All-New 2018 Kia Rio Makes US Debut

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Americans finally get a chance to see the fourth-generation Kia Rio at the 2017 New York Auto Show.

The model was actually introduced in September, 2016 at the Paris Motor Show, but makes its U.S. debut in the Big Apple. Both the sedan and five-door hatchback models are present, sporting larger bodies than their predecessors. The Rio sedan has been lengthened to 172.6 inches from 172.0 inches, while the five-door hatch grows slightly from 159.4 inches to 160.0 inches. Both models ride on a longer 101.6-inch wheelbase (up from 101.2 inches) and feature more upright A-pillars. To give them both a more balanced and athletic stance, the 2018 Kia Rio sits lower and wider than before.

In the U.S., the 2018 Kia Rio will be available in three trim levels: LX, S and EX. All three models are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant is a carryover unit, but has been enhanced for better fuel efficiency, better responsiveness and low-speed driving dynamics. Power is sent to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

2017 New York Auto Show Coverage

The Korean automaker says the all-new Rio is targeting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick designation and a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Standard safety features on the model 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).

“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 those buyers looking for an entry-level vehicle but desire more than what the subcompact segment currently 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 for our customers, while raising the bar in the small-car segment.”

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  • Racineur R.

    I own a 2012 Rio EX Sedan. It was love at first sight. Still like it very much. No problems, no hassle. 5 years of peace actually. Now I see this 2018 with its generic design and I’m not sure I will go for it this time. I thought the square boxy look was over. Google the 2011 sedan Rio and you will see many similarities. Looks more like a 2012 Ford Focus to me. And why this big yawning mouth on every front grille of new cars? Again thought this design was gone with the exit of the old design of the Mazda 3. Peter Shryer went back to his german roots…