Another One Bites the Dust: Kia Killing the Rio After 2023

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

another one bites the dust kia killing the rio after 2023

Mitsubishi recently announced that it would discontinue the Mirage, removing one of America’s few remaining affordable new cars. Kia is now cutting another sub-$20,000 option with its announcement of the Rio’s demise after 2023.

Though disappointing, the move isn’t a surprise. Hyundai cut the Rio’s corporate counterpart, the Accent, after 2022, and sales of the subcompact have been slow for a while. Kia will continue building sedans, but cars have fallen off in favor as SUVs and trucks have taken over the world.

As Automotive News pointed out, the shift is likely tied to Kia’s electrification ambitions. The automaker’s factory in Monterrey, Mexico, builds the Rio, and the company is expected to retool the facility for EV production. Kia currently builds the EV6 in South Korea and needs a North American manufacturing location for its vehicles to qualify for federal tax credits.

We could argue the virtues of small cars like the Rio and Mirage all day, but there’s a need for affordable vehicles, even if they’re far from exciting. Average vehicle purchase prices in the U.S. have ballooned, reaching nearly $50,000, out of reach for a significant chunk of the country. Electric vehicles haven’t helped the trend, and despite the fact that they’re becoming more affordable over time, they are still more expensive than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

[Image: Kia]

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5 of 51 comments
  • Teddyc73 Teddyc73 on Aug 24, 2023

    Oh no, what will I rent on m island vacations? As awful as these cars are, I would never purchase one, they were Ideal for bombing around in the Virgin Islands for a week.

  • Courtney Courtney on Aug 24, 2023

    not all buyers prefer SUVs or Trucks some of us would still rather a sedan especially beginner drivers starting with a compact sedan like a Toyota Corolla Honda Civic etc. and working their way up to a midsized like a Camry Accord Chevrolet Malibu etc. then eventually up to a full size car like a Chevrolet Impala Ford Crown Victoria Buick Lesabre Lexus LS 400 etc.

    • I.t65722165 I.t65722165 on Aug 25, 2023

      Absolutely, would take a hatch/sedan over a SUV most of the time. It's a shame small and therefore mostly inexpensive cars are going away in the US/Canada because many people feel they need a larger vehicle, and in many instances they don't.

  • Probert Probert on Aug 24, 2023

    EVs are more expensive than less expensive cars. In the US - after tax rebates - they range from around 20 K and up. A Tesla can be had for under $30K. KIA/Hyundai do need a North American plant, but still qualify for lease incentives in the IRA.

  • Tane94 Tane94 on Aug 26, 2023

    Ready for the K3 to debut in the USofA. Too bad Stellantis, Ford and GM gave up on cars.