2019 Nissan Versa Sedan vs. 2019 Kia Rio

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The Versa Sedan has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Rio doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Versa Sedan 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The Versa Sedan’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Rio runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 40 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Versa Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Versa Sedan’s reliability 20 points higher than the Rio.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Versa Sedan Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Rio (31 city/39 hwy vs. 28 city/37 hwy).

Transmission

The Versa Sedan offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Rio doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The Versa Sedan offers an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Rio doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

The Versa Sedan SV offers an optional easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Rio doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Versa Sedan has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Versa Sedan flat and controlled during cornering. The Rio’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Versa Sedan has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Rio doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Versa Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57.8% to 42.2%) than the Rio’s (61.9% to 38.1%). This gives the Versa Sedan more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The Nissan Versa Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 300 pounds less than the Kia Rio.

Passenger Space

The Versa Sedan has .9 inches more front headroom and 3.5 inches more rear legroom than the Rio Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Versa Sedan has a much larger trunk than the Rio Sedan (14.9 vs. 13.7 cubic feet).

The Versa Sedan SV’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Rio LX doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Ergonomics

The Intelligent Key optional on the Versa Sedan SV 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.

Consumer Reports rated the Versa Sedan’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Rio’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address with audible turn-by-turn directions, a GPS navigation system is standard on the Versa Sedan SL. The Versa Sedan’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Rio doesn’t offer a navigation system.

With standard voice command, the Versa Sedan SL offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Rio doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Versa Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Rio because it costs $180 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Versa Sedan than the Rio, including $61 less for a water pump, $56 less for a muffler, $1 less for front struts and $17 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Versa Sedan will be $61 to $794 less than for the Kia Rio.

Recommendations

The Nissan Versa outsold the Kia Rio by over three to one during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos