2018 Kia Rio

#32
in Compact sedans
2018 MODEL

$13,900 - $18,400

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Detailed Review

Kia Motors is known for sensible and inexpensive cars and they are out with another car of such sort. It's the subcompact sedan, the 2018 Kia Rio that we are going to talk about today. The Rio was first introduced to the world in 2001 by the South Korean automaker and it has been an evolving car since then.

The 2018 Kia Rio has a 1.6L DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder engine with a 6-Speed Manual transmission in it. The 1.6L engine is mated to produce 130hp at a rate of 6,300 rpm and 119 lb-ft of torque at 4,850 rpm. Its price ranges from $13,900 to $18,400.

The Rio is basically a subcompact sedan that offers a variety of basic features like a 4-speaker 5-inch audio system and a rear-view camera in its base variant and as the trim upgrades, it is equipped with some high-tech features like 7-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, telescopic-tilt steering etc.


6.0/10
Features

 

6.6/10
Engine

 

7.7/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.9/10
Interior

 

6.6/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

The 2018 Kia Rio has a 1.6L DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder engine with a 6-Speed Manual transmission in it. The 1.6L engine is mated to produce 130hp at a rate of 6,300 rpm and 119 lb-ft of torque at 4,850 rpm. Its price ranges from $13,900 to $18,400.

2018 Kia Rio Features

6.0/10

The 2018 Kia Rio is a 4-door sedan comprising various features in its three trims, the LX, S, and EX. The LX is the base variant is equipped with some very basic features that include a 5-inch display audio system, rearview camera etc. The accruing features in the middle variant, the S trim includes cruise control, keyless entry, 60-40 split rear seat and Bluetooth connectivity. However, the high-end trim, the EX is well equipped with upscale interiors, 7-inch infotainment system enabled with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, fog lights, chrome grill etc.

Trims LX S EX
MSRP $13,900 $16,100 $18,400
Features
  • 15-inch steel wheels
  • Automatic headlights
  • Air conditioning
  • Height-adjustable driver seat
  • Tilt-only steering wheel
  • Trip computer
  • Rearview camera
  • Four-speaker sound system with a 5-inch display, satellite radio
  • A USB port and an auxiliary audio input jack.
  • keyless entry
  • Heated power mirrors
  • Power windows
  • Cruise control
  • Sliding center console armrest and storage area
  • 60/40-split folding rear seat
  • Rearview camera
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Six-speaker audio system.
  • 5-inch alloy wheels
  • Chrome grille surround Foglights
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
  • Forward collision warning system with automatic braking
  • Upgraded cloth upholstery
  • Dual illuminated vanity mirrors 
  • Upgraded 7-inch center display with Kia’s Uvo infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto)

We Recommend

The LX trim just seems to be a basic transportation vehicle with some basic features. The S trim is a decent car with some advanced features added to it. The EX trim stands out to be the fun to drive a car with plenty of features but it is pricey as well.

2018 Kia Rio Engine

6.6/10
"From behind the wheel, the 2018 Kia Rio feels eager to get out and play. Its peppy engine pairs nicely with lively handling, making this small car one of the sportier options in the subcompact car segment. It does a fine job soaking up jarring imperfections in the highway, but some may prefer a softer suspension over the Rio’s firm ride." Cars.usnews.com

Engine and Transmission

The 4-Cylinder 1.6L engine uses Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) and is mated to produce 130 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque. The engine feels more responsive at lower speeds. When compared to the previous edition of the Kia Rio, the tuning has been changed to reduce the horsepower from 138 to 130 but it has been tuned in order to ensure that the car goes on with ease even at lower revs.

Models Kia Rio (LX) Toyota Yaris iA (Manual) Ford Fiesta (S Sedan) Nissan Versa Sedan (S)
MSRP $13,900 $15,950 $14,115 $12,110
Engine 1.6L, DOHC Inline 4 1.5L 4-Cylinder DOHC 16-Valve 1.6L Ti-VCT I-4 HR16DE 1.6L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder
Transmission 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual 5-Speed Manual 5-Speed Manual
Power 130 hp 106 hp 120 hp 109 hp
Torque 119 lb-ft 103 lb-ft 112 lb-ft 107 lb-ft

The 1.6L 6-speed manual transmission engine feels thirsty and gives us the adequate fun of driving an entry-level compact sedan. The competitor of the Kia Rio, the Toyota Yaris iA has a 1.5L engine under its hood which produces 106 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque. The other rivals, the Ford Fiesta and the Nissan Versa Sedan host a 1.6L Ti-VCT and a 16-valve 1.6L DOHC engine respectively.

