The 2018 Kia Rio is most definitely not the stereotypical penalty box that some cheap cars can be. Sure, some trims can get a little pricey, but none of them will shoulder check your wallet into the boards.
Thewill arrive at dealerships in early October. Its starting price is $13,900 for the base LX sedan, and $14,200 for the five-door hatchback. This is the only trim where you can get a six-speed manual, and while standard equipment is on the low end, you do get a 5-inch infotainment system with SiriusXM satellite radio. You'll have to crank your own mirrors down, though.
Move up to the S, and the price rises to $16,100 for the sedan and $16,400 for the hatch. A backup camera is standard on the S, as is Bluetooth, power windows and a USB port for the rear seats.
At the top of the lineup, you have the Rio EX, which will set you back $18,400 for the sedan and $18,700 for the hatch. Once you hit this level, you can get leather seats that really ramp up the fancy. You also get Kia's excellent Uvo infotainment system on a 7-inch screen with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Alloy wheels are along for the ride, too.
After spending a day in the Rio, I walked away impressed. With suspension tuning that leans toward European, it was stiff enough to feel solid without also being uncomfortable. The fat tire sidewalls soak up a good deal of road roughness, and the 1.6-liter, 130-horsepower I4 (the only engine on offer) provides enough power for your average driver, but it doesn't sound buzzy and cheap in the process.