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2018 Kia Rio 5-door makes North American debut in Montreal

The sub-compact Rio is the second-best selling car in the Kia lineup in Canada

Published: January 20, 2017, 9:10 AM
Updated: January 24, 2017, 5:37 AM

2018 Kia Rio 5 - 2018 Kia Rio 5 makes North American Debut at Montreal Auto Show

Montreal, QC – If you’re an automaker with a new compact car to be revealed in Canada, the Montreal Auto Show is the ideal place to do it. Quebec is the hotbed of small car sales in the country. 

Kia took full advantage of that situation by choosing Montreal for not just the Canadian but the North American debut of its 2018 Kia Rio 5 hatchback, which had its world premiere at the paris auto show last fall.

The Rio is the second best-selling car in the Kia lineup, behind the larger Forte, and it's looking to make a strong comeback with this fourth-generation makeover after a down year for sales in Canada in 2016.

The revised Rio grows slightly in length (15 mm), width (5 mm) and wheelbase (10 mm), and in the process gains shoulder room and legroom; despite losing 5 mm in height. As a result,  the hatchback’s cargo space increases to 493 litres, 68 litres more than in the current model.

Value for money

One thing Kia has always offered is a value for money proposition to consumers. That's even more the case for this Rio 5, as the South Korean automaker is standardizing a heated steering wheel, heated seats and a rear-view camera, with its image displayed on a standard five-inch infotainment screen or optional seven-incher.

2018 Kia Rio 5 - 2018 Kia Rio 5 makes North American Debut at Montreal Auto Show

Additionally, the Rio will be the first Kia vehicle and the first in its segment to offer an embedded telematic system that's fully connected with remote service, safety and security, and vehicle relationship management services. To make this program accessible to customers, Kia is offering it  free of charge for the first five years.

The new Rio 5 will carry over the current 1.6-litre. four-cylinder engine, now rated at 130 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque, which is matched to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

Less power, better acceleration?

What's interesting about these numbers is that they are actually down from those in the previous version by 7 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque. According to Ted Lancaster, vice president and COO at Kia Canada, changes have been made to create “greater low-to-mid range driving acceleration,” apparently at the expense of some peak output.

As for safety, Kia the Rio uses 32% more Advanced High Strength Steel than its predecessor, helping to increase strength while reducing weight. Less weight means better fuel economy, although the new model’s fuel consumption numbers have not yet been released.

The new 2018 Kia Rio 5 will start to become available at Canadian dealerships this summer with pricing to be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.

2018 Kia Rio 5 - 2018 Kia Rio 5 makes North American Debut at Montreal Auto Show

2018 Kia Rio 5 - 2018 Kia Rio 5 makes North American Debut at Montreal Auto Show

2018 Kia Rio 5 - 2018 Kia Rio 5 makes North American Debut at Montreal Auto Show

2018 Kia Rio 5 - 2018 Kia Rio 5 makes North American Debut at Montreal Auto Show

2018 Kia Rio 5 - 2018 Kia Rio 5 makes North American Debut at Montreal Auto Show

2018 Kia Rio 5 - 2018 Kia Rio 5 makes North American Debut at Montreal Auto Show

2018 Kia Rio 5 - 2018 Kia Rio 5 makes North American Debut at Montreal Auto Show

2018 Kia Rio 5 - 2018 Kia Rio 5 makes North American Debut at Montreal Auto Show