2023 Kia Rio pricing stays under $20,000, one of America’s three most affordable cars

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When we wrote about new cars on sale for under $20,000, the assemblage counted the trio of Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa, and Kia Rio. The Rio could be considered the best of the lot, too, coming in two body styles, both with good handing and gas mileage, the demerits being leisurely acceleration and a touch of stiffness in the ride. Kia has now announced prices for the 2023 Rio, raising the MSRP and destination charge by a smidge, but keeping the four-door sedan and the hatchback well under $20K. MSRPs have gone up $300, while the destination charge has risen $60, from $995 to $1,055.

The new sums for the 2023 Kia, including that destination fee, are:

  • LX Sedan: $17,505
  • S Sedan: $18,145
  • S Hatchback: $18,445

The new newness is an oil level sensor that alerts drivers when the engine needs more of that black gold. This sounds like a feature arising from engines that ground to a halt because drivers didn’t realize the oil level was low.

Every Rio is powered by a 1.6-liter Gamma II four-cylinder with 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque, sending power to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. As a bonus, city fuel economy increases by one mile per gallon in 2023, the sedan returning 33 in the city, 41 on the highway, 36 combined, and a 428-mile EPA-rated range on a full tank. In the anecdotal evidence column, some drivers have claimed to beat 50 mpg in highway driving with a judicious right foot, which would encroach on the full-tank range of a diesel pickup. 

There’s just one big-ticket option, the $1,800 S Technology package that adds gear such as LED headlights and positioning lights, high beam assist, climate control, 15-inch alloys, driver attention warning, forward collision avoidance, lane departure warning, lane following assist, lane keeping assist, remote start, and, shockingly, rear disc brakes. As the name suggests, it is only for the S trim of the sedan and hatch. After that, a bundle of accessories, most of which are meant for the load bay area, could all be purchased for a total of $685. Aurora Black paint is the only shade that costs money, at $195.

That means the most expensive, fully loaded 2023 Kia Rio would cost $21,125.

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