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2023 Kia Rio: Choosing the Right Trim

The 2023 Kia Rio is among the last of a dying breed. It’s an affordable subcompact car with a low price tag and an efficient engine. Its few direct rivals include the Nissan Versa and the mechanically similar Hyundai Accent, available only as sedans. The Rio has the distinction of two available body styles — a sedan and a hatchback.

Every Kia Rio gets its power from a 1.6-liter inline-4 engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) directing the go to the front wheels. It produces 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque, and it returns 33 city/41 highway mpg.

As of this writing, Kia has not announced official pricing for the 2023 Rio. However, we know that it’s a carryover model with few — if any — significant changes. The pricing numbers below are estimates based on the pricing of the 2022 model.

The Rio has only two trim levels, simplifying matters. Let’s look at the differences between the LX and S trims of the 2023 Kia Rio.

2023 Kia Rio LX (starting price: $16,450)

The base LX trim has some impressive features for the money, but it’s also missing a few hard-to-live-without features.

Basics include power windows, air conditioning, 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, intermittent windshield wipers, heated, power mirrors, a tilt steering column, a 3.5-inch LCD cluster display, a trip computer, a backup camera, and cloth seats.

The standard infotainment system is an 8-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, a USB port, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. These are handy smartphone connectivity features that make it easy to bring your music, maps, and more from your phone to the screen in your car. You don’t even need to take your phone out of your purse or pocket.

The LX trim lacks a few notable features: modern driver assistance tech, cruise control, and remote keyless entry.

With the $1055 destination fee, the 2023 Kia Rio totals $17,505. Financing a 60-month loan for that amount with 3% interest and no money down results in a modest monthly payment of about $315 for a Rio LX. See 2023 Kia Rio LX models for sale.

2023 Kia Rio LX includes:

Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay — We love to see these smartphone connectivity features in such an affordable car.

Air conditioning — This is a must-have feature for staying cool in hot climates.

Up to 41 mpg — The efficient 4-cylinder engine in the Kia Rio returns 33 city/41 highway mpg.

2023 Kia Rio S (starting price: $17,090 sedan; $17,390 hatchback)

Upgrading to the S trim is a no-brainer. The price difference is minor compared to the LX model, and you get many more standard features. There’s also an available Technology Package that you can’t get on the LX trim.

For starters, the 5-door hatchback body of the Kia Rio is only available with the S trim. Other than the hatchback design with the bigger cargo hold, the list of features is the same as the S trim of the sedan.

Additional standard features in the S model include a sliding front center armrest with storage, 60/40 split-folding back seats, rear adjustable headrests, a rear USB charger, cruise control, and remote keyless entry.

The available Technology package (approximately $1,800) adds many desirable features while keeping the price reasonable. You get LED headlights, 15-inch alloy wheels, chrome door handles, rear disc brakes, automatic climate control, SiriusXM, push-button start, tire pressure monitoring, and a 4.2-inch driver information display.

The Technology Package also adds many safety tech features. These include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, lane following assist, automatic high beams, driver attention warning, and rear occupant alert.

With a 60-month loan at 3% interest and no money down, the 2023 Kia Rio S sedan would start at around $326/month. The hatchback would begin at about $331/month. See 2023 Kia Rio S models for sale.

2023 Kia Rio S includes:

Cruise control — This feature makes the S trim worth the extra cost.

Two body styles — The S trim is available as a sedan or a hatchback, while the LX trim can be had only as a sedan.

Available Technology Package — This option package adds upgraded safety and infotainment tech, alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, LED headlights, and more.


What is the best 2023 Kia Rio trim?

The S trim has the best balance of features and value in the Kia Rio lineup. We recommend ordering the $1,800 Technology Package for its wealth of safety features such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

How many mpg does the 2023 Kia Rio get?

The Kia Rio is rated at 32 mpg city/41 mpg highway/36 mpg combined.

Which 2023 Kia Rio trim level offers the most safety?

The S trim with the Technology Package is the safest because of the upgraded LED headlights and many added driver assistance tech features like automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and more.

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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