The Size and Exterior Design
The Forte is a compact car while the Rio is a subcompact. So if you need more space, the Forte is a better choice. It offers more room for its passengers, and it has more cargo space in the back. If you want a sporty look, the Forte also has a sportier design, while the Rio is less flashy but made for reliability. The other big design difference is the five-door hatchback style option for the Rio, while the Forte is only available as a four-door sedan.
The Rio has 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that will put out 138 horsepower. The Forte has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that will put out 145 horsepower. The Forte also has two engine choices with the option for a 2.0-liter engine with 173 horsepower. An automatic transmission comes standard in both available trims with the Forte, while the Rio has both a manual transmission and an automatic transmission.
Both the Forte and the Rio perform well when it comes to fuel economy. The smaller Rio offers a better performance for those who do a lot of driving in town, with 27 mpg in the city. The Forte will get 26 mpg with the 1.8-liter engine and 24 mpg in the city with the 2.0-liter engine. For highway driving, the Forte actually outperforms the Rio, getting 39 mpg with the 1.8-liter engine. The Rio is still fuel-efficient with 38 mpg on the highway, though.
Inside the Forte and the Rio you’ll find more similarities. They both come standard with Kia’s UVO eServices. This infotainment system allows you to make phone calls, send text messages, and stream your music. They also have some extra options available, including a power adjustable driver’s seat and automatic climate control. The Forte comes with cruise control and a security system, and some of the comfort features are standard on the Forte while they are added options on the less expensive Rio.
While both cars have excellent safety ratings, they have a few different features. The Forte has traction and stability control, while the Rio has stability control. The Forte has a brake assist system along with hill start assist, while the Rio has the hill start assist. They both have front seat air bags and side curtain air bags, but the Forte has an impact-absorbing steering column.
There are benefits to both vehicles depending on what you are looking for. The wider Forte offers some extra space that you won’t get in the Rio, but the Rio has a sticker price that is several thousand dollars less. The high safety ratings and space in the Forte makes it a good choice for families, while the smaller Rio is a good first car for younger drivers.
Browse our inventory of the Kia Rio and Kia Forte, schedule your test drive, and find your perfect match today!
Photo via Kia.com