rear-view camera.
Entertainment and communications, finally, includes the touted Microsoft-powered UVO infotainment system that packs in Bluetooth hands-free communications, an MP3-capable single-CD player, 6 speakers, satellite radio and a USB port.
The major option for the 2013 Rio5 SX is the Premium Package with heated front seats, leather upholstery, a power sunroof, hard-drive-based navigation and Smart Key push-button start. Cargo nets and mats, unique graphics and carpeted floor mats, meantime, remain available as standalone options.
Finally, noteworthy standard safety equipment includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, dual front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. Front fog/driving lights, daytime running lights, dusk-sensing headlights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors also come standard in this flagship trim.