Here at The Garage, we haven’t been shy about our enthusiasm for Kia’s meteoric rise from humble als0-ran to a well-respected automaker. With the all-new Rio, Kia’s smallest offering is finally blessed with the smart, Euro-inspired lines its other siblings enjoy. Already available as a five-door hatch, Kia recently announced pricing for the Rio four door sedan, starting at $13,400USD. All Rio’s share a 1.6L direct injected four cylinder rated at 138hp. The Rio will be the first non-hybrid, non-luxury car sold here to offer Idle Stop and Go, which shuts the engine off while at a stop for improved fuel economy and emissions. The base Rio LX is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, while EX and SX models can only be had with the automatic.
All Kia Rio sedans come standard with air conditioning, power steering, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, USB port and SiriusXM satellite radio. The expectation of premium features in small cars is no new concept in Asia and Europe, and is finally gaining traction here in North America. The top-spec Rio SX rings in at $17,500, with high-end features such as metal pedals, LED front accent lights, LED taillights, Kia’s UVO voice activated infotainment system and rear-view camera. These features were once the domain of only the highest-end luxury cars, but that they can be had as standard equipment in a car costing under $18,000 is nothing short of amazing, but a testament to how serious Kia is about standing out in a crowded market.