The 2018 Kia Rio Hits Dealerships With Almost Unheard of Lower Prices

One of the cheapest cars in America gets even cheaper.

2018 Rio
Kia Motors America

Kia has begun rolling out its fourth-generation Rio sedan and hatchback with list prices even lower than the outgoing model. The redesigned compacts are being sold along with carryover 2017 models. 

Pricing for the 2018 starts at $13,900, before taxes and fees, for a base LX sedan with old-school manual roll-up windows. The mid-level S sedan starts at $16,100, while the top-spec EX, which has a voice-recognition system and available leather seating, begins at $18,400. Car and Driver notes that the 2018 Rio is priced more than $250 less than its smaller and less-advanced predecessor.

All 2018 trim levels are also available as a five-door hatchback for an extra $300. Many Americans like traditional trunks on their cars, but the hatchback's space efficiency makes a compelling case for itself. It packs more passenger and cargo room than the sedan despite being more than a foot shorter in overall length, 160 inches, to the sedan's 172.6 inches.

When introduced to the U.S. in the early aughts, the Rio was the cheapest new car you could buy. The marketplace has changed, however. Now, competitors such as the Chevy Spark LS, Mitsubishi Mirage ES, and Nissan Versa S all undercut the Rio. The Spark is known to ride decently, while the Mirage's 10-year warranty is competitive with Kia's, and the Versa offers similar interior room. None of these slightly-more-affordable options is as freshly designed as the Rio, however. Nor can they match its class-leading 130-horsepower. 

The concept of getting what you pay for still applies.