A short while ago Kia released the brand new Rio. The car is based on a new platform and boasts new technology. It is also larger than its predecessor and its styling evolved by quite a bit. Despite that it remains one of the best compact cars on the market with its funky character and great styling. With the new chassis, the 2018 Kia Rio 5-door also received a notable amount of upgrades. For starters, the car now boasts an updated suspension setup. It seems that both the bushes and the roll-bars have been changed in order to give the car better handling capabilities.
The new platform is also more rigid than before but it isn’t much lighter. This is because Kia decided to use high strength steel in the front of the car, roof and front sub-frame. Thanks to that it should be safer in the case of a crash and it should be able to give the driver more feedback during driving. The price is set to remain at around $15,000 for a base model with the top end versions going for north of $19,000.
2018 Kia Rio design
Probably one of the best changes done to the 2018 Kia Rio 5-door is its exterior. While the car did lost its unusual face, the new one is much better. For starters Kia decided to give the Rio a more modern, and up to date, front end. This is similar to that of the much more expensive Optima with the swept-back headlights, slim grille and large bumper intake.
Vertical fog-lamps housings as well as the honeycomb mesh of the grilles give the car a more aggressive look than otherwise. Its overall set of proportions also changed with the new Rio now looking much more similar to a larger hatchback. In the rear it boasts a larger tailgate, a sportier bumper and larger tail lights. A sporty version is still unannounced at this point. Despite that it is safe to assume that Kia will release one in the future, especially since they proved that they are listening to their customers.
Inside the cabin the new Rio is both roomier as well as much better made. The quality has been considerably improved over its predecessor. On top of that the design, while it lost some of its flair, is quite a bit nicer. For starters, the dashboard is cleaner but it looks more premium thanks to the horizontal design Kia achieved.
This not only makes the cabin seem larger but it also gives the Rio a character more in line with the rest of their cars. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available while things such as leather upholstery can be had on the top end models.
Under the hood
The US model of the 2018 Kia Rio 5-door can only be had with a naturally aspirated 1.6 liter engine. This will provide 130 horsepower and 119 lb-ft of torque which is actually down from its predecessor. This is because Kia is not looking to make the Rio as efficient as it gets. A 6 speed manual is offered as standard while a 6 speed automatic can be had as an option. The European version of the car is a bit different.
The base model gets a 1.2 liter naturally aspirated engine offering just 83 horsepower with an optional 1.0 liter turbo-three with 99 horsepower. The one most people will get is the 1.4 liter diesel with its 89 horsepower. A 5 speed manual is standard across the range while an ancient 4 speed automatic is the only option. We do hope that Kia will start offering in Europe the larger US engine due to its improved output and overall good fuel efficiency for its output.