2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Rio: Small Car Competition!

The Toyota Corolla continues to be very popular and is a leading choice for the compact car segment. See how the Corolla measures up against another small car in this 2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Rio comparison. 

2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Rio: What are the differences?

Ruby Flare Pearl 2023 Toyota Corolla compact car driving under a bridge
Ruby Flare Pearl 2023 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

In this 2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Rio comparison, we evaluated several areas. This includes performance, gas mileage, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, reliability, and price. The Corolla and Rio both offer sedan and hatchback versions, and we note the differences when applicable.

Corolla vs. Rio: Performance

Front angle view of Sporty Blue 2023 Kia Rio
Sporty Blue 2023 Kia Rio | Kia

On the performance front, the 2023 Toyota Corolla outmuscles the 2023 Kia Rio with its more powerful engine options. The standard 2023 Toyota Corolla model has a 2.0-liter cylinder engine, which generates 169 horsepower. Additionally, the Corolla offers a hybrid powertrain with an output of up to 134 horsepower.

Also, for even greater performance, Toyota offers the first-ever GR Corolla “hot hatch.” The GR Corolla has a 1.6-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine, which produces 300 horsepower. 

In comparison, all Rio models come equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 120 horsepower. 

Along with its more powerful engine options, another performance advantage for the Corolla is, unlike the Rio, it offers an available all-wheel drive system for extra traction. 

Corolla vs. Rio: Gas mileage

For efficiency, the fully gas-powered 2023 Corolla has an estimated gas mileage of up to 31 city/40 highway mpg, while the Corolla Hybrid has a fuel economy of up to 53 city/52 highway mpg. In comparison, the 2023 Rio gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 33 city/41 highway mpg.

Corolla vs. Rio: Safety

Given its history, the Corolla has the advantage for safety. For the previous model year, the Corolla earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest possible IIHS rating. However, the Rio didn’t receive any safety award from IIHS.

Corolla vs. Rio: Passenger and cargo space

The 2023 Corolla is slightly bigger than the 2023 Rio in terms of exterior dimensions, but this doesn’t necessarily translate to more passenger and cargo space. The Corolla has a total passenger volume of 100.4 cu-ft for the Sedan and 84.6 cu-ft for the Hatchback. In comparison, the Rio Sedan and Hatchback have a total passenger volume of 90 cu-ft.

For trunk storage space in the sedan models, the Corolla Sedan offers up to 13.1 cu-ft, compared to 13.7 cu-ft for the Rio Sedan. For the hatchback models, the Corolla Hatchback has a maximum cargo capacity of 23.0 cu-ft, compared to 32.8 cu-ft for the Rio Hatchback.

Corolla vs. Rio: Warranty coverage and reliability

The Rio has more generous warranty coverage than the Corolla. It’s backed by a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, while the Corolla has a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, unlike the Rio, the Corolla offers a free maintenance plan, with two years or 25,000 miles of coverage.

Both cars are very reliable, with a J.D. Power reliability rating of 85/100 for the Corolla and 86/100 for the Rio.

Corolla vs. Rio: Price

Which small car costs more: the 2023 Corolla or the 2023 Rio? The starting price of the 2023 Corolla is $21,550 MSRP, compared to $16,550 MSRP for the Rio.

2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Rio: Which small car is better?

In this 2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Rio comparison, each small car has various advantages. For the Corolla, advantages include more powerful engine options, available all-wheel drive, hybrid gas mileage, sedan passenger space, and a free maintenance plan. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 Rio include gas-powered fuel economy, cargo space, hatchback passenger space, warranty coverage, and a lower price. 

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