"My mother bought this car in the fall of 2000 mainly for the warranty and the price. Many things have gone wrong with it- the check engine light came on for no reason, and the computer had to be replaced. The driver's door panel was replaced, the vanity mirror cover broke, in the winter, the driver's door freezes so you need to crawl through the passenger's door to get in. I actually had to drive to school with the door open (unable to close) and it flung open it traffic when I was making a turn! The thermostat broke about 90,000 miles, this past week I had to pay $242 to diagnose and replace a fuel evap hose, and $192 to replace the clutch cable (it's a manual). I would recommend getting a manual transmission with this car, because the engine isn't very powerful (96hp). I put in a K&N air filter, and I've noticed some better acceleration and gas mileage (in short- distance suburban driving, I get about 31mpg). The car steers around corners well, but you will notice just about every little bump in the road. The speakers sound surprisingly good, and the A/C works very well. Although, you definitely notice when it's on because the engine will make some noise. Some that have driven my car complain that you can't tell what gear you're in because of the cheap feeling shift boot, but once you drive it for a while, like anything you get used to it. Oh! Another thing that broke! The power steering pump and serpentine belt for it needed to be totally replaced about 70,000 miles - a $400 job. It's not a very well built car nor is it very safe, and you can't always feel confident that you aren't going to break down at any point in time. My next car- if I can afford it, will be a Honda Civic. I think it's worthwhile because of Honda's solid reliability and value reputation (no, I'm not a Honda spokesperson!).
Well, that was a long paragraph (sorry, but I'm not a very skilled writer). Overall, this car is OK, its nothing spectacular, but it will do what cars were invented to do- move you from one place to another (which sometimes I think people forget cars where created for). At the time, 2001, it was a deal. A new car, with a great warranty. In 2006, I've read that the Rio had a major makeover and has improved the quality of just about everything, same with 2007. Although, to buy a new Rio is more expensive now than it was in 2001- Mine cost about $10,000 with the power steering and A/C. Now, with a manual and power steering, you're looking at about $14,000 after taxes and fees. So, in short- don't buy a used 2001 Kia Rio, buy (if you can afford it) a late model Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, or an '06 or newer Rio if a subcompact to compact car is what you're looking for. I hope this helped give some information about this vehicle and wasn't too off the point!"
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