"I hate it that people have had such bad luck with this car, I guess maybe i have only gotten lucky? I have had no real problems with my '01 Rio, my biggest problem was making the mistake of spending more than half the car's price on a warranty (oops, 1st time car buyer).
The warranty got the passenger mirror issue fixed, the "door locks itself" issue fixed....and there was a recall on the rims of the car, i dont even know if that was warranty-needed or not. When the warranty expired, and my almost 3 grand was totally down the drain, the clutch cable snapped. Fortunately I was able to fix this myself (easy job really) for the cost of a 28 dollar new part. I've had nothing else go wrong with this car....
It has a little pick-up, but you really have to give it some gas, and you can really feel how stressful that is on the 4 cylinders, so I just deal with not having much pickup so as to not kill the engine. Gas mileage is awesome, A/C and heat work great, everything still runs pretty dang smooth.
80k+ miles. My particular car has power....nothing. steering is powered, but tranny is manual and so is everything else. Less stuff to worry about breaking (I prefer this way - every manufacturer with automatic options on a value car is susceptible to malfunction, not just Kia). My only wish would be for some way to make the car cruise, even if only once you were in 5th gear for those really long highway hauls. Keeping your foot on the pedal for 500+ miles is a bummer.
It's not really all that comfy for a full grown man (a little cramped), it's not got a lot of luxury, and its really not as cool looking as say...a Camaro, BUT its been quality, dependable, low maintenance, and a tremendous value. Cheap car, cheap on gas.
If it breaks in the next week though, I will blame this review XD Also, if you want to install a high powered audio system...the car doesnt make enough juice, you'll need a capacitor. Its a tiny car, with a tiny alternator and tiny battery."
"This is the second Kia I have owned, I bought an original when they first came out and had over 100,000 miles on it when I traded it in on my current 2002 Rio Cinco Wagon. This is not a luxury car so it isn't fair to judge it by those standards, it's economical (32 MPG) and gets the job done. I love it. I have never had a problem with it and have always kept it maintained through the dealership. I bought a leather bra for the front and added cruise control for driving on the highway. If you take care of these KIAs, they give you a lot for your money. You are not buying a name, you are buying a good car with a great warranty."
"We bought this car in 2002. We wanted a small car that was inexpensive but brand new with a warranty. We were living in Manhattan and needed something small and reliable. We expected to run it into the ground for 5 years and then scrap it for a newer luxury style car. However, almost 8 years later it runs great. We beat the heck out of this thing. Even the mechanic we use said he is surprised how well these cars hold up.
Pros- Cheap, reliable, good warranty coverage, and we put no maney into it except oil changes, tires, brakes, etc. Oh yeah, and it's decent on gas.
Cons - Paint scratches and doors dent easily, and it's a little cramped inside if you are a bigger person especially on long trips.
Overall, this car well exceeds expecations."
"Bought new in 2003 and now has 90,000 miles.I drive just about everyday.Bought mainly for a commute car.Never had any problems.Will buy again.Good fuel mileage.Manual transmission added cruise myself for $150."
"Nothing fancy here, just good ole basic transportation. No motors or fancy gadgets, but great economy and solid construction. I am impressed with the 40 MPG and the ease of handling for this small and wiry vehicle. Gets me there and reliably so."
Pros: "You can't beat the rio for price or gas mileage"
Cons: "they are a small car and ride like a small car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We own 2 kia rios...a 01 and a 09
we bought the 01 used with 17000 miles on it for our oldest daughter in 03. she has driven the dickens out of this car and we have had to very little maintenance on it
we bought the 09 new for our son when he left for college
it now has 12000 miles on it and is an awesome little car for the money...I am thinking of getting one for myself when the time comes/oldest daughter also wants to purchase another rio when she needs a new car.."
"I bought my '02 Cinco in '06 with 35,000 miles on it. I have driven this car since with not one problem, putting 60,000 more miles on it. Besides regular maintenance and new tires, I have not spent a dime. In late July '10, I rolled the car and totaled it. My son and I walked away from the accident with minor cuts a bruises. This car held up to rolling twice and landing on the roof. I was amazed at how the seat belts held and the car didn't turn into a tuna can! CANT WAIT TO GET ANOTHER ONE!"
"i bought this car just to run around in so i dont put miles on my other automobiles, it was cheap paid 3k for it, good on gas i have the 5speed fun to drive, can whip it in tight spaces esp living in the city, i call it the P car for practical. have pleantly of space esp with the rear fold down seats, cold a/c good heat, had no problems with her she got 68k miles, i did replace the timing belt as suppose too. hope to keep it few more years."
"This is the second Kia Rio I have owned and I really like it. I have had it for almost 5 years now and haven't had a single problem. It is not by any means a fancy car- it is a cute car that is great for a college student like myself who only uses it for commuting back and forth to school and work. I think it accelerates well given its 4 cylinders but it's not anything that would blow your mind, and if it's a windy day prepare to be all over the road. Other than that its a great economical car that's worth the money- especially for the incredible 10 year 100,000 mile warranty. This car keeps its passengers pretty safe but the car itself is not very resilient. I lost my first Rio(2001) when it was totaled by a drunk motorcyclist who hit me head on at about 40 mph- I got out of the car with hardly a scratch but the outside of the car was crumpled like a tin can. Safe on the inside- little flimsy on the outside- and given the low price of the car, pretty easy to total."
