A subcompact hatch at the right price.

– Detroit, Michigan

Cars that offer inexpensive, reliable transportation may not make the sexiest of videos, but they sure are important to regular people. Subcompact hatchbacks still make up a really critical part of that mix of vehicles, and the new-for-2018 Kia Rio 5-Door would love to be a bigger player that segment.

The new Rio really does have the critical elements needed to deliver for many small car buyers. The versatile hatchback layout, with requisite 60/40 split-folding rear seats, makes the Kia a perfect receptacle for many of life’s hauling needs. And reasonable fuel economy combined with a killer warranty should allow buyers to drive off the lot with a sense of security that’s outsized for the small car world.

Still, Rio faces a pretty stiff challenge from the likes of the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa Note, two really big sellers in this space. In this weeks’ Why Buy? we break down what works, and what doesn’t in the Kia sales proposition.

Kia Rio5

Engine 1.6-Liter I4
Output 130 Horsepower / 119 Pound-Feet
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy 27 City / 35 Highway / 30 Combined
As-Tested Price $20,000