Toyota Motors Car Wars: Toyota Yaris vs. Kia Rio - Toyota Quezon Avenue

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Car Wars: Toyota Yaris vs. Kia Rio


Car Wars Toyota Yaris vs. Kia Rio

In the Philippines, most people has this thinking that “The smaller the car, the better.” For this reason, compact mini cars like the Eon, Wigo, and Mirage, are all the rage. If you think about it carefully, it makes perfect sense – you buy a car that’s cheaper than most vehicles in the market, it’s brand new, it takes you from point A to point B, and is perfectly convenient. However, what most people forget to take into account is that these compact mini cars sacrifice valuable space and comfortability for convenience and affordability. This does not mean that people want bigger cars. Yes, we still want smaller cars, but just small enough so that the people riding it will feel comfortable, while still being able to maneuver the car through the atrocious traffic.

The best solution that car manufacturers came up with is to produce a larger compact “mini” car that does not stray too far away from the cheap price point while still being able to dish out better performance, space, and overall street credibility. You’ve probably noticed that the streets of the Philippines are filled with these types of cars, but the two main larger compact “mini” car that can be seen are both the Toyota Yaris and the Kia Rio!

Furthermore, it is a fact that both the Toyota and the Hyundai automotive manufacturers have established their brands really well in the Philippines. Both these brands have dedicated auto parts suppliers in the local scene, which means that whenever you need a part for your car, it’ll be automatically available. There would be no need for you to wait a couple of months for the parts to be shipped from other countries.

In this installment of Car Wars, we’ll be comparing, contrasting, and finally deciding which of these two beloved larger compact “mini” car is the better one. Let’s get started!



Toyota Yaris comes with a 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system that acts as both the overall control of the entertainment system, as well as the monitor for the reverse view camera. The touchscreen comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity that lets you play songs without the need of an AUX cord, and be able to answer call even when you’re driving.

Meanwhile, the Kia Rio does not come standard with a touchscreen infotainment system, but it still has Bluetooth connectivity and other features that can be seen in most cars.

On the other hand, the features included in the Rio are the modern switchgear and a glossy black panel along the dash. In addition to this car features, they switched the material of their knobs, handles, switches, and dials to a hard plastic material. The switch to the use of hard plastic for the dash top and door trims is criticized by many since the older versions of the Rio used soft and padded materials, which was more comfortable to hold and feel. Meanwhile, the Yaris also features hard plastic all around its interior and the materials that were used for its seats are different when compared to the older versions.

In terms of storage space, the Yaris wins by a long shot because there are numerous pockets wherein you can put cups, drinks, and other paraphernalia. While the rear seats don’t have pockets on their doors, Toyota makes up for it by including cup holders in the center aisle.

In regard to headroom and leg space, since the Rio is wider, it has considerable more leg space than the Yaris and the head room on the rear seats is also larger. On the other hand, in terms of trunk space, there is a little difference between the two. The Yaris can contain 286 liters while the Rio can contain 288 liters. However, the Yaris features a false door in the trunk so that you can safely keep your belongings in that neatly hidden space and it also has folding rear seats that can nearly fold flat to add more space in the trunk. Meanwhile, the Rio has a deep trunk space that may make it hard for you to take heavy objects out of the trunk.

Both of these cars have very different environment in the interior. The Yaris offers a much more convenient and efficient kind of environment wherein everything the rider and driver needs are at arm’s length. Meanwhile, the Rio’s interior offers a more elegant and roomier interior while sacrificing efficiency.



Under the hood, the Rio has a 1.4 liter, four-cylinder engine that can produce 79 kilowatts of power at 6300 revolutions per minute and 135 Nm of torque at 4200 revolutions per minute. It is available in manual and automatic variants.

On the other hand, the Yaris has a 1.3 liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 63 kilowatts at 6000 revolutions per minute and a torque of 121 Nm at 4200 revolutions per minute.

Essentially, the Rio should be more powerful than the Yaris, but there’s actually a catch. The Rio weighs 1221 kilograms, while the Yaris weighs only 1024 kilograms. This means that the power output that the Rio should have is disregarded because of the severe weight difference. Similarly, since the Yaris weighs less making its engine’s capabilities just perfect for the car’s body size. This entails that the performance of both the Rio and the Yaris are basically the same, even though the Rio technically has the more powerful engine, it has its drawbacks.

Moreover, the gearshift action of these cars are decent – but the Yaris’ gear shifting feels smoother. However, the manual variant of the Yaris only offers 5-speed, while the Rio offers 6-speed, which is also a factor in deciding on the overall drive experience of both cars.



The Rio’s manual variant is said to be rated at 5.7 liters per 100 kilometers, while the automatic variant is said to use 6.3 liters per 100 kilometers. Similarly, the Yaris’ claimed fuel economy is the same with the Rio’s.

The Verdict

The Verdict

Both of these cars have their own good and bad parts, but we have reached the point wherein a decision has to be made in order to know which of them is better. The Yaris and Rio are cars that are almost identical to each other, which would make choosing between them even harder. Then again, if you consider everything that was mentioned in this article, you’ll notice that one of these cars is ahead than the other.

The winner of this edition of Car Wars, is none other than the Toyota Yaris! It was a hard fought battle, but overall, the Yaris comes out on top. The Rio has its advantages, but the Yaris’ overall features, performance, mileage, and convenience still makes it win.

Nobody can know what the future holds, so don’t be surprised if a new contender is added to the market! All we have to do is wait and see what the future hold for the car industry!

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