"this car has been very good overal for a throw-away car (low resale value). good mileage (33-37 mpg); pretty spunky performance (with K&N air filter);would have rather had another color (black was only color available with desired equipment when i bought it in oct. '03); one other drawback is lack of aftermarket or oem parts except through kia. would probably buy another."
Pros: "Fun to drive - easy to park - good on gas!"
Cons: "No engine power - Not comfortable - Cheaply made!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"This vehicle is a decent small compact car. The quality of this particular year is OK but could have been a lot better. They have improved this vehicle a lot since 2005 making it better. You generally get what you pay for but this car is fairly easy to work on and most of the parts are cheap. It is a great little car for running around town but its not much of a open highway/expressway vehicle for power or comfort. The gas mileage is fairly good!"
Pros: "Great price, excellent gas mileage, handles good"
Cons: "small interior, no extras, no frills, basic style"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Excellent on gas mileage. The power steering is different feel to it compared to other vehicles I have owned. The interior is basic but rather laid out nice. The paint for the year it was made is excellent. The motors last long but always make sure you keep the timing belt in good shape I hear if it gives out while driving you have to replace the engine but not sure on that. All in all this is a great vehicle to own and an excellent beginner vehicle for those starting to drive."
"I really do love my little Rio Cinco. I've seen the sedans and I think they are pretty boring looking, but the little wagon is not only cute but dependable, fun to drive, and easy on gas. I had to replace the engine once - it was way over the mileage recommended for getting the timing belt replaced (over 100,000, and the recommended mileage is 60,000), but I just couldn't afford to do it and it went all at once at about 110,000 - but, not the car's fault. I liked the car enough that I got a rebuilt engine for it and it's been great ever since. If it blew again, I'd get another rebuilt engine. I'm not trying to sell it, but I need the value from Kelly for licensing."
Pros: "Not expensive to buy, easy to park/turn/ drive"
Cons: "Basic, non-luxury, some parts should last longer"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned this car for 9 years. I never had any major problems with it until it reached 100K miles. Then everything broke all at once and I've had 4 major repairs this year alone! The axle boots, idle speed actuator, radiator fan, thermostat, and several hoses.
The bearings on the car are also not good quality and the front had to be replaced on year #2, luckily the car was under warranty, but the second time for the rear it wasn't and I was out a lot of money:( The timing belt is also cheap on this car and must be replaced every 60k so beware(that's a $400 service)
All in all you get what you pay for. With tax this car was $9,100 out the door 1 year used. I took perfect care of it and it lasted me 9 years. Dealer service was hit and miss and I got ripped off before on the axle boot and my car was not fixed properly when it almost overheated, so find a good mechanic for major issues. Otherwise I think it's better if you take it to EZ Lube for basic services and save money that's what I did. It ran very well and was a reliable car for me; I drove it everywhere!
I will be getting rid of it soon, I'm kind of sad to see my first baby go, but 9 years is more than enough. And overall I feel like I got my money's worth on my 2002 Rio and I would recommend it as great 1st car for a teen or for low budget consumer instead of a used car."
"This car has given me some problems so far. I have had it for about 5 years. The timing belt broke and I had to get the entire engine replaced.
Other than that I have had a good experience with it. It gets me from point a to point b."
Pros: "great value for the money, fun to drive, great MPG, loves taking high speed turns, reliable"
Cons: "too light, torque to weight ratio is too far apart, not a great car in more than 4 inches of snow."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car new in 2005 and could not be happier. I have had only one major issue with it and that was the timing belt breaking at 56,000 miles. The engine was totally destroyed but since it happened before the 60,000 mile warranty was was up, the engine and all affected components were replaced at no cost to me. The car just passed 100,000 miles with roughly 44,000 miles on the replacement engine. Everything is still strong on the car and the last time I estimated MPG it was 43 MPG ; the only complaint that I have is that it is too light with too much torque making it somewhat annoying going up hills that have five inches of snow meaning that it doesn't want to. All in all it's a great car that gets a bad reputation; and when I replace the timing belt I look forward to getting another 100,000 miles out of it."
"I took great care in maintaining this car spent as much on repairing it as i did paying for it then one day with my child in the car with me, it just died driving down the highway 65 mph. The timing belt broke and bent the valves which means "new motor". It wasn't worth it to pay for a motor so i sold it to a junkyard and all i got was $200."
"The 2002 Kia Rio is a "good" car in general. Mine just happens to be uncomfortable and inconvenient. It has no power steering, old style crank windows, no power locks, seats are not comfortable for long rides, drink holders are cramped and in the way and will not hold a normal size cup anyway. The inside is very small, you're cramped and in each others way everywhere you turn. Although, After 8 years, this car still runs like new and interior as well as exterior has held up very well."