When the redesigned 2012 Kia Rio sedan hits dealerships early next year, you'll plunk down another $1,105 for the base model compared with last year's Rio, but you'll get more standard safety and convenience features in return. Kia announced today the Rio sedan will start at $13,400, which undercuts the Rio5 hatchback by $200. The price excludes a $750 destination charge.
That gets you a stick-shift Rio LX sedan with standard air conditioning, power mirrors, a USB/iPod-compatible CD stereo with steering-wheel controls, a height-adjustable driver's seat, airbags aplenty and an electronic stability system — a decent haul for an entry-level sedan. Last year's Rio started at $12,295 but lacked air conditioning, the stability system or steering-wheel controls. Nissan's stick-shift Versa starts at $10,990 with standard air conditioning, but it sacrifices USB audio, steering-wheel controls and a bit of passing power — still a better value, if you want to shift your own gears.
The automatic Rio LX costs $14,600, or another $1,200. That extra cost beats automatics in the Versa (a ridiculous $1,770) and Accent ($2,750, packaged with other features) but still runs steep. The Ford Fiesta, redesigned Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Chevrolet Sonic offer standalone automatics that range from $725 to $1,195.