2018 Kia Rio vs. 2018 Toyota Prius c

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Rio are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Toyota Prius c doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Rio and the Prius c have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available crash mitigating brakes and 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 Prius c’s 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 Toyota covers the Prius c. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Prius c 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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 13th.


The Rio’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 31 more horsepower (130 vs. 99) than the Prius c’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Rio has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius c (11.9 vs. 9.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Rio’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Prius c:



Prius c

Front Rotors

11 inches

10 inches

The Rio EX has standard antilock four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Prius c. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes which work much harder than conventional brakes.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Rio has larger tires than the Prius c (185/65R15 vs. 175/65R15).

Suspension and Handling

The Rio has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Prius c’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Rio’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Prius c (101.6 inches vs. 100.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Rio is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Prius c.

Passenger Space

The Rio Sedan has 2.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius c (89.9 vs. 87.4).

The Rio Sedan has .3 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear hip room and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius c.

Cargo Capacity

The Rio has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Prius c (17.4 vs. 17.1 cubic feet).

The Rio’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Prius c One’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.


The Rio’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Prius c’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Rio has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Prius c doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

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 Prius c doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Model Availability

The Kia Rio comes in sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Toyota Prius c isn’t available as a station wagon.

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

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