2024 Nissan Versa vs 2023 Kia Rio

For low-cost sedans, the Versa and Rio are about as affordable as they come. But cheap doesn’t always have to mean dingy. Let us show you how cars like the new 2024 Nissan Versa and the 2023 Kia Rio bring fun and innovation to the realm of affordable sedans in this head-to-head comparison. For new Nissan sedans near you, stop by Maus Nissan of New Port Richey today or view our new inventory online!


2024 Nissan Versa vs 2023 Kia Rio

With starting prices under $17k in this economy, it’s no surprise that people have been turning to the latest Versa and Rio as viable choices for their next ride. But does the low price mean that these manufacturers have cut corners to save costs? While that may certainly be true for the Kia Rio, it’s definitely not the case for the new Nissan Versa.



The performance category is where these two competitors are practically the same, although the Versa still offers a bit of an advantage over the Rio. Both sedans are built with 1.6L engines, with the Rio putting out 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque and the Versa pushing a little more with 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. You most likely won’t feel a major difference, and they both have great mileage at 35-36 combined, so it’s understandable for people to have a hard time finding the “better” car. If this sounds like you, maybe you’ll start changing your mind when we go over the differences in the Versa:


The Kia Rio rides on an IVT which most people who just want a car to “get around” are content with. But for a bit more spice to your drive, the Versa’s Xtronic CVT system puts you on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of drive quality. You also have the option to go with a 5-speed manual version if driving stick is more your thing which is nice considering that manuals are much harder to come by.


Safety Features

Nissan has it in the bag when it comes to drive-assist features, paving the way for a seamless experience backed by a hand-picked selection of technology that proves useful during every drive. This is apparent in the Versa’s Nissan Safety Shield 360 package which has everything you need on an easy-to-use platform. If you want even more protection, there’s available Intelligent Cruise Control and Intelligent Driver Alertness for guided driving on another level.


Kia may offer great warranties, but when you’re driving in the moment, you might not even have the basics by your side. What’s usually given as standard features are only available in upgraded models, like Lane Keeping & Following Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance, and High Beam Assist. This means that if you wanted to go with the most budget-friendly Rio, you won’t have the same priceless sense of security as though you were driving the Versa. Finally, we discovered exactly where Kia cut corners to promote a lower price tag.



If you’ve already come to the conclusion that you’ll be getting great value with the Versa, wait until you hear about even more features that are hard to believe considering what you’re paying. For one, you could take a cat nap in this sedan if you wanted to with Zero Gravity chairs and heated seating. The Prima-Tex trim along the dash and leather-wrapped steering wheel are so luxurious that it almost feels like a thoughtful gift from Nissan themselves. The customizable driver display is also a nice touch that helps you feel even closer to your Versa.


Another area where Kia cut costs with the Rio is the interior, where the 8-inch infotainment screen steals the show only because there’s nothing else worthy of mentioning. It’s not like the lack of features was to make more room either since the legroom and trunk space are smaller than in the Versa.


2024 Nissan Versa 2023 Kia Rio

44.5 inches of front legroom

15 cubic feet of trunk space

42.1 inches of front legroom

13.7 cubic feet of trunk space


Bottom Line

If the goal is to get a cheap car at a great value, the 2024 Nissan Versa offers more in every category. The driving quality is better than you would expect for the price, there are intuitive safety features at your command, and the interior surprisingly offers high-end trim. Meanwhile, you get exactly what you pay for with the Kia Rio which isn’t much to brag about.


Take the 2024 Nissan Versa for a Test Drive!

Interested in the 2024 Nissan Versa? Call Maus Nissan of New Port Richey today at (727) 999-6287 to schedule a test drive or to learn more about why people love this affordable sedan. To see what we currently have in stock, shop our new inventory online for new Nissan cars near you!