Ask Warren Brown

There are no discussions scheduled today.

Real Wheels Live

Real Wheels Live

The Post’s Warren Brown will be online to answer your questions about every aspect of the automotive industry.

Weekly schedule, past shows

Posted at 02:49 PM ET, 10/25/2011

2012 Kia Rio sedan starts at $13,400


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.

Power windows, power locks and keyless entry are optional on the LX. The midlevel EX trim ($16,300) includes them, along with cruise control, Bluetooth, an upgraded stereo, the automatic transmission and a telescoping steering-wheel adjustment. The range-topping SX, meanwhile, costs $17,500. It has all EX features plus a sport-tuned suspension, Kia's Uvo multimedia interface, a backup camera and upgraded exterior and interior trim. Heated leather seats, a moonroof, push-button start and a navigation system are optional. Expect a loaded Rio SX to top out around $20,000. We wish the sportiest Rio came with a stick shift — like the EX, the SX will be automatic-only — but even among entry-level cars, shoppers still eschew the clutch. Bah.

A start-stop system, much like in some luxury cars and nearly all hybrids, will be part of a $400 Eco Package. It will bump overall gas mileage to 31/40 mpg (city/highway), from 30/40 mpg in the regular Rio.

Stay tuned for our full review of the Rio.

By  |  02:49 PM ET, 10/25/2011

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company