What Is the Cheapest Kia?

The cheapest Kia on the market and one of the cheapest new cars available is the 2023 Kia Rio Sedan.
Written by Abbey Orzech
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The 2023 Kia Rio sedan is the cheapest Kia available on the market today and starts at $16,550 MSRP. 
Buying a new car these days is almost always a financial feat, and with
crossovers and SUVs
taking over the market, it’s even tougher to find an affordable
compact or subcompact car
. The 2023 Kia Rio may be the balm we’re all looking for to soothe current car-buying stress. Here are its details. 
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The Rio Sedan is the cheapest Kia you can buy

The 2023 Kia Rio sedan has a base MSRP of $16,550, making it both the cheapest Kia model on the market and one of the cheapest new cars available
In a world of SUVs, an affordable subcompact car like the Rio is becoming a rarity. At its base LX trim, it includes enough standard comfort and technology features to blend in with the decked-out new vehicle models of today. 
An eight-inch touchscreen infotainment display features a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth with streaming audio, and a USB input
Admittedly, its performance is somewhat lacking due to its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine capable of a modest 120 horsepower. Some may consider that a fair trade for the excellent fuel economy, though. You can expect the 2023 Kia Rio sedan to get around 32 mpg city and 41 mpg highway for a combined 36 mpg
If you’re looking for a larger suite of comfort and technology features like remote keyless entry, cruise control, split-folding rear seats, lane-keeping assists, and Kia Connect, there are two upgrades from the base trim available. Here’s how much those would cost:
  • Kia Rio S: $17,190 
  • Kia Rio S with Technology Package: $20,085 

How much cheaper is the Kia Rio Sedan?

The 2023 Kia Rio sedan is a little under $1,000 cheaper than the next cheapest Kia, the Rio Hatchback which starts at $17,490. From there, new Kia compact and subcompact models get more and more expensive:
  • 2023 Kia Forte: $19,490
  • 2023 Kia K5: $25,090 
  • 2023 Kia Stinger: $36,590 
If you’re open to the SUV life, Kia has some relatively affordable models as well—though they start about $3,000 more expensive than the Rio sedan:
  • 2023 Kia Soul: $19,790 
  • 2023 Kia Seltos: $22,840 
  • 2023 Kia Sportage: $25,990  

How to find an affordable Kia

In general, car prices in the current market are high. Supply chain interruptions and halts are raising costs of, it seems, everything, so here are some tips for saving money on your chosen Kia model:
  • Stick to the base model. Unless you’re unwilling to give up a swath of extra tech features, the base models of Kia vehicles will still treat you decently at least. It’s easy for prices to shoot up when you go up even one trim level. 
  • Avoid unnecessary upgrades. Sure, the Kia-specific infotainment system with Satellite Radio is a treat to have, but ask yourself if it’s really necessary. If you’re happy with the simple Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity available in most new vehicles, skipping the more luxe upgrades can save you a ton of money. 
  • Go used. Opting for an older used Kia model will undoubtedly save you money on your final sale price. Plus, there aren’t particularly major upgrades that happened between the last few Rio years, so you may not be missing much.
  • Look for dealer incentives. While the Kia Rio isn’t an EV and thus not considered for any tax breaks, dealerships often run special deals and financing options that could make it easier to buy new. 

The best Kia Rio competitors you can buy for under $20,000

If you’ve taken a look at what the Kia Rio can offer you and aren’t exactly sure it’s for you, or you just want to keep your options open, here are several Kia competitors with similarly priced vehicles:
  • Nissan Versa:
    The 2023 Versa from Nissan starts at $16,825 and comes with great fuel economy estimations of 32 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 35 mpg combined to keep your costs low.  
  • Mitsubishi Mirage:
    For its 2023 model, the Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $17,290 and offers lots of cargo space, another solid fuel economy rating, and enough standard features to keep you comfortable.
  • Hyundai Accent:
    For the tech-savvy folks, the 2022 Hyundai Accent is reported to have incredibly intuitive technology, plus a spacious and comfortable cabin all for a starting price of $16,645. 
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