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The Kia Rio is typically a good choice for folks looking for an affordable, reliable subcompact car. However, there are much better cheap car alternatives on the market that customers might enjoy a lot more. If you avoid the 2022 Kia Rio, you can find a better alternative like the 2022 Hyundai Accent and the 2022 Mini Cooper.

2022 Hyundai Accent is an all-around great subcompact alternative to a Kia Rio

Avoid the 2022 Kia Rio; These Cheap Cars are Better Alternatives
Hyundai Accent | Hyundai

While the 2022 Hyundai Accent is not perfect, it does constitute a viable alternative to the 2022 Kia Rio. The Accent is roomy, with a surprisingly spacious interior and accommodating seats. Furthermore, the Accent features a class-leading infotainment system which US News calls “easy to use.”

Like the Kia Rio, the Hyundai Accent has a standard 120 horsepower paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). US News reports that the Accent feels sluggish on the highway but handles itself with respectable fuel economy to the tune of 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway. Combine comfort, value, and fuel economy, and you’ve got the 2022 number one subcompact car, according to US News.

2022 Nissan Versa is an excellent alternative to the Kia Rio with a nice interior and a comfortable ride

Avoid the 2022 Kia Rio; These Cheap Cars are Better Alternatives
Nissan Versa | Nissan

The 2022 Nissan Versa is an affordable five-seater and the winner of US News’ award for the 2022 Best Subcompact Car for the Money. The Versa features a comfortable ride with compliant handling and a slight power advantage over the 2022 Kia Rio with 122 horsepower. Despite the extra horses, the reviewers found the car’s powerplant to be “uninspired.”

The Nissan Versa also features interior quality that is pleasantly surprising for the cheap car’s price point while not up to luxury car standards. However, the Versa is down on rear-seat space. If you can live with the smaller rear-seat accommodations, the Versa is an excellent value for money.

2022 Mini Cooper is a fun and stylish alternative to the 2022 Kia Rio

Mini Cooper SE Review | Kelley Blue Book

Unlike the Hyundai Accent and the Nissan Versa, the 2022 Mini Cooper is at the higher end of the base price range for the segment. However, you do get performance merit for your money. The Mini Cooper features stronger engine options, with a peak horsepower of 228. Additionally, the little hatchback compliments higher horsepower with a sport-tuned suspension, making for a fun driving experience.

Despite the attractive and technologically intuitive features of the cabin, space is tight. The Mini Cooper will seat four to five passengers but does so with small seats and a tight trunk. That, and the sporty suspension makes for a bumpy ride that transfers road imperfections to the Mini Cooper’s occupants.

There are options when shopping for a subcompact car

Avoid the 2022 Kia Rio; These Cheap Cars are Better Alternatives
MINI Cooper SE Atiwat Silpamethanont, Getty Images

The 2022 Kia Rio presents an affordable option for those in the subcompact car market. However, there are plenty of options out there, such as the Hyundai Accent and the Mini Cooper. It really comes down to what you are looking for in your subcompact car. If you want a cheap car with all-around merit, consider a Nissan Versa or a Hyundai Accent. If you would like a subcompact car with performance credentials, consider a 2022 Mini Cooper.

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