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Kia Rio vs. Toyota Yaris: How Do the Popular Models Compare?

The Kia and Toyota brand have been going head-to-head for years. Kia has done a good job of coming out on top, and has remained one of the highest-ranking brands in the world. With the new Rio and Yaris models, things are getting even more competitive.

Branding Matters

When a consumer takes on kia finance offers, they understand the importance of branding. When someone is looking for something new, they are more likely to go with the same brand of their former car. A good brand is what drives interest to specific vehicle models, and a major reason why customer service is a priority with every company.

Without the customer service aspect, brands can’t make annual changes to their vehicles to meet the needs of loyal buyers. A brand that takes the time to know their customers will be better equipped to evolve as a manufacturer.


Kia was founded 79 years ago and has grown steadily under Hyundai Motor Company. As of today, Kia is just as much of a player in the industry as Hyundai. The Rio is the most recognizable car from Kia, with a high reliability grade that few cars can beat.

Both the sedan and wagon version were introduced as the initial options for the model. In 2005, Kia upgraded this to the sedan and hatchback models. This would turn into the most popular style of the Kia Rio, and was right in line with how the auto industry was shifting.


Toyota has made great cars and trucks since the 1920’s. Founded by Kiichiro Toyoda, the company has made several promising changes to keep up with the changing car industry. Whenever there is a shift in technology, Toyota is not far behind when it comes to delivering it in a top tier vehicle. The Toyota Yaris is a good example of the company’s flexibility. With the Yaris making a big change in 2020, the obvious comparison came in the form of the highly regarded Kia Rio.


You won’t see a big difference in price between these two models. The standard versions will fluctuate based on mileage and sales, but are pretty close in overall price. The big change will come when you go the fully loaded route with the Yaris. It is a bit cheaper, but these two fully loaded options are not the same.

A fully loaded Yaris is not that far off from any other standard car, while a fully loaded Rio is closer to a luxury vehicle. It’s this small difference that makes the price favorable towards Kia buyers in the present moment, and Kia sellers in the future.


The Kia Rio is sometimes mistaken as a smaller version of the Nissan Kicks. The Toyota Yaris has a good design, and has not changed much from the last few years. But there is a bit of a catch depending on which exterior design you like the most.

The Toyota Yaris locks the availability of some exteriors based on the country it is being sold in. This has led to confusion when a consumer is in an international market but can’t get access to a specific design of the Yaris. With the Kia Rio, what you see will always be what you get.


This is where the Toyota Yaris shines. It is roomy, and the center console doesn’t deviate away from what has worked for several years. In short, the Yaris doesn’t try to get cute by reinventing the traditional center console. Everything is where you expect it, and most drivers get used to the most common features after an hour of driving.

The Kia Rio is modern, and there are a few pros and cons to this approach. The cons are that it takes longer to get used to where everything has been placed. And the pros are that you get a lot more interior bells and whistles than any other car in its class. Its touch screen does a good job of laying everything out, but can be overwhelming the first time you fire up the engine.

For the interior, the Toyota Yaris gets wins over the Kia Rio.


One of the benefits of both models it that they maximize cabin space. So, which one does it better without sacrificing comfort? The Kia Rio gets the job done by cutting down on wind noise in the cabin. Potential buyers shouldn’t downplay this important comfort feature, as long drives can quickly become aggravating in the Toyota Yaris.

If you’re looking for comfort on the level of seating and materials, then that win will also go to the Rio. Although both cars share tons of plastic trim pieces, the Kia feels more comfortable all around. As for the driver side, the six-way manually adjustable seat is severely underrated.


Safety is where the competitiveness between these two cars gets heated. The Toyota Yaris (and technically the entire brand) is known for high safety ratings on all of their vehicles. It’s no surprise that the Yaris gained a five-star rating from the NHTSA. This makes it one of the safest cars of its generation.

The Kia Rio is no slouch, and easily earned top scores with the IIHS. If you go with the optional technology package, then the Rio crushes the Yaris in head-to-head safety features. But the standard Rio versus the standard Toyota Yaris will have the latter coming out on top. Pay close attention to the extras when getting the Kia, as the fully decked out variants are like an entirely different car for safety.


Performance was saved for last, and for good reason. The Kia Rio is far and away the most impressive of the two. The 4-cylinder engine is peppy, responsive and incredibly good on gas. At higher speeds, the noise isn’t as noticeable as it is with the Toyota Yaris. Among subcompact cars, the Rio gets an estimated 32 mpg in the city and 41mpg on the highway. For great fuel economy with a reliable engine, the Rio is the best choice.

Make The Right Choice

Once you have financing set, getting the right vehicle is only a matter of time. A quality car or truck can last you for multiple years! Take your time with the resources, and pick a model that exceeds all expectations.

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