All-new 2018 Kia Rio gains sedan body style for NY Auto Show

The new Korean subcompact is everything it was before, only better

Half a year after its European debut, the fourth-generation Kia Rio has reached U.S. shores, gaining a new body style in the process.

Yes, just like its predecessor, the U.S.-spec 2018 Kia Rio comes in two flavors: 5-door hatchback and sedan. Compared to the previous-generation Rio, the sedan and hatch are slightly longer, with the wheelbase growing as well. They're also lower and wider, for a more dynamic appearance and better driving stability.

As a result of the increase in dimensions, the subcompact models boast more spacious cabins. Kia says front occupants will enjoy more headroom, legroom, and shoulder room, while those in the second row will benefit from greater leg- and shoulder room. Cargo volume is improved as well over the previous Rio: 13.7 cu ft (388 liters) for the sedan and 17.4 cu ft (493 liters) for the 5-door hatchback.

With the seats folded down, the hatch offers an impressive 32.8 cu ft (929 liters) of cargo capacity.

As with the exterior, the interior has been completely redesigned, featuring an improved instrument panel, better ergonomics, and upgraded interior materials. The front seats are also new, sporting a slimmer design yet more cushion and padding for enhanced comfort.

Tech-wise, the 2018 Kia Rio comes with Bluetooth connectivity, a six-speaker stereo with satellite radio, and a rear-view camera. The seven-inch UVO infotainment system compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is only available on the range-topping EX trim.

There are three grades in total (LX, S, and EX) and a single engine option: an upgraded Gamma 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine that delivers 130 hp and 119 lb-ft (161 Nm). The unit is linked to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Based on an all-new platform, the 2018 Rio features a new suspension geometry (fully-independent MacPherson strut front/torsion beam rear), as well as revised spring and damper setup. All these are said to enhance handling agility and ride comfort.

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