Jones Ford Verde Valley Compares 2012 Ford Focus VS 2012 Kia Rio Near Verde Valley, AZ

Responsive image

2012 Ford Focus

Responsive image

2012 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 (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, head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard AdvanceTrac™, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Focus as a “Top Pick” for 2011, a rating only granted to 98 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Rio has not been tested, yet.

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 to get service under the Focus’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 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 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 19th.

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



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

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:



Front Rotors

10.95 inches

10.1 inches

The Focus stops much shorter than the Rio:



70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

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.

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 1.3 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.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Focus has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rio (90.7 vs. 88.6).

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 with its rear seat up than the Rio 5-Door hatchback (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 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’ 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 available exterior keypad. The Rio doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Focus SEL/Titanium’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Rio’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Focus SEL/Titanium 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 SEL/Titanium’s standard 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 SEL/Titanium’s standard 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 SEL/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.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.