Kia Rio vs. Hyundai Accent

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 6, 2019

The Kia Rio and the Hyundai Accent may be corporate twins that compete in the same segment, but the vehicles have a few differences besides their badges that separate them. Don't be fooled by the separate badges, though, these two vehicles are awfully similar, offering you with good fuel economy figures, loads of value for a little bit of money, and small, nimble bodies. Which option should you go with? That's what we'll answer below.

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

What the Rio Gets Right

If you're looking for some more versatility than a regular sedan, the Kia Rio is the only option with another body style. Kia offers the Rio in both a sedan and a hatchback body, which brings a little more versatility with it. While Hyundai used to offer the Accent in hatchback, it no longer offers the body style.

When you compare similarly equipped vehicles, the Rio is the more affordable option. Kia doesn't offer the Rio with a manual transmission anymore, but Hyundai does on the Accent. When you spec both vehicles with the six-speed automatic transmission, the 2019 Rio is $600 cheaper with a starting price tag of $16,315. The 2019 Accent with an automatic transmission costs $16,915.

What the Accent Gets Right

By offering the Accent with a manual transmission, Hyundai's entry-level trim is more affordable than the Rio. With the six-speed manual gearbox, the Accent costs $15,915, which is $400 cheaper than the Rio.

The range-topping Accent has more features than the Rio's most expensive trim. Standard features on the Accent that aren't standard on the Rio include LED headlights and taillights, a sunroof, heated front seats, and automatic climate control.

Hyundai may not offer the Accent in a hatchback body style anymore, but the automaker has three trim levels for the model, while the Kia Rio sedan is only available in two trims. Having a third trim gives you some more options to choose from, and lets you pick the one that has what you're looking for.

Which is the Better Value Proposition?

While the Kia Rio sticks to being an excellent value proposition, the Hyundai Accent can be optioned with high-end features that one wouldn't expect to see in an affordable, subcompact vehicle. The manual gearbox also means the Accent is more affordable than the Rio, which makes it the better value proposition and the better overall fit for the majority of consumers.

Our Verdict: Hyundai Accent

While the Accent and the Rio are close twins, Hyundai's option pulls out on top. The Accent's more stylish cabin, high-end features on the range-topping trim, and more affordable price tag thanks to a manual gearbox make it the better choice of the two.

Take a closer look at the Kia Rio »

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Accent »

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

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website