Acceleration

The 1.6L 4-cylinder engine feels peppy and its figures prove the point. It is the fastest to reach 60 mph from zero mph in the segment, thanks to the 130 hp engine. It takes 8.7 sec to do so.

Models Kia Rio (LX) Toyota Yaris iA (Manual) Ford Fiesta (S Sedan) Nissan Versa Sedan (S)
0-60 MPH 8.7 sec 8.7 sec 9.5 sec 10.0 sec
Quarter mile 16.6 sec 17.1 sec 17.2 sec 17.6 sec
Engine 1.6L 1.5L 1.6L 1.6L
Emission(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) 5.5 5.2 5.8 5.9

Its competitor, the Toyota Yaris iA also takes 8.7 sec to reach 60 mph but the quarter mile count makes the difference. The Fiesta and the Versa sedan take 9.5 sec and 10.0 sec respectively to reach 60 mph which keeps the Rio way ahead of the competition in terms of acceleration.

Ride and Handling

The handling of the Rio 2018 is exceptional with some high-quality vehicle dynamics. Its low stance and a sporty steering help maneuver the vehicle amazingly well. The ride quality of the Kia Rio is quite impressive with the Independent MacPherson Strut-Front Suspension on the front side and the Rear Coupled Torsion Beam with Twin Tube Shock Absorbers on the rear side which helps the car soak larger bumps with ease.

The 2018 Kia Rio gives the users a top-class experience when it comes to ride comfort, where the exterior vents help to reduce the noise inside the cabin even at higher speeds. The leather-wrapped steering wheel in the EX trim gives us a premium feel.

Braking

The braking of the Kia Rio needs some improvement to stop the car with better accuracy. The 11.0-inch ventilated disc brakes on the front and the 8.0-inch drum brakes on the rear help the Rio take 127 ft to stop from a speed of 60 mph.

Model Kia Rio (LX) Toyota Yaris iA (Manual) Ford Fiesta (S Sedan) Nissan Versa Sedan (S)
Brake Front(in) 11.0 10.2 10.2 10.0
Brake Rear(in) 8.0 7.9 7.9 8.0
Curb Weight(lbs) 2648 2385 2578 2404
60-0 MPH (ft.) 127 127 118 129

The Fiesta sedan leads the segment in terms of braking with 118 ft while the Versa sedan takes 129 ft. The Yaris iA, takes a distance of 127 ft which is same as the Rio, to come to a standstill position when the brakes are applied.

2018 Kia Rio Fuel Economy

7.7/10

The fuel economy of the Kia Rio is quite impressive with a combined fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon. The combined fuel economy of the Yaris iA is 2 miles more than that of the Rio while that of the Fiesta and the Versa Sedan is 2 miles less than the Rio.

Model Kia Rio (LX) Toyota Yaris iA (Manual) Ford Fiesta (S Sedan) Nissan Versa Sedan (S)
MPG (City) 29 30 27 27
MPG (Highway) 37 39 35 36
MPG (Combined) 32 34 30 30

The 2018 Kia Rio stands second in the competition in terms of fuel economy with 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, however, the Toyota Yaris tops the class with 30 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The amount of fuel consumed by the other rivals, the Fiesta, and the Versa Sedan, is the same in the city with 27 mpg, with a mile per gallon difference when it comes to the highway.

2018 Kia Rio Interior

7.9/10
"There’s a lot of practicality about the 2018 Kia Rio, including a decent amount of cargo space, pleasant passenger seating, and easy-to-use technology. You’ll still see hard plastics, but higher-grade accents and a clean design keep the Rio from feeling like a penalty box."  Cars.usnews.com

Seating and Comfort

The base variant of the 2018 Kia Rio is equipped with fabric seats while the EX variant has got dual-tone leather seats and cloth upholstery. It has a comfortable seating position and it is easy to get in and get out of the vehicle. The interior of the Kia Rio is by and large made of, hard plastic material with the only relief of the padded arm-rests fixed to the doors in the EX trim.

