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Subcompact cars are becoming increasingly popular for their affordnability. And two wallet-friendly models are the 2023 Nissan Versa and Kia Rio. Both boast excellent fuel economy, compact dimensions, and modern features. But while these cars share some similarities, they also have some differences. Let’s look at three ways the 2023 Nissan Versa beats the 2023 Kia Rio.

1. The 2023 Nissan Versa has a lower starting price than the 2023 Kia Rio

2023 Nissan Versa vs 2023 Kia Rio
2023 Nissan Versa (top) and 2023 Kia Rio | Nissan Motor Corporation; Kia

When it comes to budget-friendly subcompact cars, price is often a top consideration for buyers. The 2023 Nissan Versa has a starting MSRP of $15,830, lower than the Rio’s $16,750. Although the difference is only about $900, other costs — such as interest on financing, insurance, maintenance, and fuel — can add up later.

With the Versa’s lower starting price, buyers can save money while getting a reliable and well-equipped car. Plus, the Versa offers a few other advantages over the Rio that make it even more appealing for budget-conscious shoppers.

2. The Nissan Versa has more advanced driver-assistance systems than the Kia Rio

Regarding advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), the 2023 Nissan Versa outshines the 2023 Kia Rio. The Versa comes standard with many ADAS features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. In addition, the Versa offers additional available ADAS features, such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.

On the other hand, the Kia Rio has only a few ADAS features as standard equipment, such as forward collision warning, making it more expensive to add available options. For example, if you want blind-spot monitoring, you’ll need to upgrade to the S trim and add the optional Technology Package, increasing the final price, U.S. News reports.

More standard ADAS features and available options in the Versa can provide a sense of safety and convenience. Features like adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring can help reduce driver fatigue on long trips and make navigating heavy traffic less stressful. Plus, these features could lower insurance costs, saving even more money over time.

3. The Versa’s cabin is more impressive

The 2023 Nissan Versa and the 2023 Kia Rio offer comfortable and well-equipped interiors. However, U.S. News puts the Versa on top with a more refined and well-built cabin. It features soft-touch surfaces and high-quality materials that give it a premium feel, while the Rio’s interior is less impressive and can be noisy due to its engine.

The Rio’s engine can become loud and intrusive, especially at higher speeds, making it less comfortable for passengers on long trips. On the other hand, the Versa has a quieter, more refined engine that provides a smoother ride and reduces cabin noise.

In addition, the Versa provides a more spacious and comfortable interior than its rival. The Versa’s seats are supportive, and front and rear passengers get ample legroom and headroom. Though decently roomy, the Rio is inferior in comfort and refinement.

Overall, the Nissan Versa’s quieter engine and solid, well-built cabin with soft-touch surfaces make for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience than the Kia Rio.


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