2018 Kia Rio EX

2018 Kia Rio EX

2018 Kia Rio EX: raises the bar in small-car segment

If you’re in the market for a subcompact commuter car, the 2018 Kia Rio EX five-door hatchback is worthy of your consideration.

It’s dynamic. It’s stylish. It’s capable. It’s creature-comfort rich. And it’s a tremendous value.

You’re obviously sacrificing size, but not necessarily comfort. The Rio provided plenty of headroom for front seat passengers, and adequate legroom for the rear-seaters. The hatchback cargo space is limited, but with one of the split-fold rear seats deployed, there was room for a golf bag and cart.

Rio seats four adults and receives an EPA rating of 37 miles per gallon down the highway. Not bad when it comes to idling in heavy I-5 traffic.

“Value has always been a core tenet for the Kia brand and the all-new Rio sedan and 5-door continue to underscore our commitment to buyers looking for an entry-level vehicle but desire more than what the subcompact segment offers,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “This fourth-generation Rio makes significant improvements over its predecessor in design, technology and passenger comfort, resulting in an even better value proposition, while raising the bar in the small-car segment.”

Available in three trims – LX, S and EX – Rio is powered by a carryover, but enhanced, Gamma 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The front-wheeler generates 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque.

In the creature comfort department, the Kia Rio’s standard equipment includes air conditioning, power windows, door locks and outside mirrors, AM/FM/XM radio, rear camera, remote keyless entry, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary ports, and a seven-inch touchscreen with UVO and Apple CarPlay.

There is also a lengthy list of safety features – surprising for the price point – including autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning system, anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic stability control, hill-start assist, fog lights, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

And a respectable measure of safety features are included as well. The all-new Rio is targeting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick designation and a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Standard safety features include six airbags, side-impact door beams, electronic stability control, a four-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS), hill-start assist control (HAC) and vehicle-stability management (VSM).

The Rio exterior, while diminutive in size, still manages to create a sleek and substantive look thanks in part to a well-creased shoulder line that runs from front to back. Rio also benefits from 15-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and an Urban Gray coat of paint.

Cabin refinements include red accent leather seat trim, more ergonomic layout, center console with a bi-level tray perfect to place your cell phone and an updated instrument panel – all of which provide a modern, upscale look.

Base Price: $18,700

Price As Driven: $20,200

Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. Prices may vary at local dealerships.

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