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Steve’s First Look At The New Subcompact Kia Rio – It’s Bigger; Many Upgrades

Kia’s new 1-2 punch in the subcompact car segment is the 2018 Rio sedan and hatchback.

Slightly longer with a wheelbase stretched by about ½”, the all-new 4th generation Rio touts sporty design, greater comfort, more room and a refined ride.  Kia says the Rio is targeted at entry-level car shoppers who desire more than what the segment currently offers.  To that end, the Rio presents a roster of features including Bluetooth® hands-free functionality, a six-speaker stereo with satellite radio and a rear-view camera system.

Available only on the top-tier EX trim is a seven-inch floating touchscreen interface, UVO3 voice recognition infotainment system and smartphone integration through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay .

The cabin is now the roomiest in the class and the hatchback’s over 32 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume gives it crossover versatility.  A more modern and upscale interior with better ergonomics and upgraded materials greet all trim levels ranging from LX to S to EX.

The 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine is a carryover but enhanced with improved fuel efficiency, better responsiveness and low-speed driving dynamics.  A 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic is offered with output rated at 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque.  A completely new suspension geometry for the MacPherson struts and torsion beam refines the driving experience with more agile handling and improved ride comfort.  Reduced noise, vibration and harshness levels are courtesy of better body sealing.  Standard safety features include six airbags, side-impact door beams, Electronic Stability Control, Anti-lock Brakes (ABS), Hill-start Assist Control and Vehicle Stability Management.

Pricing is to be announced closer to the Rio’s on sale date later in 2017.