PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — This edition of The Drivetime Road Test has us tooling down the street in what could be the best bang for the buck small car out there today — the 2013 Kia Rio SX Sedan.

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This is my second ride in a Rio having spent a week in the Rio five-door just after it was introduced last year. Back then I thought: great car awesome value. Click here for last year’s review: Drivetime test the Rio five-door.

After a week in the four-door sedan my thoughts that this is one of the best sub compact car buys out there are only reinforced.

The Rio cuts just as sharp a profile with a deck lid as without. While cargo space is cut down a bit there is still plenty of room to throw just about anything you want to take with you in there especially with a split rear seat. Exterior styling is much more drawn on European influence than the previous incarnations of the Rio.

A short rear deck adds to the attractiveness of the Rio. Photo Credit Vinnie Richichi

A short rear deck adds to the attractiveness of the Rio. Photo Credit Vinnie Richichi

Inside leather front seats are supportive and give you a lot of room. Front seats are also heated. Rear seat room is a little small especially with the sloping roof of the sedan. The interior materials are as good as I have seen in this class with toggle switches used for some controls. The SX version gets the navigation system with Sirius traffic and info system. Quality soft touch materials are used liberally in the interior giving it a much more expensive feel. The SX also gets push button start and key-less entry.

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Same engine here as the five-door, the 1.6 liter direct injection 4 cylinder that cranks out 138 horsepower. While no neck snapper, it’s plenty spry to get the Rio moving from a standstill or to pass what you need to out on the road with confidence. The SX gets a beefier sports suspension along with 17-inch tires and alloy wheels which help suck up bumps. The electric steering is better than most in the class.

The fully loaded Kia Rio SX sedan test car I drove stickered at  $21,340 fully loaded, including Premium Package. Gas mileage figures come in at 30 miles per gallon city and 40 miles per gallon highway with a combined figure of 33 miles per gallon. The federal government  gives the Rio four stars in crash testing. It has all of the usual safety equipment as well as a rear view camera.

The Kia Rio is as good as it gets in a subcompact car. There might be some things that other cars do better but nobody puts it all in one package like the Rio. And price wise it beats anyone out there for value. It’s funny a few years ago Kia was trying to catch up with everyone else in the class. It looks like with the new Rio a lot of other manufacturers have some catching up to do.

For more information http://www.kia.com/#/rio

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Reviews, news about cars and the people who drive them, interviews and tips on how to get more out of your driving experience all on Drivetime with Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte Saturday mornings 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Newsradio 1020 KDKA. Also listen to Vinnie on The Vinnie and Cook Show Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.