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What's New for 2018?
The 2018 Kia Rio has been fully redesigned for the model year. The biggest change Kia lovers will notice is the engine. The 1.6-L 4-cylinder engine replaces the outgoing model's engine. While it gets slightly less power (130 hp, as opposed to the 2017 Rio's 138 hp), Kia made this adjustment to that the power that is generated is more usable by the vehicle.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Kia Rio – The Pros
1. Plenty of Cargo Space on the Hatchback
If you opt for the hatchback version of the 2018 Kia Rio, you will be getting best-in-class cargo space. It offers 17.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in place. When they are folded down, this gets maximized to 32.8 cubic feet of space. Not only does this best a lot of competitors, it also bests the Rio's sedan version.
2. Sporty Handling
The Kia Rio has been redesigned to have some seriously sporty handling. The suspension has been modified so that it gives a bit more spunk on the highway and turns corners with significantly more ease than ever before. The Rio is also a bit speedier than before thanks to the revisions made to the engine and suspension.
3. Excellent Build Quality
If you think the 2018 Kia Rio is your run-of-the-mill economy vehicle, think again. The build quality is actually quite superb, inside, outside, and under the hood. The body frame seems strong and durable, and the powertrain seems capable of performing well under pressure.
4. The Warranty
One of the biggest draws for buyers is undoubtedly the generous warranty coverage. There is a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile roadside warranty. Also, there are a 5-year/100,000-mile warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The other main factor that will draw buyers toward the 2018 Kia Rio is the fact that it is competitively priced. Not only is it affordable compared to many of its competitors, but it is a well-made vehicle, which makes it well worth the price tag. Also, optional features and packages are relatively inexpensive.
6. The Upscale Interior
There look to be quite a few hard plastics used on the interior, but they manage to not cheapen the look of the cabin. Instead, the interior looks rather upscale and well-thought-out. The steering wheel has a nice, solid grip and feels comfortable to wrap your fingers around.
7. The Uvo Infotainment System
Kia's Uvo infotainment system is worth the upgrade to the line-topping EX trim. It features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. All features can be accessed through a 7-inch touchscreen display that offers crisp images.
8. The Launch Edition Package on the EX
The EX trim is also worth considering since it can be equipped with the optional Launch Edition package. The Launch Edition package includes leather accents and sporty red interior trim that are added throughout the cabin. The accents and trim all look to be constructed of high-quality materials.
9. Plenty of Rear Seat Space
Some of the Kia Rio's competitors struggle with rear seat space. The Rio does not have this issue at all. Adults over 6 feet in height can easily get into and out of the reat seats without hitting their heads. Inside the cabin, there is plenty of head, shoulder, and leg space in the rear, so everyone can get comfy.
10. Most Controls Are Easy-to-Use
The physical controls that you can find in the cabin feel few and far between, but they are all clearly marked. They're also placed well within the driver's reach and are pretty easy to figure out. If you aren't a tech-savvy person, don't worry, as it should not take you long to figure out the physical controls.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Kia Rio – The Cons
1. The Sedan Lacks Cargo Space
If cargo space matters, steer clear of the sedan version. It only offers 13.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which is absolutely dwarfed by what you find on the hatchback. Bulky items will be difficult to load and store in the sedan.
2. Lacks Some Standard Features
While there are a good amount of optional features that you can add onto the 2018 Kia Rio, some standard features seem to be missing. There are not as many active safety features or driver aids as what you find on other vehicles.
3. The Base Steering Wheel
The base trims (the LX and S) come with a tilting-only steering wheel. It would have been pertinent for Kia to add a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel across the lineup as most other automakers have done. This would make it significantly easier for drivers to find comfortable driving positions.
4. Not Many Physical Controls
Many controls are located on the touchscreen's interface. While this isn't a huge problem for most drivers, it can be a little confusing at first for those who aren't interested in using a screen to find controls. A few more physical knobs and buttons on the center stack would be nice.
How it Stacks up to the Competition:
2018 Kia Rio vs. 2018 Honda Fit
The 2018 Honda Fit is one of the 2018 Kia Rio's main competitors. The Fit is incredibly comfortable to ride in, has a gorgeously-sculpted exterior, and gets an excellent fuel economy. On the downside, it doesn't have a spacious back seat, and there is no blind spot monitoring available.
2018 Kia Rio vs. 2018 Chevrolet Sonic
The 2018 Chevrolet Sonic is another chief competitor for the 2018 Kia Rio. While it lacks the high-quality interior appeal of the Rio, it makes up for that with a spacious design, high safety scores, and a great infotainment system.
The 2018 Kia Rio might not be the best option in its sedan version, but the hatchback is definitely worthy of consideration. It offers best-in-class rear seat and cargo space, a well-put-together interior design, and a generous warranty that makes the Rio more than worth its modest price tag.
• Why buy a 2017 Kia Rio? w/ pros vs cons