2018 Kia Rio vs Nissan Versa

Buyers on a relatively tight budget often opt for a good value used car, not even considering that they could have a brand new model (with the peace of mind of a full manufacturer warranty) for not a great deal more money, especially in a lease. The 2018 Kia Rio and the Nissan Versa are two of the more affordable new models we have right now, so let's see how they stack up against each other.

2018 Kia Rio vs Nissan Versa

Which Compact is Better Looking?: Kia Rio

You can opt for the Rio as a hatch or a sedan, though the hatch is definitely the more attractive of the two. Even so, the Rio doesn't look cheap or "budget-friendly." It's an all-new model this year, and although it's no Ferrari in the styling stakes, the Rio is certainly attractive on its own.

While we'd like to be generous about the way the Versa looks, because looks aren't all that matters, it's hard in this case. Time and the design leaps that other manufacturers have made has left the Versa in the metaphorical dust. If looks don't matter much to you, you won't mind the Versa's aging, outdated style--but if you want both style and substance, you won't find it in the Nissan Versa.

Which Car Has More Power?: Kia Rio

Nothing looks like it has changed with the engines and transmission options for the Rio, but looks can be deceiving. Both the ride and the performance have been improved, and those improvements show when you get behind the wheel. The 130 horsepower, 1.6-liter inline-four doesn't sound particularly thrilling, but this is a small car and, with the available manual transmission, it really can be a lot of fun.

While the Rio's driving experience offers a fun ride, the Versa offers a corner-cutting performance. The Nissan also boasts a 1.6-liter inline-four, but this engine only manages a pretty pedestrian 109 horsepower.

Which Compact is Best on Gas?: Nissan Versa

As you would probably expect, the 2018 Kia Rio is pretty fuel efficient in any of its variations. With the automatic transmission, the Rio is rated by the EPA at 28 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway and 32 mpg combined. And if you choose to go for the manual, it will only knock 1 mpg off the city rating.

Those MPG numbers for the Kia are going to be more than acceptable for most buyers, but the Nissan Versa can do better. With the CVT transmission the Versa is rated at 31 mpg in the city, 39 mpg on the highway and 34 mpg combined by the EPA, which makes it the winner in this section.

Which Car Has the Best Features?: Kia Rio

Kia certainly keeps things simple with the Rio, offering no available options at all. Instead, Kia adopts a take-it or leave-it approach with three standalone trim levels of LX, S and EX. Air conditioning is included with the base model but there's no Bluetooth or a rearview camera. However, go for the EX and you'll get most of what you would expect for the price.

As the base Nissan Versa is easily among the least expensive new cars you can buy right now, it can't be a surprise that it's also one of the most modestly equipped too. To be fair, the most basic models will be hard to find on lots, but that doesn't stop the Rio taking the honors once again.

Learn More about the Kia Rio

At $12,875 for a base model Versa, the Nissan is a very affordable way to get into a brand new car with a full manufacturer warranty. However, Kia only asks a thousand dollars more for the equivalent Rio, and that vehicle is an even better value, especially with Kia's class-leading warranty and considerably more attractive styling.

Current Inventory

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


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