In a smackdown of South Korean sub-compacts, the Kia Rio EX outpointed the Accent from sister company Hyundai as the top-rated sedan of that size in Consumer Reports' latest tests.
Chevrolet's Sonic, the American entrant in the magazine's ratings, as well as the Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris, both from Japan, scored lower.
"Subcompact cars were once collectively known as penalty boxes for their noisiness, rudimentary interiors, uncomfortable rides, and weak performance. But now improved redesigns, combined with an affordable prices and impressive fuel economy, make a number of subcompact models good all-around choices for people looking to stretch their budget," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center.
The magazine said the Kia Rio "is a solid and well-equipped car" that "benefits from nimble handling and very simple controls and provides plenty of features for the price."