2018 Kia Rio

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
6 photos

Kia Rio highlights

Customer rating


  • Affordable price
  • Good fuel mileage
  • Available as a sedan or hatchback


  • Limited passing power
  • Sedan’s trunk is cramped
  • Entry-level model lacks power windows

Mileage (EPA estimate)

28 city, 37 highway, 32 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

6 photos

The Kia Rio is better than basic transportation

The redesigned 2018 Kia Rio subcompact sedan and hatchback have new exterior and interior designs, a new four-cylinder engine under the hood, and more features like available Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. A low base price is one of the obvious draws of the Rio, as is the impressive warranty that comes with either the sedan or cargo-friendly hatchback. Of the two, the hatchback costs slightly more but has a trunk measuring in at 17.4 cubic feet, versus only 13.7 cubic feet in the sedan.

At its most basic, the Rio is easy to drive and surprisingly refined, but it does without items like power windows or cruise control. Higher trims allow a Rio shopper to add extra comfort touches, and they pair an automatic transmission to the 130-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Only the base Rio is offered with a choice of six-manual or automatic. Fuel mileage is another plus point with the Rio and compares well to rivals like the Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, and Hyundai Accent.

All Kia Rio years

What is new for the 2018 Kia Rio?

  • The Rio is available in a new trim called the S.
  • Rio trims have been upgraded with Rear View Camera, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto as standard equipment this year.
  • Leather Seats features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The LX trim now comes with Power Locks as standard equipment.

2018 Kia Rio trims

Curious how Kia Rio trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities


  • 130-hp, 119-lb-ft of torque 1.6L
  • Cloth Seats
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Rear Defroster
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Manual Transmission


  • Includes all features available on the LX
  • Cruise Control
  • Power Mirrors
  • Rear View Camera
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Power Windows
  • View our Kia Rio S inventory


Kia Rio photos

5 reasons to buy the 2018 Kia Rio

What We Like

Refinement: The updated Kia Rio drives with much more refinement than you might expect from a vehicle with such an affordable price. Its ride is comfortable and the steering nimble enough for any daily errands or commuting needs.

Economy: Gas mileage matters, particularly when cross-shopping small economy cars like the Rio. When equipped with the automatic transmission, the Rio offers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg in a mix of city and highway driving.

Cargo space: Do you plan on hauling lots of stuff in your subcompact car? Then opt for the Rio hatchback. Not only does the hatch itself make loading the trunk easier, there’s more room behind the second row than what you get in the sedan.

What Needs Improvement

Better base model: There is something to be said for a low base price. Yet the most basic Kia Rio feels too spartan even by the standards of a penny-pinching economy car. Having to wind up your windows is an automotive throwback not many car shoppers wish to revisit.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings


RepairPal gave the Kia Rio an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Kia Rio 10th out of 27 among Subcompact Cars.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Kia Rio

Kia Rio features and specs

EX 2WD 4D Sedan

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control
  • Cloth Seats
  • Leather Seats

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type


Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 42.1"/R 33.5"

Head room

F 38.9"/R 37.4"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity




2018 Kia Rio FAQ

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