Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
Expert Reviews 2 of 5
By Bill Griffith
September 16, 2001
One of the common criticisms leveled at auto writers is: "Why do you always have to review the most expensive model of every car?" The answer is pretty simple. The manufacturers want us to see all the options they offer, obviously in hopes of selling
more expensively priced vehicles. Thus those are the cars they make available. Another criticism is, "Why do you always have to be writing about luxury cars?" Well, we don't. In fact, today we go as low on the economy line as you can and offer the Kia
Rio, which boasts the lowest base price in the country, $8,595. The base version is what we'd have preferred to drive; unfortunately, this car, too, was "loaded" - or as loaded as a Rio can be, giving us air conditioning, an automatic transmission, floor
mats, and an upgrade package that includes power steering, tilt wheel, dual vanity mirrors, wheel covers, and side moldings. It took the price to a whopping $11,784, including the $495 destination charge. So, like a lot of things in life, we took the
Kia as we found it. That meant no alarm system or power locks, crank-up windows, no cruise control, no outside temperature display, and no tachometer. But it did have the necessities - fuel and temperature gauges, a strong heater-defroster, a driver's
seat that could be adjusted to a comfortable driving position, hand-adjustable side mirrors, and rear-window defroster. There were pleasant surprises, too, including intermittent wipers, trip odometers, and lots of storage cubbies and a couple of cup
holders. And guess what? We found it to be an OK car, and then some. Ours came with more than 9,000 miles on the odometer. And, knowing my brethren in the motor press, it hadn't been babied. Those miles actually said a lot because the suspension was
still tight, and the car tracked straight and had no rattles. And it should stay that way. Kia knows the only way to crack the US market is by establishing a reputation of building dependable and affordable cars. In July, the company introduced its "Long
Haul Warranty Program." It consists of a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year or 60,000-mile limited basic warranty, a five-year or 100,000-mile rust-through warranty, and a five-year, unlimited mileage roadside assistance
plan. OK, so what was the driving experience like? Well, the hamsters under the hood - actually a 1.5-liter, 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams - made a lot of noise under the hard acceleration required during the commute in and
out of Boston. The power plant will produce 96 horsepower, but not until you get it turning at 5,800 rpm. Still, those hamsters got the job done, and didn't make much noise at all when asked to produce at lesser speeds. The four-speed automatic
transmission had an on/off button to keep it from hunting between gears on hills, but we didn't find that to be a problem. Handling was acceptable. The rear suspension is a simple torsion beam with coil sp
rings, while the front is a MacPherson strut system. Fine for normal driving, but nothing to make the heart sing on a curvy country road. In short, what you'd expect from an ABC (A Basic Car). My neighbors, who lined up rides the weekend we had a
Bentley, didn't turn up their noses at the Kia. After the inevitable, "What is it?" the usual reaction was, "It doesn't seem to have a lot of personality." And that was an accurate assessment. The unobtrusive Rio has a generic wedge shape with
comfortable seating positions. You have the feeling of sitting a bit high, if anything. And it's a car you wouldn't mind being seen in. One neighbor did ask for a ride, but it was because his car was out of service and he needed a lift. Producing
a styling knockout wasn't Kia's goal. Making an affordable, high-quality vehicle was. With the Rio's pricing and warranty, they've met that objective. Sales seem to be following. Kia (that's a company name, not an acronym) means to arise,
ome up out of Asia. By 1999, Kia had dealerships in every state except North Dakota and sales across its line (besides the subcompact Rio, there is a Spectra hatchback sedan, Sephia compact sedan, Sportage SUV, and Sportage convertible SUV) had risen to
134,594 - up from 12,163 in 1994. For the price, you get a new car with a great warranty for less than you'd pay for a lot of three-year-old cars. Forget the temptation to call it a bottom-feeder. It's inexpensive, but it's also a safe and serviceable
vehicle that merits a look. Saying "you get what you pay for" seems like an unfair putdown of this vehicle. Actually, you get a bit more. We were sitting around the kitchen table thinking of some folks who might buy his car, and we came up with a
lot of possibilites. So has Kia. 2001 Kia Rio Base price: $8,595 Price as tested: $11,784 Horsepower: 95 Torque: 98 lb.-ft. Wheelbase: 94.9 inches Overall length: 165.9 inches> Width: 65.9 inches Height: 56.7 inches
Curb weight: 2,297 lbs. Seating 5 passengers Fuel economy: 25.2 miles per gallon SOURCE: Kia Motors America; fuel economy from Globe testing. Likes: A small thing, maybe, but even after 9,000 miles the wipers cleared a wide, clean
swatch without leaving any streaks. Annoyances: The gas pedal has a vibration and feels like it's attached to a very long spring.