2018 Kia Rio 5-door EX – A subcompact with sports car like performance
The 2018 Kia Rio 5-door EX gives competitors like the Stinger, K900 and the Cadenza a run for their money and that too for under $20,000. Our claim of it having sports car like performance stems from the fact that it can dart out in a matter of seconds. If anything, it’s the type of acceleration that’s unseen in most subcompacts today, many would argue it’s excessive, but we beg to differ.
Features at a glance
The 2018 Kia Rio 5-door EX is the fourth-generation subcompact, a line which Kia has been constantly improving with each iteration. Kia has only produced a thousand of this top of the line EX-edition trim. The safety features include six airbags, electronic stability control, stability control, and antilock brakes.
The 2018 Rio as explained by Orth Hedrick, makes use of special high strength steel which helps to improve durability, torsional stiffness, and a couple of other safety aspects all backed by collision test performance reports. Kia has also developed a special adhesive which reduces vibrations, noise and other types of unwanted disturbance from the road.
A Cleaner, Modern Cabin
Kia has redesigned the Rio’s cabin making it cleaner, and more premium feeling. Though admittedly they continue to use a lot of hard plastic. The EX comes equipped with every feature that was ever intended for the 2018 Rio, making it a “no-compromise” model!
The EX comes packed with a 7-inch screen coupled with a UVO3 infotainment system. It supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The EX also includes the latest rear-view camera. The EX is the only trim with a navigation system. Which probably makes the Rio EX one of the very few to offer these features in a subcompact.
The 2018 Kia Rio 5-door EX has some of the most comfortable seats in this category. The seats now offer excellent support, and because of the quite interior coupled with the new chassis, it’s a pleasure to drive. You can carry on a conversation comfortably without a problem.
Grippy and zippy
One of the first things you’ll notice is that despite its 130 HP engine which is slightly lower from last year’s model, the 2018 model, is no slouch. The 4-cylinder, 1.6-liter engine is by no means a race car, but it is one of the fastest we’ve driven in the sub-compact category. Driving on wet roads is a breeze and requires no special skill. The Rio hugs the road through every twist.
The Rio EX offers an excellent balance of quick acceleration and a 29-mpg city driving fuel economy. Plus, the whopping 37 mpg on the highway will deliver much better returns on your investment compared to a beefier engine.
Getting to freeway speeds takes a minute. The 6-speed auto is exceptionally responsive, though there is also a manual version. The front disc brakes coupled with rear drums offer excellent stopping power compared to the 2017 Rio which didn’t have as much going for it in this department.
The Kia Rio EX is an impressive piece of engineering, which is competitively priced. It easily offers the best bang for your dollar compared to the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, and the Honda Fit.