New York

The 2018 Kia Rio makes a quiet debut in New York

I mean, it doesn't even have a trans brake.

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While the 2017 New York Auto Show might be dominated by another variant of the Dodge Challenger, the new 2018 Kia Rio sedan proves that the show isn't all about horsepower and quarter-mile times. We saw the latest iteration of the littlest Kia last fall in Paris, but we all know how much America loves sedans, so the Korean automaker saved the four-door debut for the US.

The Rio gets a ground-up redesign for what will be its fourth generation. The design predictably looks like a shrunken version of the midsize Optima. Its handsome, if not exactly groundbreaking. All Rios ride on 15-inch wheels. Although they provide plenty of sidewall to soften the ride, they look just a little too small for the car. Both the sedan and five-door models are slightly longer than the previous models, meaning there's a bit of extra leg and trunk space than before.

Inside, like the current Optima, expect a stark improvement over the previous generation when it comes to fit, finish, and interior materials. From the A pillar forward, the Rio sedan is essentially the same as the five-door. Notably for the segment, top-trim Rios have a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Power comes solely from a 130 horsepower 1.6-liter inline four, a decent amount of power for this class. Drivers have the option of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Fuel economy numbers haven't been announced, but expect it to meet or exceed the previous model's rating of 27 city and 36 highway. The sedan and five-door models are set to go on sale later this year.

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Kia Rio Information

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