2018 Kia Rio EX

There’s a reason the Kia Rio sells so well around the world. It provides many features for few dollars.

Our top-of-the-line EX trim is a just a tick over $20,000 yet has features like aluminum wheels and four-wheel disc brakes. The five-door basically is a small station wagon. A sedan is also available.

Kia didn’t scrimp on interior materials, with fit and finish looking like a more expensive car. The two-tone treatment is nice, part of a $500 extra called the EX Launch Edition that includes real leather seating surfaces.

Kia did cut corners in the electronics department. Navigation is not available in any Rio, regardless of model. The EX does get a bigger touchscreen.

The transmission is a six-speed automatic. A six-speed manual is available on base cars.

While the front seats are roomy, row two is not. Legroom is especially tight for back seat passengers. Cargo space, however, is generous, even without folding row two seat backs.

The only engine offered is a 1.6-liter four with only 130 horsepower. That means sluggish acceleration but good gas mileage. I averaged about 32 miles per gallon.

There is no independent suspension in the rear, so handling is a bit on the sluggish side, too.

So for the 2018 Kia Rio EX 5-door, I say thumbs up to value, interior fit and finish, and cargo space; thumbs down to no available navigation, slow acceleration, and tight row two.

The as-reviewed sticker price is $20,225.

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