Up until now, if you wanted the top-of-the-line version of the Kia Rio 5-Door, you could only get it with the six-speed automatic transmission. But now, Kia has now announced a limited run of six-speed manual-equipped hatchbacks.

That means that Rio 5-Door buyers no longer have to decide between a row-your-own gearbox and features like the UVO infotainment system, backup camera and Bluetooth hands-free calling. You can have all these features, plus the manual gearbox for an MSRP of $17,900.

According to Kia, the combination of range-topping trim and manual transmission provides a "more engaging drive experience without sacrificing the comfort and convenience offered by the subcompact model's highest trim level."

The idea for the Rio SX M/T (manual transmission) was apparently inspired by Kia's B-Spec race car, which has been competing in the Grand-Am race series. Only 500 examples of the SX M/T will be sold for the 2013 model year.
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Special-Edition 2013 Rio 5-Door SX M/T Arrives in Limited Quantity

Until now, driving enthusiasts couldn't get their hands on the Rio they were most eager to own--that's about to change. The 2013 Rio 5-door SX is now offered with a 6-speed manual transmission (M/T). Arriving in dealerships in limited quantity with a MSRP of just $17,900, the Rio SX M/T is a fun-to-drive subcompact that satisfies enthusiasts' desires for a more engaging drive experience without sacrificing the comfort and convenience offered by the subcompact model's highest trim level. The Rio SX M/T is inspired by Kia's championship winning motorsports efforts and the recently-introduced Rio B-spec race car. Enthusiasts should get in line now as less than 500 Rio SX M/Ts will be initially offered for sale during the 2013 model year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      Jan Calloway
      • 2 Years Ago
      how about a 2 door model?
      rom777
      • 2 Years Ago
      Finally, good call Kia. All the manufactures should offer full load (all options) manual transmission cars.
      quab7
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Rio SX not having a manual is one of the reasons I bought my Veloster, I couldnt figure out why you couldnt get it on the Rio. Why only 500? Why not just make it a standard option??
      David
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good on Kia! At least one company (incl. Hyundai) realizes that many manual transmission drivers also like all the bells-and-whistles, and shouldn't have to compromise. In my case, that sold me on my car. Actually, on the last two before that too.
      tcbcapri
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good for them..
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      Note to VW Golf fanbois: this is what a modern economy car can look like. It's not extreme but at least it has a touch of flare.
        eelinow
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        You do realise that this 5door/5sp Rio for 2012/2013 looks like a Chevy Lacetti/Daewoo Lacetti/Holden Viva/Suzuki Reno/Chevy Optra5 (basically the care that cost Daewoo so much they went under and were bought by GM. Except unlike this car, the aforementioned brand-engineered cars (in certain markets) ran an Opel 2.0 (square motor (86.0x86.0)(built by Holden in Melbourne) which was the first generation EcoTec. Solid bulletproof motor, unlike the former crap used in different displacements (the 2.2, the 1.4, and especially the 16). So telling Volkswagen that this is what a modern economy car can look like, other Koreans already did it, 8+ years ago, and already in that shade of blue.
          eelinow
          • 2 Years Ago
          @eelinow
          And since I didn't mention it, it came with the D20 (F20 Close Ratio Getrag) 5 Speed manual. Some say it was sloppy, but I put that on the driver. (Credentials Disclosure on that last comment: I was the 1996 SCCA NEDiv Hillclimb (Rally Class) champion... in of all things, a Golf, relating back to the original poster to which I commented).
        Quen47
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        Note to The Wasp: The Golf is a larger car with a vastly more sophisticated independent rear suspension. They don't compete against each other. If VW sold the Polo in the US, maybe.
          The Wasp
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Quen47
          Question for Quen47: Do you think people buying base model Golfs and Rios know anything about what kind of rear suspension the car has? Also, I think you'd be surprised to find how close the base Golf's price is to this car... And one more thing -- VW doesn't sell the Polo for a reason: US consumers don't distinguish between a largish small car and a regular small car unless there is a significant difference in size. The Golf is not a lot bigger than this car.
      REV9 Autosport
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please, all automakers, start doing this.
      airekk
      • 2 Years Ago
      KIA THANK YOU! I test drove a Rio 5-door, and ultimately decided against it because of the lack of manual transmission. At least I have a one-in-500 chance now. I'll put it back on my list.
      billydagwood
      • 2 Years Ago
      yay! more manuals make for a better world.
      Irene Rojas
      • 2 Years Ago
      Between this, Ford offering a manual on the Focus Titanium, and Honda offering an Accord Sport with a manual, I want to believe the manual with rise again! #SaveTheManuals
      NightFlight
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let's just hope they put a manual in the Optima SX and throw a LSD into the mix. That'd be an interesting midsize sedan.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        Yeah, downrate me. Everyone hates turbocharged vehicles with 270+HP and manual transmissions!
      PiCASSO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wished all manufacturers offered this option of a loaded car with a manual tranny.
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