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2003 Kia Rio

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
6.3
Out of 10

Based on 277 Ratings for the 2001 - 2005 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    7.1/10
    Quality
    6.4/10
  • Reliability
    7.2/10
    Performance
    6.6/10
  • Comfort
    6.6/10
    Styling
    6.7/10
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Cheap Car

By on Friday, August 24, 2007

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

"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!"

14 people out of 14 found this review helpful

This was a great car. 184,000 miles W/out problems

By on Saturday, October 12, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 184,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Gas millage, price, reliability"

Cons: "Load on road, shaking noise when go over bumps"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have owned this car for 12 years, 184,000 miles. No major repairs called for. Not great pick up, and a little loud on the road, but otherwise I can not say a bad thing about it. Time for a new car after 12 years. You will be missed and thanks for 12 reliable years."

13 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Reliable compact car!

By on Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great price, dependable, and very econimical."

Cons: "Not a luxurious or powerful vehicle."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had this vehicle for a few years and must say I didn't put a penny into it besides the normal fluid changes. Kelly's Blue Book states it gives 30 miles to a gallon on the freeway and something less in city driving. With no modifications, I average 35 miles to a gallon in mixed driving between city and freeway. It's very econimical vehicle and I definately recommend it especially to a high school or college kid. Very dependable economical car, and looks cool as well."

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Just my style

By on Thursday, December 04, 2008

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"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."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Okay Car

By on Friday, August 10, 2007

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
4/10

"This is an okay car. It gets you from point A to point B (with good gas milage), but don't take more then one other person. The backseat is so tiny my 3 year old has to ride with her feet on the seat! I really fear a car accident, because if there were one she could get SERIOUSLY injured. Also, don't expect this car to get up and go...it takes awhile for it to get up to higher speeds (don't go racing anyone in this car). Finally, like the other person warned...Watch out for the timing belt, at about 35000 miles it NEEDS to be replaced. Others have told me that almost all Rio's need the timing belt changed at least once by 60k miles. Other then those two things, all I have had to replace are the tires and the oil! Overall an average car not ideal for more then 2 people."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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