2018 Kia Rio offers CarPlay and Android Auto on a budget

Kia's 2018 Rio Sedan and 5-door may not be the most exciting cars of the New York International Auto Show this week, but that's not to say they're not special in their own way. The fourth-generation of the automaker's subcompact car, they promise to bundle together not only the technology but the safety that small car buyers might demand. In doing so, Kia's hoping it can steal away some buyers that might ordinarily head down to their nearest Ford or Chevrolet dealership.

So, the cars both get autonomous emergency braking as an option, and Kia says it's expecting them to receive IIHS Top Safety Pick rating and 5 stars from the NHTSA in crash tests. Six airbags come as standard, together with electronic stability control, antilock braking, hill-start assistance, and vehicle stability management.

On the outside, the design is a little more memorable than that of the old car. A new grille and swept-back headlamps help there, and by moving the fog lamps out the front of the car has been visually widened. Overall length is up, too, though only by a fraction of an inch, mostly in the wheelbase.

Kia says that should add up to more interior space, where there are also more high-quality materials to be found. The automaker has included more space for gadgets and other detritus, but more importantly headroom, legroom, and shoulder room are all up in the front. The rear gets more legroom and shoulder room.

The Rio Sedan gets 13.7 cubic feet of storage space, while the Rio Hatchback has 17.4 cubic feet. Drop the rear seats on the hatchback, meanwhile, and you expand that to 32.8 cubic feet.

As for gadgetry, there's Bluetooth support, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and a reversing camera. The EX top level trim gets a 7-inch touchscreen option, along with Kia's latest UVO3 infotainment system and both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Under the hood there's a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine with 130 HP and 119 lb-ft. of torque. It's paired with a choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Either way, and in either body style, you get a completely new suspension geometry with independent front MacPherson strut suspension and a torsion beam rear axle.

Sales of the 2018 Kia Rio will kick off later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.