2018 Kia Rio Review: Photo Gallery

18Kia_Rio_AS_ES_10.jpg 2018 Kia Rio | photo by Evan Sears

CARS.COM — Kia’s subcompact people mover switches to a new platform and gets an update for 2018. The new Rio — appearing at the 2017 New York International Auto Show — adds class, safety and technology to the sedan and hatchback models. You can get some unexpected features for this class, but only if you are will to spend for the top EX trim.

More 2017 New York Auto Show Coverage

Outside, it gets a new Kia “tiger nose” grille and styling that aims for horizontal and refined, for a subcompact, rather than angular and edgy — though the new look best fits the hatchback. It still has 15-inch wheels, which look small for the car. Inside, the materials are upgraded and the revised headliner and thinner front seats add some people space.

But the main upgrades are limited to the EX, including leather “accents” inside and a 7-inch display with Kia’s latest UVO system, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The EX also has disc brakes all around; the lower two trims now have drums in back for 2018. Kia also has targeted earning a top rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which means not only improving the 2017 model’s crash-test scores, but also making available a city-speed front crash system with automatic emergency braking. It’s standard on the EX.

Photo of Fred Meier
Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

Latest expert reviews