Despite being an entry-level series, the 2018 Kia Rio adds to the brand’s enthusiastic image. We’ve driven the Rio throughout its life since first being introduced for 2001. This fourth gen subcompact holds on to the European design influences… but it’s now more mature. 

The new platform is more rigid, with a revised suspension. Our first drive in a top trim EX hatchback began on cobblestone streets near our home in downtown Baltimore, then onto the beltway, and eventually country roads. All along the way the ride quality was smooth and stable. 

The 6-speed automatic shifts quickly. The 1.6 liter in-line 4 produces 130-horsepower, with sufficient punch to dart through city traffic… and it’s adequate at higher speeds. Inside, it’s quite quiet, and looks and feels more spacious than it is. The Rio’s Euro trend continues… with the stand-up touch screen.  

In sedan and hatchback, the 2018 Kia Rio goes on sale later this year starting around $14,000.


  • Engine: 1.6 liter
  • Horsepower: 130
  • Price: Starting around $14,000