2018 Kia Rio vs. 2017 Ford Focus

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Rio EX has a standard Autonomous Emergency Braking System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Focus doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Kia Rio has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Focus doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the Rio and the Focus have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available rearview cameras.


The Rio comes with a full 5-year/60,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Focus’ 3-year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Rio 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Focus. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Focus ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked fourth.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 17th in reliability. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 13 places higher in reliability than Ford.


The Rio’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (130 vs. 123) than the Focus SE Sedan’s standard 1.0 turbo 3 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Rio gets better fuel mileage than the Focus:







1.6 4 cyl./6-spd. Manual

29 city/37 hwy

25 city/34 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Manual


1.6 4 cyl./Auto

28 city/37 hwy

26 city/36 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Rio uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Focus SE Sedan requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Rio’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the Focus’ (33.5 feet vs. 36 feet).


The Kia Rio may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Ford Focus.

The Rio is shorter than the Focus, making the Rio easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces:





172.6 inches

178.7 inches

Station Wagon

160 inches

171.7 inches

Passenger Space

The Rio Sedan has .6 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Focus Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Rio Sedan has a larger trunk than the Focus Sedan (13.7 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

The Rio’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Focus S/SE Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.


To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Rio has standard extendable sun visors. The Focus doesn’t offer extendable visors.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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