David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/11/18 3:19 p.m.

The Kia Rio is new for 2018, but let’s start by answering one important question: Yes, you can still get it with a manual transmission. That six-speed box comes mated to a 130-horsepower, 1.6-liter, direct-injected engine. Curb weight for that combo is listed at 2648 pounds.

However, there’s a caveat to that statement: The manual box is only available with the base LX trim. If there’s a silver lining here, the stick can be ordered with the sedan as well as the 5-Door model.

Our test car, the top-of-the-line 5-Door EX, was not so equipped. While it traded a stick shift for an automatic box, it came nicely equipped by most normal standards: alloy wheels, 7-inch center display, heated outside mirrors, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Something else standard: a 5-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Rio still uses struts up front and a twist beam out back. The big news for 2018 is the styling: “A new eye-catching design that is decidedly European,” the release states, while remaining a value buy. The sedan starts at $13,900, while our EX 5-Door starts at $18,700.

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Stealthtercel Dork
6/11/18 8:31 p.m.

In Canada, every Rio comes with heated seats and a heated steering wheel.  Now that's knowing your market.  OTOH, every Rio beyond the base model (the one with rear drum brakes) comes with a mandatory sunroof.  If yours had one of those, how was the headroom?  Also, how were the headlights?  The IIHS says they are awful... but, as I understand it, they test cars the way they get them, with no effort to check or fix aiming.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/15/18 1:24 p.m.

That's cool re. the heated wheel and seats. Yeah, it sounds frivolous until it's like 30 below. 

Good question on the headlights, but I didn't do a lot of night driving away from urban environments.

Stealthtercel Dork
8/6/18 6:54 a.m.

It's nice that someone agrees with my questions, but I sense a canoe here.

EDIT: Suprf1y beat me to it.

Suprf1y UltimaDork
8/6/18 7:17 a.m.

Nonetheless, it's nice to see that this lame little hatchback generated so little interest.    

Robbie PowerDork
8/6/18 7:48 a.m.

Is it just me or does 1.6l, 130HP, manual transmission hatchback and 2650 lbs just scream 90's honda with a couple big passengers?

well, it doesn't have the double wishbones at any corner.

ProDarwin PowerDork
8/6/18 7:58 a.m.


What is going on here?

MadScientistMatt PowerDork
8/6/18 9:08 a.m.
ProDarwin said:


What is going on here?

The latest "stretch and poke" technique from the drift crowd?

ProDarwin PowerDork
8/6/18 10:44 a.m.

Putting a 15" tire on an 18" wheel would be quite a bit of stretch!


But seriously... do they really have 5.5" wide wheels?

pres589 PowerDork
8/6/18 10:53 a.m.

I sometimes think this might be a good eventual replacement for my SX4 Sportback.  But I don't know how much of an actual improvement it would be as I want the manual trans which relegates me to pretty low spec overall.  A five-door Golf seems like a nicer place to spend time in the end.  Which is a shame.

dxman92 Reader
8/7/18 7:46 a.m.

Nice looking hatch. I am seeing those hatches being used now for auto parts delivery..

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