Kia Rio vs. Honda Fit

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - February 6, 2019

Subcompact hatchbacks have the tough responsibility of delivering great cargo capacity while maintaining an affordable price and good fuel economy. Add to that the desire for some extra style, and it can be hard to find any single subcompact hatch that fires on all cylinders. The Honda Fit and Kia Rio hatchback, stylized as the Rio 5-Door, are two models that come close to checking every box. Which one is the better buy? Continue reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Rio & Fit »

What the Fit Gets Right

Under the hood, the Kia Rio and Honda Fit are a close match with the Fit using a 130-horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and the Rio boasting a 130-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder. The Fit gets a slight leg up with its standard six-speed manual transmission that gives the buyer a little extra control over the vehicle.

In the fuel economy department, the Fit gets a big edge with EPA ratings of 33 miles per gallon city, 40 mpg highway, and 36 combined with the optional continuously variable transmission. The Rio hatchback comes up short by five mpg city, three highway, and four combined.

Despite its small shell, the Fit is one of the best at making the most of it inside. Not only does it have plenty of small cubbies to store pocket-dwelling items, but its rear seats offers up to 39.3 inches of leg room, which beats the Rio by 5.8 inches. Add to that its crossover-like 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which beats the Rio by 19.9 cubes, and it further distances itself from its Korean rival.

What the Rio Gets Right

The Kia Rio was all-new for 2018, so the current model is fresher than the Fit, which saw its last redesign in 2015. While the 2019 Rio 5-Door costs $305 more than the base 2019 Fit, it comes better equipped with a standard 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, keyless entry, and more.

The Kia Rio also earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick with “Good” crash-test scores across the board and “Superior” forward-crash prevention. The latter is with the optional automatic emergency braking, but this will hardly break the bank as it’s part of the $800 Technology Package that also includes LED headlights and positioning lights, an UVO infotainment system, and SiriusXM.

Though the Rio cannot hang with the Fit’s massive maximum cargo capacity, with its seats up, the Kia’s 17.4 cubes of room beats the Fit by 0.8 cubic feet.

Get Huge Value in the Kia Rio

The Kia Rio just misses out beating the Honda Fit, but there are plenty of reasons to opt for this Korean hatchback over the Fit. The biggest reason is its value proposition with its better-equipped base hatchback model and more affordable access to automatic emergency braking.

Verdict: Honda Fit

Subcompact hatchbacks have two primary responsibilities: haul cargo and get great gas mileage. The Honda Fit is the master of both domains, leading to its slim victory over the Kia Rio.

Take a closer look at the Kia Rio »

Take a closer look at the Honda Fit »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter

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