Jones Ford Wickenburg Compares 2014 Ford Focus VS 2014 Kia Rio Near Wickenburg, AZ

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2014 Ford Focus

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VS

2014 Kia Rio

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Focus have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Kia Rio doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Focus’ blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The Rio doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Compared to metal, the Focus’ plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Kia Rio has a metal gas tank.

The Focus (except S) offers optional SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Rio doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Focus and the Rio have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Focus is safer than the Kia Rio:

Focus

Rio

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

179

318

Neck Injury Risk

28%

31%

Neck Stress

188 lbs.

410 lbs.

Neck Compression

42 lbs.

75 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

287/307 lbs.

572/327 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

276

427

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Compression

78 lbs.

99 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

345/45 lbs.

560/81 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Ford Focus is safer than the Rio:

Focus

Rio

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

133

180

Peak Head Forces

0

0

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

19 cm

24 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

1%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.58/.42

1.41/.54

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Focus is safer than the Kia Rio:

Focus

Rio

Front Seat

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

95

307

Chest Movement

1.3 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

212 G’s

327 G’s

Hip Force

429 lbs.

429 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

314

324

Spine Acceleration

52 G’s

85 G’s

Hip Force

566 lbs.

847 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

182

286

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

45 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

In a 31 MPH side-impact test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashes a 3300 pound sled into the side of new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Focus is safer than the Rio:

Focus

Rio

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Structure

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Driver

Head Protection Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Head Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Torso Injury Rating

GOOD

MARGINAL

Pelvis/Leg Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Head Injury Criterion

257

320

Shoulder Movement

34 mm

46 mm

Rear Passenger

Head Protection Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Head Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Torso Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Pelvis/Leg Injury Rating

GOOD

GOOD

Shoulder Movement

29 mm

39 mm

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, and an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Focus as a “Top Pick” for 2014. The Rio is not a “Top Pick.”

The Ford Focus has a better fatality history. The Focus was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 29% lower per vehicle registered than the Rio, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Warranty Comparison

The Focus’ 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Rio runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 6 times as many Ford dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Focus’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Focus has a standard 590-amp battery. The Rio’s 410-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 13th in reliability. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 21st.

Engine Comparison

The Focus’ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (160 vs. 138) and 23 lbs.-ft. more torque (146 vs. 123) than the Rio’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Focus is faster than the Kia Rio (manual transmissions tested):

Focus

Rio

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.4 sec

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Focus is faster than the Kia Rio (automatics tested):

Focus

Rio

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

9.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

21.3 sec

28.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.1 sec

10.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.6 sec

4.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

81 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Focus SFE gets better fuel mileage than the Rio ECO (28 city/40 hwy vs. 28 city/37 hwy).

The Focus has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Rio (12.4 vs. 11.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Focus has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Rio doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Focus’ standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the Rio:

Focus

Rio

Front Rotors

10.9 inches

10.1 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Focus has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Rio doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The Focus stops much shorter than the Rio:

Focus

Rio

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Focus has larger standard tires than the Rio (195/65R15 vs. 185/65R15). The Focus Titanium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rio (235/40R18 vs. 205/45R17).

The Focus Titanium’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rio SX’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Focus Titanium offers optional 18-inch wheels. The Rio’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Ford Focus’ wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Kia Rio only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Focus Titanium offers an optional full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the Rio, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Ford Focus has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Kia Rio has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Focus has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Focus flat and controlled during cornering. The Rio’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Focus has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Rio doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Focus’ wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the Rio (104.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Focus is 1.4 inches wider in the front and .4 inches wider in the rear than on the Rio.

The Focus’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.5% to 41.5%) than the Rio’s (62.2% to 37.8%). This gives the Focus more stable handling and braking.

The Focus SE 5dr Hatchback handles at .83 G’s, while the Rio SX 5-Door Hatchback pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Focus SE 5dr Hatchback executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Rio EX 5-Door Hatchback (27.6 seconds vs. 28.6 seconds).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Focus uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Rio doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Focus Sedan has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rio Sedan (90.7 vs. 88.6). The Focus 5dr Hatchback has 2.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rio 5-Door Hatchback (90.7 vs. 88.4).

The Focus Sedan has 1.8 inches more front hip room, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 2.1 inches more rear legroom, 1.5 inches more rear hip room and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Rio Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Focus 5dr Hatchback has a much larger cargo area than the Rio 5-Door Hatchback with its rear seat up (23.8 vs. 15 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Focus automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Rio doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Focus’ standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows cost extra on the Rio.

The power windows available on both the Focus and the Rio have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Focus is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Rio prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Focus SE/Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Rio’s optional passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Focus’ standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. Power locks cost extra on the Rio.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Focus’ available exterior keypad. The Rio doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

Consumer Reports rated the Focus’ headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Rio’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Focus offers an optional center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Rio doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Focus (except S)’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Rio doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Focus (except S)’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Rio doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

The Focus Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Rio doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Focus is less expensive to operate than the Rio because typical repairs cost less on the Focus than the Rio, including $128 less for an alternator and $63 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Focus won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2014 car issue. The Kia Rio didn't win any award.

The Focus was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 7 of the last 15 years. The Rio has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Focus was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 4 of the last 14 years. The Rio has never been an “All Star.”

The Ford Focus outsold the Kia Rio by almost six to one during 2013.

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