Kia Motors has come a long way since its very modest. The all-new Kia Rio is even looking to become the king of cheap subcompacts. The 2018 Rio is all-new for this year, complete with a sporty, "European-inspired" restyling that complements the rest of the lineup's design language. It continues the line of Kias that wear the iconic "tiger nose" front grille, but the new Rio is longer and looks sharper than its predecessors. Can the new Rio help redeem the brand's shaky reputation?
Besides its sleeker looks, Kia announced that the 2018 Rio sedan and hatchback is bristling with new features and technology. The Rio's interior is now roomier, featuring smaller seats and more storage space throughout. The touchscreen infotainment system has been redesigned and higher trims feature Android Auto/Apple Carplay and Bluetooth pairing, rare options for subcompacts.
Kia is eyeing Mazda with the new Rio, hoping for a prestigious 5-star NHTSA rating and "Top Safety Pick" from the IIHS. Besides upgraded ABS brakes and Electronic Stability Control assists, all Rios now feature an optional Autonomous Emergency Braking add-on.
The Rio gets the updated 1.6-liter, 130-horsepower GDI engine, well known for its combination of crispness and excellent fuel economy (estimated 32 MPG combined). Owners will be able to pair it with either a 6-speed manual or automatic for a driving experience of their choice.