2019 Kia Rio vs 2019 Nissan Versa

Split screen images of the 2019 Kia Rio vs 2019 Nissan Versa

For car shoppers seeking a safe, reliable and well-equipped option for not a lot of money, the 2019 Kia Rio and the 2019 Nissan Versa offer tremendous value. Though the Versa has held the title of best-selling subcompact car in the past, the Rio is giving it a run for its money with remarkable performance and tech features. Keep reading to learn what these two sedans bring to the road and how they stack up to one another in a side-by-side comparison.

When it comes to the standard package, the 2019 Rio and the 2019 Versa have nearly-identical offerings. Both deliver great value in fuel economy for a good price, with the Rio securing a lead of 1 MPG in both city and highway. Both vehicles also feature a touchscreen monitor with a back-up camera display function. The top-tier trim level of the two sedans have similar convenience technology offerings as well, with the Rio S and the Versa SV both offering standard keyless entry, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2019 Kia Rio


2019 Nissan Versa

$15,390 Starting MSRP $12,360
28/37 (city/hwy) Fuel Economy 27/36 (city/hwy)
130 horsepower Standard Horsepower 109 horsepower
13.7 cubic feet Cargo Space 14.9 cubic feet

What’s the difference between the 2019 Kia Rio and the 2019 Nissan Versa?

Both vehicles come standard with a 1.6-liter DOHC I-4 engine, but the Rio ranks higher in capability with 130 horsepower and 119 lb.-ft. of torque. The Versa trails behind with 109 horsepower and 107 lb.-ft. of torque. Tests show that the Rio also rates higher in acceleration, going from 0 to 60 MPH in 8.5 seconds. The Versa falls behind by over a second at 9.8 seconds.

Both sedans offer over 13 cubic feet of cargo space, with the Versa delivering slightly more space at 14.9 cubic feet compared to the Rio, which delivers 13.7 cubic feet.

The Rio S comes out ahead in terms of safety features as one of the least expensive vehicles on the market with available Forward Collision Warning and Avoidance Assist systems, which use radars mounted on the front of the vehicle to detect potential collisions. The system then warns the driver and automatically applies the brakes if necessary.