Model Kia Rio (LX) Toyota Yaris iA (Manual) Ford Fiesta (S Sedan) Nissan Versa Sedan (S)
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume (ft cube) 89.9 85.9 85.1 90.2
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(In.) 38.9/54.1/42.1 38.2/53.1/41.9 39.1/52.7/42.2 39.8/51.7/41.8
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(In.) 37.4/53.3/33.5 36.8/50.0/34.4 37.1/49/31.2 36.6/51.9/37.0

The driver’s seat is height adjustable one right from the basic trim. The front row seats are nicely bolstered which makes the passengers feel very comfortable. The second row of the car feels cramped with lesser legroom when compared to its rivals although it offers higher headroom.

Infotainment System

The base trim, the LX has a Four-speaker sound system with a 5-inch display, a USB port and an AUX audio input jack. The S trim gets an upgrade to the existing system with Bluetooth connectivity and a 6-speaker sound system instead of a 4-speaker one. The high-end trim, the EX is equipped with the Kia’s UVO infotainment system with a 7-inch display panel.

The floating design 7-inch infotainment system is placed at the center of the dashboard with a control button on either side of the display. Somehow, the infotainment system doesn’t have a built-in Navigation system; instead it uses the mobile’s maps in order to access navigation. The other features in the infotainment system include:

  • USB port
  • Aux connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Siri Eyes free
  • Voice recognition
  • Rearview camera

Cargo Capacity

The cargo capacity in the Kia Rio is slightly better than the Toyota Yaris iA but less than that of the Nissan Versa sedan. The overall cargo volume in the Versa sedan is 14.9 cubic feet followed by the Rio with 13.7 cubic feet.

Model Kia Rio (LX) Toyota Yaris iA (Manual) Ford Fiesta (S Sedan) Nissan Versa Sedan (S)
Volume (ft cube) 13.7 13.4 12.8 14.9

The Yaris iA stands third in the table with 13.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the Fiesta sedan being the one with least cargo space in the segment.

2018 Kia Rio Exterior

6.6/10
"The Rio is now both sportier and more mature than in the past. Even though the sedan and hatch share the same wheelbase, the sedan is almost 13 inches longer. All models come with 15-inch wheels and tires but step up to the EX and your Rio rides on alloy wheels. Also differentiating the EX from the rest are fog lights, a black-and-chrome grille, and a black/body-color bumper."  Kelley Blue Book

Dimension and Weight

The 2018 Kia Rio is a car with slightly increased dimensions when compared to its previous version. It is the heaviest car in the segment with 2648 pounds of weight, followed by the Fiesta sedan with 2578 lbs. It is the third longest car in the segment with 172.6 inches while the Versa Sedan tops in the class in terms of length with 175.4 inches.

Model Kia Rio (LX) Toyota Yaris iA (Manual) Ford Fiesta (S Sedan) Nissan Versa Sedan (S)
Curb weight(lbs) 2648 2385 2578 2404
Length(in) 172.6 171.7 173.6 175.4
Width(in) 67.9 66.7 67.8 66.7
Height(in) 57.1 58.5 58 59.6
Ground clearance(in) 5.5 5.5 6.1 6.3
Wheelbase(in) 101.6 101.2 98.0 102.4
Track width(in) F/R 60.0/60.2 58.9/58.5 57.7/.57.7 58.3/58.5

The 2018 Kia Rio has a low stance; in fact, it is the one with least height in the segment with 57.1 inches while the Versa Sedan is the tallest in the list with 59.6 inches.

Exterior Features

The 2018 Kia Rio has a conservative styling with the signature tiger-nose grill on the front side, clean side profile and an ordinary rear design. The headlights are not LED lamps as expected; instead Kia has used Halogen multi-reflector headlights in it. The rear is also fitted with incandescent tail lamps instead of LED. The other standard and available exterior features include:

  • Foglights
  • Chrome grille surround
  • Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers
  • Heated Rear Glass w/ Timer
  • Solar Control Glass
  • Dual Body-Color Power Heated Mirrors
  • Auto Light Control

 

2018 Kia Rio Safety

The 2018 Kia Rio comes with a Basic warranty of five-year/60,000-mile and a Powertrain warranty of 10-year/100,000-mile which is one of the best in class. The Rio is also equipped with some high-tech safety features like the Dual Front Advanced Airbags, Full-Length Side Curtain Airbags, the Dual Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags, Front and Rear Crumple zones, EBD, Electronic Traction Control, etc.

