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Eric's Autos: 2018 Kia Rio

Eric Peters on

Kia and Hyundai are today like Ford and Mercury used to be. Well, Mercury no longer is at all. But once upon a time, Mercury was the higher-line (and slightly higher-priced) version of the same basic thing sold under the Ford label. Kia serves the same purpose today. Its models are Hyundai models, slightly sportier in looks than their Hyundai counterparts and priced a bit lower.

For instance, the Kia Rio is a Hyundai Accent under the skin. But you can save about $800 by going with the Kia version -- besides, you may prefer its sportier-looking skin, or the fact that you can still get it in a five-door hatchback.

What It Is

The Rio is the Kia version of the Hyundai Accent -- or vice versa. Either way, it's the same basic thing.

The main difference is the Rio starting sticker is $14,200; the same ride with a Hyundai badge (and skin job) lists for $14,995 to start, a difference of $795. Also, that the Kia version comes two ways: sedan and hatchback. The Accent is now sedan only.

What's New

 

Both the Rio and its fraternal cousin are significantly updated inside and out for 2018.

They're also slightly longer than before, but the most noticeable and meaningful change is a much roomier back seat. Compared with the 2017 models, almost 2.5 inches more legroom have been carved out, the extra margin making these cars much more viable as primary/family cars as opposed to commuter/single people's cars.

What's Good

There's more back-seat room than before.

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Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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