December 1, 2022

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2022 Nissan Versa vs. 2022 Kia Rio Comparison

The 2022 Nissan Versa and the 2022 Kia Rio are subcompact sedans, but they’re also some of the best values for the dollar on the market today. Here’s how they compare.

2022 Nissan Versa

2022 Nissan Versa Starting Price: $15,080 | Price yours or View listings near you.

Above Average: Safety and driver assistance tech; great fuel economy; nice cabin materials; strong value.

Below Average: Engine works hard with four occupants onboard; CVT transmission isn’t sporty.

Consensus: The 2022 Nissan Versa is a value-priced and well-equipped subcompact sedan with great fuel economy and a classy cabin.

2022 Kia Rio

2022 Kia Rio

2022 Kia Rio Starting Price: $16,150 | Price yours or View listings near you.

Above Average: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard; great gas mileage; comfortable; affordable; available as sedan or hatchback (Rio 5-Door).

Below Average: No manual transmission offered; not many standard safety tech features; trunk and back seats are small.

Consensus: The 2022 Kia Rio is a subcompact sedan (or hatch, in Rio 5-Door guise) that’s high on practicality and efficiency and low on cost.

Versa vs. Rio: Subcompact Style

Nissan Versa

The 2022 Nissan Versa subcompact sedan is more car than the entry-level price indicates, with great standard safety tech, excellent fuel economy, a nice cabin, and sharp style. Three trim lines make up the 2022 Nissan Versa range: S, SV, and SR. The S is priced from $15,080 with the manual transmission or $16,750 with the  CVT, while the SV starts at $17,890 and the SR at $18,490.

At the Versa’s heart lies a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard fare in most Versas and yields gas mileage of 32 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, but the base model can also be had with a 5-speed manual gearbox rated for 27/35 mpg city/highway. All 2022 Nissan Versas are front-drive only.

Standard equipment includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth phone and audio, three USB ports, and Siri Eyes Free. Upgrade to the SV or SR package and the Versa adds a 6-speaker audio system and more driver assistance features, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice controls, and more. A single option package is offered, and only on the top-tier SR model, adding heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, and automatic climate control.

All versions feature seating for five, 14.7 cubic feet of trunk space, and 88.9 cubic feet of interior volume.

Kia Rio

The 2022 Kia Rio subcompact sedan and Rio 5-Door subcompact hatchback are essentially mechanically identical to their corporate cousin, the Hyundai Accent, but do vary considerably in terms of style and equipment, in addition to the Rio being available as a hatchback while the Accent is sedan-only.

Every 2022 Kia Rio gets the same 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. The engine is rated for 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque, and paired with the standard iCVT transmission, nets 36 mpg (33 city/41 hwy) combined. The iCVT transmission simulates an 8-speed automatic.

Just two trim lines are offered with the 2022 Kia Rio starting at the base with the LX at $16,150 and ending at the S, which starts at $16,790. The Rio 5-Door (hatchback) is only available in S trim. The base Rio LX comes with 15-inch steel wheels, 3.5-inch LCD segment instrument panel display, trip computer, 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, 8-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and more. Upgrading to the Rio S adds a front center armrest, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, adjustable rear headrests, rear USB charging, and the option to upgrade to automatic climate control, an 8-inch head unit with UVO telematics and satellite radio, and more.

The Kia Rio sedan offers 89.9 cubic feet of total passenger space, plus 13.7 cubic feet in the trunk. The 2022 Rio 5-Door, on the other hand, offers 90.5 cubic feet of total passenger space, plus 17.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, or 32.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat.

Similarities

Power; price; space; size.

Nissan Versa Benefits

Larger trunk; available manual transmission; lower starting price; great safety tech; NHTSA 5-star safety rating.

Kia Rio Benefits

Available as a hatchback; better fuel economy; long warranty.

Which One is Right for Me?

The 2022 Nissan Versa is a value-packed subcompact sedan that’s affordable but also nicer than you’d expect and well equipped, especially in higher trims.

The 2022 Kia Rio is a no-frills subcompact sedan that still covers the necessary tech bases with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Ready to buy a Nissan Versa or Kia Rio? Shop for one on sale now near you.

2022 Nissan Versa 2022 Kia Rio
Popular Powertrains
Engine 1.6-liter I4 1.6-liter I4
Horsepower 122 hp @ 6,300 rpm 120 hp @ 6,300 rpm
Torque 114 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 112 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission CVT CVT
Fuel Economy 30 mpg (27 city/35 hwy) 36 mpg (33 city/41 hwy)
Also Available 5-spd manual
Specs
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety 5 stars n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 103.1 inches 101.6 inches
Overall Length 177.0 inches 172.6 inches
Width 68.5 inches 67.9 inches
Height 57.3 inches 57.1 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 33.5 feet
Headroom, Front 39.5 inches 38.9 inches
Headroom, Rear 36.3 inches 37.4 inches
Legroom, Front 44.5 inches 42.1 inches
Legroom, Rear 31.0 inches 33.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 53.1 inches 54.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 53.6 inches 53.3 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 88.9 cubic feet 89.9 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 14.7 cubic feet 13.7 cubic feet