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The Accent has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Rio doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Accent SEL/Limited’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The Rio doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
The Accent Limited has a standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Rio doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Accent and the Rio 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and daytime running lights.
The Accent’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the Rio’s (7/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).
On the EPA test cycle the Accent Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Rio (28 city/38 hwy vs. 28 city/37 hwy).
The Accent offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Rio doesn’t offer a manual transmission.
The Accent SEL/Limited has standard antilock four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Rio. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.
The Accent stops shorter than the Rio:
60 to 0 MPH
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the Accent Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rio (205/45R17 vs. 185/65R15).
The Accent Limited’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rio’s 65 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Accent Limited has standard 17-inch wheels. The Rio’s largest wheels are only 15-inches.
The Hyundai Accent may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 200 pounds less than the Kia Rio.
The Accent has .1 inches more front shoulder room and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Rio Sedan.
The Accent’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Rio LX doesn’t offer folding rear seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Accent Limited’s trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Rio doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Accent SEL/Limited has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Rio doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.
The Accent’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Rio S/EX.
The Accent SEL/Limited’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control. The Rio’s driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.
The Proximity Key with Pushbutton Start standard on the Accent Limited allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Kia Rio doesn’t offer an advanced key system.
The Accent Limited has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Rio.
The Accent Limited’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Rio doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the Accent has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Rio doesn’t offer rear vents.
With standard voice command, the Accent SEL/Limited offers the driver hands free control of the radio by simply speaking. The Rio doesn’t offer a voice control system.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Accent is less expensive to operate than the Rio because typical repairs cost much less on the Accent than the Rio, including $39 less for a water pump, $61 less for a muffler, $16 less for front brake pads, $14 less for a starter, $76 less for front struts, $1 less for a timing belt/chain and $295 less for a power steering pump.
Consumer Reports performed a comparison test in its July 2018 issue and the Hyundai Accent SEL won out over the Kia Rio S Sedan.
The Hyundai Accent outsold the Kia Rio by 27% during 2018.
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