The 2018 Kia Rio makes its way stateside with a pre-show introduction before media days at the 2017 New York Auto Show.
2018 Kia Rio
Longer, lower, wider. That was the 1950's mantra of the domestic automakers – one taken up by Kia in the new millennium.
That's precisely what the Korean manufacturer has done to its entry-level model, the Rio. All-new for 2018 with a new suspension geometry, length is up by 0.6 inches in both the sedan and hatchback (172.6 and 160.0 inches, respectively). Wheelbase is also up, from 101.2 inches to 101.6 inches.
Up front, there's a new, narrower, iteration of Kia's "tiger-nose" grille, the lower air intake is taller, and the fog lamp surrounds have been moved outward. Along the sides, the window line has been lowered, while a shoulder line runs front to back.
In back, the rear overhang has been reduced, the tailgate is more upright, while the tail lights are wider, but shorter overall.
Inside, the cabin is larger – 89.9 cubic feet in the sedan and 90.5 cubic feet in the hatchback. There's more head, leg and shoulder room up front, while back seat passengers get more leg and shoulder room. Cargo room in the sedan is 13.7 cubic feet, while the hatchback now offers 17.4 cubic feet. Thinner C-pillars and outside mirrors relocated to the base of the A-pillars improve driver visibility. A six-speaker sound system and rear view camera are both standard.
The three trim levels – LX, S, and EX – carry over in both sedan and hatchback body styles, as does the Rio's 130 horsepower, 1.6-liter Gamma direct injection four-cylinder engine. Transmission choices include a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic.
The suspension consists of MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam in back. LX and S models feature front disc and rear drum brakes, while the EX model gets discs all-around. The EX model will also receive a 7-inch touchscreen with a voice recognition infotainment system as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
2018 Kia Rio prices and availability
The 2018 Rio should reach Kia dealers later this year, with pricing announced closer to its on-sale date.