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2018 kia Rio

The Kia Rio is a subcompact sedan that belies its low pricetag with attractive styling and a well-designed interior. Also offered as a hatchback, it boasts a thoroughly modern powertrain in addition to plenty of standard features.

Recent Changes
The Rio is all-new for the latest model year.

Overview
The Rio sedan and its hatchback sibling feature a clean and elegant look highlighted by Kia's "Tiger Nose" corporate grille. Inside, the airy cabin uses switchgear and materials that wouldn't be out of place in a car priced on the other side of $20,000.

Though small, it offers space for five passengers if you're willing to cramp the person sitting in the rear bench's middle spot. Trunk space checks in at 13.7 cubic feet.

An available UVO3 infotainment system displayed on a seven-inch touch screen provides Bluetooth-based smartphone integration, streaming audio and voice command functionality for everything from placing calls to changing radio stations. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility both come standard.

Technical specifications
Kia only offers one engine: a 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. That's not much on paper, but keep in mind the Rio weighs just 2,648 pounds.

Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission come standard. A six-speed automatic gearbox is offered at an extra cost. Fuel economy checks in at 28 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg in a combined cycle when buyers select the automatic. The stick-shifted model returns 29 mpg in the city and the same numbers as the automatic in the other two cycles.

Trim level breakdown
The Rio lineup includes three trim levels named LX, S, and EX, respectively.

The base model comes standard with power steering, 15-inch steel wheels with plastic hubcaps, a temporary spare tire, black exterior door handles, tinted windows, black manually-adjustable mirrors, a tilt steering column, a tachometer, dual front cupholders, cloth upholstery, a six-way adjustable driver's seat, a multi-function polyurethane steering wheel, A/C, a five-inch touch screen, and a four-speaker sound system.

The S model adds body-colored door handles, heated mirrors that are body-colored and power-adjustable, a sunglasses holder, 60/40-split rear seats, a center console, tweeter speakers, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, and a folding key.

Finally, the EX trim boasts 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, illuminated vanity mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a seven-inch touch screen, and Kia's UVO3 infotainment system. Leather upholstery is offered at an extra cost.

Occupant safety
Every Rio comes with dual front, side, and curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and hill-start assist. Automatic emergency braking comes standard on the EX model.

Key competitors
The subcompact sedan segment continues to shrink. The Rio squares off against the Ford Fiesta sedan, the Toyota Yaris sedan, the Chevrolet Sonic, and the Nissan Versa.