2018 Kia Rio vs Ford Focus

The all-new 2018 Kia Rio is one of the more affordable cars on the market, a great balance of value for money, fuel efficiency, and likeability, but is more expensive actually better? The Ford Focus is one of the most popular compacts in the world, and more expensive than the Rio, so let's see how they measure up to each other.

2018 Kia Rio vs Ford Focus

Which Car Has the Good Looks?: Kia Rio

For the money Kia asks for the Rio, we can't expect the styling of a Maserati, Lamborghini, or even a Mercedes, but the Kia still delivers plenty of style for the money. This year the bumper has been lowered and the grille is now a little taller and more upright, a style that mirrors the look of the new Niro crossover. The wheels are now further to the corners, and the facelift definitely improves the Rio's style.

Despite having been around since 2012, the Focus is still a very attractive little car--if you get the right one. Entry level Focuses can look bland and quite boring, but higher up the trim levels the models really do become seriously attractive.

Which Car Has the Better Cabin?: Kia Rio

The Kia Rio is a compact car that certainly makes the most of the available dimensions. In addition to plenty of passenger space in the front and back, the Kia also pulls out clever small car cargo tricks to absolutely maximize the available space. The Rio is quiet and comfortable, and you could easily imagine it costing more when you're inside.

Though the Focus is 6.1 inches longer than the Kia, the cargo and passenger space is almost identical. This tells us that the Ford is not designed as well as the Kia, nor as adept at making smart use of small spaces. Case in point? The space-robbing dashboard that should be redesigned.

Which Car is Better on Gas?: Kia Rio

Small cars have to be good on gas, and the Kia Rio definitely is. Of course, you might expect that from a small car with a small engine, but the Rio's best EPA ratings of 28 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway and 32 mpg combined are still impressive.

With so many trim level, body style, and powertrain options, fuel economy is all over the map for the Ford Focus. The global award-winning 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost is the fuel economy champion of the Focus family, with EPA ratings of 30 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway and 34 mpg combined that beat the Rio. But the other options don't beat the Rio, at all.

Which Car is the Better Performer?: Ford Focus

Despite this year's Rio being down on power with the same number of gears, and the same ride setup as last year's model, the 2018 is actually a better performer. The ride, in particular, is much improved, and the 130 horsepower 1.6-liter inline-four actually provides more than a little entertainment.

Even the most common engine in the Focus beats the Rio's 1.6 for power, and from there the Focus just gets further and further away as you go up the range. Once again, you do pay extra for the pleasure, but there's no getting away from the fact the Focus is a much more engaging and thrilling car to drive.

Learn More about the Kia Rio

The kind of buyer looking at an entry level 2018 Kia Rio or Ford Focus probably privileges the things that the Rio has going for it--more style and substance for less money. Since the base Focus is nearly $4,000 more expensive than the Rio, it's hard to argue that the Focus is the best choice for most buyers.

Current Inventory

There are currently no 2019 Kia Rio LX 4dr Sedan for Sale in inventory


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