The Most Affordable Kia in U.S. Lineup Is Getting the Axe

Cars under $20,000 are getting rarer with each passing week. Kia offers no fewer than four in the United States at press time, yet – according to a fresh report – both the Rio sedan and Rio hatchback are getting discontinued after the 2023 model year.
Kia Rio 14 photos
Photo: Kia
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Kia told Automotive News that both variants of the Rio are going the way of the dodo after 2023. Kia sold a grand total of 26,996 units in this part of the world last year, down from 31,362 in 2022. As for the first half of 2023, make that 14,196 examples of the sedan and hatchback.

If Kia doesn't have a replacement lined up for the Rio, the South Korean automaker will ultimately sell more Soul and Seltos crossover utility vehicles than it does today. The Soul is available from $19,890 at the moment of reporting, while the Seltos carries a sticker price of $24,390.

The recently unveiled K3 slots between the Rio and Forte, and Kia confirmed that first deliveries for the Mexican market are scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2023. For the time being, it's not known if the all-new sedan will ever be offered in the US of A.

It's also worth remembering that Hyundai hasn't replaced the Accent in the US after 2022, and probably won't do it anytime soon. The Rio's canning follows mere days after Automotive News declared the Mitsubishi Mirage after 2025.

The Mirage, Rio, and Nissan Versa are the most affordable new cars available to purchase in the United States of America at the present moment. The Versa is the most affordable of the bunch at $15,980.

The Mirage can be yours for $16,245 plus taxes, while the Rio is $16,750 for the four-door sedan. The better-looking hatchback retails at $17,690.

According to information obtained by the Brits at Autocar, the Rio will be discontinued in the United Kingdom after 2023. It's believed the Rio will exit the European Union as well due to worsening demand. Given that Euro 6 regulations and the incoming Euro 7 regulations force automakers to raise the price of their smallest cars, it makes a lot more sense for them to get rid of said cars in favor of more profitable crossover utility vehicles.

The Volkswagen Group even ponders the discontinuation of the Polo and Skoda Fabia in response to Euro 7 for electric vehicles. According to Volkswagen brand chief executive officer Thomas Schafer, the switch from Euro 6 to Euro 7 may increase the price of new cars by a staggering €5,000 ($5,435 at current rates).

That being said, it will be sad to see the Rio go out with a whimper rather than a bang. But then again, without sufficient demand, Kia cannot afford to keep building a car that doesn't sell well.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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