Pricing for the 2018 Kia Rio begins at $14,795 (including destination) for an LX sedan (the one trim available in either a sedan or hatchback body style) with a six-speed manual transmission, and rises to $20,225 for an example like our test vehicle: a six-speed automatic-equipped EX hatchback Launch Edition, finished in Urban Gray, with red accent leather seating and optional carpeted floor mats.
Looking over the lineup, we'd pass on the hair shirt LX sedan that's outfitted with crank windows and manual mirrors – both rarities, even in the small car class. We'd also hesitate to spend our cash on one like our tester that sports a price that edges into territory staked out by larger and dynamically superior compacts like Mazda's Mazda3.
This leads us to the S trim, where our choice is the slightly pricier (by $300) – but better looking and more versatile – hatchback model. Stepping up from the base LX not only adds electric assist to the windows and mirrors plus an automatic transmission, but also graces the Rio's exterior with body-color door handles and heated outside mirrors. Inside, it ups the ante with an overhead console with map lights and a sunglass holder, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, adjustable rear headrests, a center console, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, front and rear USB ports, and remote keyless entry.
A rearview camera is standard across the lineup, and low-speed automatic emergency braking is standard – and only offered – on the EX trim.
Here's how we'd build it:
- Model: 2018 Kia Rio 5-Door S (hatchback)
- Engine: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
- Output: 130 hp / 119 lb-ft
- Transmission:Six-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
- MPG: 28 City / 37 Hwy
- Options: Carpeted floor mats ($130)
- Base Price: $17,295 (including the $895 destination fee)
- Best Value Price:$17,425