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Eric's Autos: 2018 Kia Rio

Eric Peters on

Sedan and more cargo-friendly five-door body styles are available.

It's inexpensive but not downtrodden.

What's Not So Good

Others in this class have roomier back seats.

Manual is only available in the base LX trim; higher trims are only automatic.

The base LX trim sedan's rear seats don't fold.

--Sponsored Video--

Under the Hood

Like the other cars in this class, the Rio and Accent both come with a small 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The main difference is the higher power output of the engine.

It produces 130 horsepower, down a bit from last year's 138 but still a standout compared with rivals like the Nissan Versa (109 horsepower) and Toyota Yaris iA (106 horsepower) and Ford Fiesta (120 horsepower).

While not exactly speedy -- zero to 60 mph takes about 8.7 seconds -- the Rio is quicker than most of its rivals in the class. And it feels speedier because it's got tighter gearing, courtesy of the six-speed manual gearbox instead of the wider-ratio five-speed boxes in rivals like the Versa, Yaris and Fiesta.

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