The New Kia Rio Comes With A Long List Of Features For A Short Amount Of Money

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Kia is once again keeping affordability and efficiency as its main goals and mantras with the new Rio. Such move has made this car accessible particularly to youthful demographics over the years and Kia doesn’t seem to be wanting to give up on them.

The way Kia managed to keep its car so affordable is by the elimination of factory navigation from the equation. Regardless of trim level, in fact, navigation is off the table. However, if you’re deciding to opt for the top-tier EX and Launch Edition, you will indeed get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility.

The alternative would be the old classic personal smartphone and the touchscreen interface and straightforward controls are excellent. The buttons are also clearly labeled and controls are easy to find to decrease any chance of confusion while operating the vehicle.

Particularly, the dedicated hard buttons for infotainment features and menus that let you bypass navigating the touchscreen system are a very nice touch. Lastly, front and rear seat USB ports, and a 12-volt outlet and aux port up front are also available.

Despite the elimination of navigation tools, the new Rio offers a wide variety of trims. The base LX, for example, has crank windows and manually adjusted side mirrors, and it rolls on 15-inch steel wheels as well as bluetooth, cruise control, a backup camera, a center-console armrest, the only feature that is not included is keyless entry.

Moreover, starting May 1st 2018, all new cars will be required to have a backup camera as standard, so it is reasonable to think that the LX trim will adopt such feature as well.

Another option available would be the S trim level, which uses rear drum brakes and and visor vanity mirrors as well as Bluetooth and a backup camera, while still coming without a telescopic steering wheel. While all three trims are equipped with satellite radio, the LX and S use a 5.0-inch screen while the top-spec EX gets a 7.0-inch unit to better suit the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto option.

The EX trim, o the other hand, includes aluminum wheels, a telescoping column, automated emergency braking, a steering wheel wrapped in leather and a shifter, on top of a few other items. The only feature all three models share is a four-speaker sound system, but only the upper two models get dedicated tweeters for a total of six speakers.

The only engine available is the same direct-injected 1.6-liter inline-four used in the previous Rio and the current base Soul. Rated at 130 horsepower and 119 lb-ft of torque, output drops by 8 hp and 4 lb-ft, however, the company drafted a power graph that shows a slight increase of torque at 1500 rpm in comparison with the previous engine .

Kia seems to believe that only a small percentage of buyers will want to have the option to choose between a manual and an automatic transmission gearbox, nevertheless, both six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions are offered, while being limited to the base LX trim.

The car’s interiors look solid and sturdy, conveying an overall mature and upscale profile and the range of driving position adjustability gives the impression of sitting in an even larger car.

What technology the Kia has is well-thought-out, with an excellent touchscreen infotainment system, a surprisingly good stereo, and competent voice controls. Still, competitors offer more active safety features and driver aids across more of their range.

Kia Rio can be yours for $14,000.