2018 Kia Rio
Taking a page from the domestic manufacturers during the 1950s, the fourth generation of Kia's entry-level subcompact Rio is all-new for 2018 and longer, lower, and wider than the outgoing model. Better yet, it's also cheaper – but we'll get to that in a moment.
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. The suspension is also new.
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.
As you might expect from the exterior specs, the cabin is also 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, satellite radio, and rear view camera are standard on all models. The previous model's LX and EX trim levels carry over, while a new S trim slots between those two. Meanwhile, the top hatchback trim – the SX – has been dropped.
Under the hood
Powering all this is the Rio's 130 horsepower, 1.6-liter Gamma direct injection four-cylinder engine mated to either a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic. The engine, as well as the transmission choices, carry over from last year.
The suspension again 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 also comes with a 7-inch touchscreen with a voice recognition infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and automatic emergency braking.
2018 Kia Rio prices
Earlier this week, Kia released pricing for 2018 hatchback and sedan models, as follows:
Model, Trim Level, Transmission, MSRP
Sedan, LX, 6-speed manual, $14,801
Sedan, LX, 6-speed automatic, $15,885
Sedan, S, 6-speed automatic, $16,995
Sedan, EX, 6-speed automatic, $19,295
Hatchback, LX, 6-speed automatic, $16,185
Hatchback, S, 6-speed automatic, $17,295
Hatchback, EX, 6-speed automatic, $19,595
Kia has pointed out that the base price of the 2018 LX trim is $265 less than the 2017 model. The EX trim, on the other hand, is more expensive, to the tune of $645. All prices include an $895 destination charge.