In terms of crash avoidance and mitigation, the LATCH rating of the car is “acceptable” but the headlights score “poor” rating. However, the crash tests are not yet done on the 2018 Kia Rio, so we are not supposed to comment on the overall safety ratings of the vehicle.

Crash Prevention and Mitigation

Front Crash Prevention

N/A
Headlights Poor
LATCH Acceptable

Safety Features

  • 4-wheel antilock brakes
  • Brake Assist, panic
  • Electronic brake force distribution
  • Hill Start Assist
  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control system
  • Electronic traction control
  • LED Daytime Running Lamps
  • 10 airbags
  • Airbags, dual-stage, frontal, driver and right-front passenger includes Passenger Sensing System
  • Door locks, rear child security
  • LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for CHildren), for child safety seats
  • Trunk emergency release handle
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

 

2018 Kia Rio Competition

Kia Rio vs Toyota Yaris iA

The Yaris iA is a fun to drive car with a 1.5L 4-cylinder engine in it, producing 103 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque. It has an edge over the Kia Rio in terms of fuel economy but it produces a lot of noise whereas the Rio has a quieter cabin. The pricing of the Yaris is also higher than the Kia Rio.

Kia Rio vs Ford Fiesta (S Sedan)

The Rio and the Fiesta sedan are similar when it comes to handling. Although the Fiesta sedan has got a powerful 1.6L engine under its hood, the Rio is slightly cheaper than the Fiesta sedan and also that the former offers more cargo volume than the latter.

Kia Rio vs Nissan Versa Sedan (S)

The Versa sedan hosts a 1.6L engine which doesn’t actually feel as much refined as the Rio. However, the Versa Sedan is the cheapest car in the segment with an MSRP of $12,110 which is quite affordable for those who wish to buy a simple basic car.

2018 Kia Rio Final Verdict

The 2018 Kia Rio is a conservatively styled car with high-quality interiors, a well-refined engine, and an impressive handling. The car is equipped with some amazing safety features as standard and the base and middle trims are affordable but the feature-rich high-end trim of the Rio is quite expensive especially for those who wish to buy their first car.

Pros

Engine power is commendable

Agile handling

Quiet cabin

Cons

Conservative styling

Fewer features in the base trim

No navigation even in the high-end trim

What's New?

Redesigned car

Wider and more spacious


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$13900

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

121 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

97 cu. in.

horsepower

130 hp @ 6300 rpm

torque

119 lb.-ft. @ 4850 rpm

transmission

6-speed manual

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

10.3 in. ventilated front disc/11 in. drum brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

101.6 in.

length

172.6 in.

width

67.9 in.

height

57.1 in.

curb weight

2648 lbs.

ground clearance

5.5 in.

capacity

passenger volume

89.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

13.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

8900 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.5 sec.

zero to 100 mph

25 sec.

rolling start (5-60 mph)

8.9 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.7 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

182 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

29/32/37 mpg

highway range

440.3 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 years/60000 miles

drivetrain warranty

10 years/100000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/100000 miles

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Kia Rio in Smoke Blue color  2018 Kia Rio in Silky Silver color  2018 Kia Rio in Phantom Gray color  2018 Kia Rio in Deep Sea Blue color  2018 Kia Rio in Currant Red color  2018 Kia Rio in Clear White color
Smoke Blue

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

6.0

Engine

6.6

Fuel Economy

7.7

Interior

7.9

Exterior

6.6

Comfort

6.3

Driving

7.1

6.9

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Kia Rio LX

LX

power
130 hp @ 6300 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$13,900 - $14,990


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $13,900 MSRP (29/32/37) 130 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5   Clear White
  Currant Red
  Deep Sea Blue
  Phantom Gray
  Silky Silver
  Smoke Blue
LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $14,990 MSRP (28/32/37) 130 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5   Clear White
  Currant Red
  Deep Sea Blue
  Phantom Gray
  Silky Silver
  Smoke Blue

 2018 Kia Rio S

S

power
130 hp @ 6300 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$16,100


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $16,100 MSRP (28/32/37) 130 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5   Clear White
  Currant Red
  Deep Sea Blue
  Phantom Gray
  Silky Silver
  Smoke Blue

 2018 Kia Rio EX

EX

power
130 hp @ 6300 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$18,400


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
EX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $18,400 MSRP (28/32/37) 130 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5   Clear White
  Currant Red
  Deep Sea Blue
  Phantom Gray
  Silky Silver
  Smoke Blue