2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback vs. 2019 Kia Rio

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla Hatchback has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Rio doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Corolla Hatchback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Rio doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Corolla Hatchback’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Rio doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Corolla Hatchback’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Rio doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The Corolla Hatchback’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Rio doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Corolla Hatchback has standard Safety Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Corolla Hatchback 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, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hatchback for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Rio.

There are over 59 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback’s reliability 20 points higher than the Rio.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.

Engine

The Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 38 more horsepower (168 vs. 130) and 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (155 vs. 119) than the Rio’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is faster than the Kia Rio (automatics tested):

 

Corolla

Rio

Zero to 30 MPH

3.4 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.7 sec

9.6 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

84 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Corolla Hatchback

 

Auto

SE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

32 city/42 hwy

 

 

XSE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

Rio

 

Auto

1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

28 city/37 hwy

The Corolla Hatchback has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rio (13.2 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Corolla Hatchback higher (6 out of 10) than the Kia Rio (3). This means the Corolla Hatchback produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Rio every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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

The Corolla Hatchback 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.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Corolla Hatchback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Rio:

 

Corolla

Rio

Front Rotors

11.5 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

10.5 inches

8” drums

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback has standard 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 Corolla Hatchback stops shorter than the Rio:

 

Corolla

Rio

 

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

131 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Corolla Hatchback has larger standard tires than the Rio (205/55R16 vs. 185/65R15). The Corolla Hatchback XSE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rio (225/40R18 vs. 185/65R15).

The Corolla Hatchback SE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rio’s standard 65 series tires. The Corolla Hatchback XSE’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Rio’s 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corolla Hatchback SE has standard 16-inch wheels. Only 15-inch wheels are available on the Rio. The Corolla Hatchback XSE has standard 18-inch wheels.

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Kia Rio only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Corolla Hatchback has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Kia Rio has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

The Corolla Hatchback 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corolla Hatchback’s wheelbase is 2.3 inches longer than on the Rio (103.9 inches vs. 101.6 inches).

Passenger Space

The Corolla Hatchback has 1 inch more front hip room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Rio Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Corolla Hatchback has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Rio 5-Door with its rear seat up (17.8 vs. 17.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Rio S/EX’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Corolla Hatchback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Rio can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Smart Key System standard on the Corolla Hatchback 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Corolla Hatchback detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Rio doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Corolla Hatchback XSE CVT has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Rio doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Corolla Hatchback XSE 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 Corolla Hatchback has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Rio doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Corolla Hatchback XSE’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Rio doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback XSE has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Rio doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Corolla Hatchback has a standard Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Rio doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Corolla Hatchback XSE CVT. The Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback 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.

Model Availability

The Toyota Corolla comes in sedan, four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Kia Rio isn’t available as a four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Corolla Hatchback owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Corolla Hatchback will cost $305 to $625 less than the Rio over a five-year period.

The Corolla Hatchback will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Corolla Hatchback will retain 51.71% to 51.95% of its original price after five years, while the Rio only retains 36.09% to 44.46%.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Corolla Hatchback, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Kia Rio isn't recommended.

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Kia Rio by over 13 to one during 2018.

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

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