Kia significantly updated the Rio subcompact sedan and five-door hatchback last year for the 2018MY.
In base LX trim, the sedan is one of the most affordable cars on the market, starting from $13,900. However, choosing this version means having to live without things we’ve been accustomed to for years, like, say, power windows.
Consumer Reports chose to skip the entry-level model and go for the S grade, which can be had from $16,100. This adds Bluetooth, cruise control and a few other amenities, including a six-speed automatic transmission that is mated to the 130hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder offered across the range.
The gearbox/engine combo gets the job done, according to the reviewer, but the new Rio’s suspension and handling is far from exciting when compared to something like a Ford Fiesta or a Honda Fit.
Inside, it offers little to no surprises. The controls are easy to use and the materials found throughout the cabin are pretty basic, despite the obvious attempt to give every surface a finer texture. Space on the rear bench is cramped, but that’s expected from a subcompact.
What puts the final nail in the Rio’s coffin, CR says, is the fact that, with the right incentives, buyers can get a larger compact model for roughly the same price.