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2018 Kia Rio - Driven

2018 Kia Rio - Driven

The humble hatchback goes highbrow for 2018

Ask anyone to think of the Kia Rio, and first recollections generally include its overall cheapness and lack of desirability. Well, Kia has worked hard to changes that for 2018, moving the humble hatchback up-market while actually dropping its base price. Is it too good to be true? To find out, I spent a week with the new 2018 Kia Rio 5-Door equipped in its range-topping EX trim.

It’s worth knowing the 2018 Rio isn’t technically new. In fact, it rides on the same platform as before and uses the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder. However, that’s where the similarities stop. The car has been slightly lengthened and widened, and the naturally aspirated engine gets improvements in efficiency and drivability. Of course, the 2018 Rio’s appearance is different, too. The new car looks more upscale than before, both outside and inside.

Let’s have a look at Kia’s most affordable model.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Kia Rio 5-Door.

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Kia Is Also Considering Subcompact Crossover

Kia Is Also Considering Subcompact Crossover

Kia is reportedly making moves to offer the subcompact crossover market yet another fresh entry. Spy photographers recently caught a glimpse of the new model undergoing hot-weather testing, and despite being obscured by layers of camouflage, we can glean a bit of insight into what’s in store. 

Based on pictures of the heavily disguised test mules, styling will put the headlights high on the fenders, while the rear should offer a good deal of space for the car’s diminutive dimensions. Overhang is kept to a minimum. In terms of the Kia’s catalog, the car looks as though it’s destined to slot below the compact Sportage.

It’s all quite similar to the 2014 Kia KX3 Concept unveiled at last year’s Guangzhou Motor Show in China, and continues themes first seen in the 2013 Kia Niro concept. 

It’s possible the new model will come bearing a 1.0-liter three-cylinder powerplant from Kia’s Kappa engine family, with output estimated at around 70 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque. However, it’s more likely the car will be equipped with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, just like the 2016 Hyundai Veloster and 2016 Kia Optima. Per tradition, AWD should be listed as an available option. 

Pricing is expected to be somewhere in the $17,000 to $18,000 range.

The subcompact crossover segment is one the hottest segments in the U.S., enjoying huge growth over the last few years. That means the new Kia won’t be without competition, with rivals including the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, 2016 Fiat 500X, and 2014-2016 Buick Encore. Kia’s parent company, Hyundai Motor Group, is also reportedly preparing its own subcompact crossover for the U.S.

Continue reading for the full story.

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