In my fawning review of the Kia Rio 5-door, I noted that the six-speed manual transmission was only available with the base model. When the B&B complained, I commented that
Kia’s about to try to prove me wrong.
For $18,650 including destination charges, you can now buy a stick-shift Rio SX five-door with all sorts of fun stuff including touch-screen navigation. It’s still going to be a very loud car, and not everyone likes the way it looks, but this has to be one of the better values in the segment. Note that there’s no price break for taking the stick-shift — and look for that policy to become the rule, not the exception, everywhere you go.
Those of you who said you wanted to buy an upscale manual-transmission compact can now put your money where your mouth is. Assuming, of course, you haven’t all taken delivery of a Focus Titanium already.