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Compare the2024 Nissan VersaVS 2023 Kia Rio

2024 Nissan Versa
2023 Kia Rio

Safety

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The Nissan Versa has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The Rio doesn’t offer knee airbags.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Versa has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor for objects to the rear and automatically applies the brakes to prevent a collision. The Rio doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Versa’s standard lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. A lane departure warning system costs extra on the Rio and is only available on Rio S.

The Versa SV/SR’s blind spot warning system uses sensors to alert the driver to 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.

To help make backing out of a parking space safer, the Versa SV/SR’s standard Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses sensors in the rear to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Rio doesn’t offer a rear cross-path warning system.

Both the Versa 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, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

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The Versa’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 38 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Versa’s warranty.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan Versa higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Kia Rio (3). This means the Versa produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Rio every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Versa stops shorter than the Rio:

Versa

Rio

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

131 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Versa has larger standard tires than the Rio (195/65R15 vs. 185/65R15). The Versa SV’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rio (205/55R16 vs. 185/65R15).

The Versa SR’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rio’s 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Versa SR has standard 17-inch wheels. The Rio’s largest wheels are only 15-inches.

The Versa has a standard 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

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The Versa 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 Versa’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the Rio (103.1 inches vs. 101.6 inches).

The Versa’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.7% to 40.3%) than the Rio’s (61.9% to 38.1%). This gives the Versa more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

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The Versa has .6 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Rio Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

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The Versa has a larger trunk than the Rio Sedan (14.7 vs. 13.7 cubic feet).

Towing

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The Versa Manual can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Versa can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Rio can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Versa 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 Versa SV/SR’s standard wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Rio’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Versa SR 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.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Versa SR has a standard Intelligent 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.

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

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Nissan Versa SV/SR has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Rio doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Versa is less expensive to operate than the Rio because it costs $182 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Versa than the Rio, including $63 less for a water pump, $60 less for a muffler, $1 less for front struts and $17 less for a timing belt/chain.

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