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The 2018 Kia Rio is an award-winning car for safety according to the IIHS. The insurance industry-funded crash testers gave the Rio its Top Safety Pick+ award last week, although those top marks apply only to certain 2018 Rio trim levels.

Both the Rio sedan and hatchback models received “Good” ratings all around minus the passenger-side small front overlap test. In that new, demanding test that simulates impact with a solid object such as a utility pole, the Rio received an “Acceptable” grade. Cars eligible for the Top Safety Pick+ award must achieve “Good” ratings in most tests and an “Acceptable” or better in the passenger-side small overlap test, not to mention top ratings for available crash prevention tech and headlights.

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The IIHS also gave the Rio a “Superior” rating for its front crash prevention technology and “Good” for headlights, though both are optional on the Rio. Active safety such as automatic emergency braking and LED headlights are available only on Rios equipped with the Technology package. The IIHS noted that the test applies to Rios built after June 2018 due to headlight changes. The Rio’s standard halogen headlights rate “Poor” according to the IIHS.

The Technology package is only available on the Rio S sedan for an additional $800, for a total price of $17,795 including a mandatory destination charge.


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