The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded its best rating possible, Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+), to the 2018 Kia Rio sedan when equipped with optional Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and LED headlights on vehicles built after June 2018.
Thanks to the “Superior” rating given to the AEB system2, and the “Good” rating given to the optional LED headlights, the 2018 Rio becomes the first vehicle in the IIHS minicar segment to achieve the TSP+ designation.
LED headlights are available on the Rio S trim with Tech Package while come as standard in the EX trim. Autonomous Emergency Braking is also standard on the Rio EX trim.
“The Rio may have a small footprint, but it’s a big performer in all other areas, including driving dynamics, style, features, and now safety accolades,” said in a statement Orth Hedrick, executive director, Car Product and Telematics, Kia Motors America (KMA). “Being the first automaker to establish a TSP+ in the minicar segment is further proof that Kia is dedicated to improving the quality and integrity of our world-class model line.”
The TSP+ rating for Rio increases the total number of Kia vehicles with 2018 Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick Plus ratings to 10.
“We are honored to receive the Top Safety Pick+ award for the Kia Rio, the only vehicle in IIHS’s minicar segment to earn such an accolade,” said Wook Jin, Director of the Vehicle Safety Engineering Group at Namyang R&D Center. “The Kia Rio joins several other Kia vehicles in achieving this feat, and this continues to show our commitment to safety across different vehicle segments and sizes.”
To qualify for TSP+, the IIHS testing parameters require a vehicle earn “Good” ratings in six crashworthiness tests – driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side impact, roof strength, and head restraint – as well as a “Good” or “Acceptable” rating in the passenger side small overlap front test, an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating for front crash prevention, and a “Good” rating in headlight testing.
Available in three trims – LX, S and EX – the 2018 Rio is powered by an enhanced Gamma 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine which delivers 130 horsepower and 119 lb.-ft. of torque and can be paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
On the tech front, the Rio is available with Bluetooth hands-free functionality, a six-speaker stereo with satellite radio and a rear-view camera system. Available only on the top-tier EX trim is a seven-inch floating touchscreen interface, UVO eServices voice recognition infotainment system and smartphone integration through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Kia Rio is built at the company’s assembly plant in Pesqueria, Nuevo Leon, Northern Mexico.