2000 Kia Rio 1.5 petrol


Unbeatable value if you get a good one and ignore the badge


Wheel rim cracked around the hub. A major fault that later caused Kia to recall the vehicles.

Stereo is unreliable, but sounds OK. Lots of rattles and squeaks. Interior has started to wear out.

Exhaust done at 100000km, clutch at 120000.

General Comments:

First the bad stuff -

Dealer service is inconsistent. MOST Kia dealers are great, except for one service department (who I won't name, except to say my opinion of them is BLACK and they BURNed me). I found them rude, aggressive, inconsiderate and utterly unprofessional in every way.

Back to the car...

It doesn't handle well at all and feels like its going to fall over in corners in you get too enthusiastic. Fine for everyday and safe enough for people who never drive hard, but it tried to kill me every time I treated it like a sports car (which it isn't!).

Overall quality is below par inside and outside.

Braking severely affected by poor tyres. If you have a Rio, please put decent rubber on it!

Spongy suspension causes the front tow hook to crunch on many driveways.

Very noisy at highway speeds.

Now for the good news-

Unbelievable fuel economy!!! I regularly get 550km out of 40 litres in the city and over 600km in the country.

Huge luggage compartment. Carries almost as much gear as a large wagon. Not very comfy to sleep in (but better that drink driving).

Zippy performance - no racer, but no slouch either.

Reliability outstanding (apart from faults above). Even when something goes wrong it's cheap to fix. Low servicing costs. Low insurance costs. Cheap to buy. I can't think of a car that's easier on the pocket.

Comfortable seats and driving position. Quite spacious with plenty of headroom.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th April, 2007

2000 Kia Rio


Cheap and nasty


Engine Vacuum leak 80,000k

Central Locking 95,000k approx

Fuel pump 95,000k approx.

General Comments:

Took car in for regular 80,000k service. The mechanic called to inform me that it won't idle after they serviced it. They blamed ignition leads firstly, but after waiting 3 days and being charged $280 for some "special, fancy something leads".It didn't fix the problem. It took 3 more days and 3 different KIA dealer mechanics to diagnosed as an "engine vacuum leak". Fixed for $200.

Fuel pump failed at approx 95,000K. Car had failed to start once previously for no apparent reason, took 10 minutes and then started and ran fine for 6 months before pump failed. Assume it was the pump then too.

Drivers side door would not open. Central locking failed. Had to bang door while turning key to jolt the lock mechanism to allow me to open the door. (Yes if was an act of frustration after playing with the knob unsuccessfully for 20 minutes) Upon removing door skin and inspection found a broken spring in the lock mechanism. A little creative bending with a pair of pliers to fix.

We bought the Rio new in 2000 and found it to be quite reliable in the 6 years that we owned it. The engine was quite gutsy compared to our 1.8 Elantra though VERY noisy by comparison. It was also stating to develop an intermittent erratic idle both when hot or cold. Would last for a few seconds and feel as though the car was just about to stall, then it would be fine for a few days before returning.

We figured it was time to sell.

The overall finish both inside and out was poor.

It was a cheap and nasty little beast that served us well, but I can't help feeling that it was on it's last breath. Several mechanics mentioned that they seem to fall apart after 100000k.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th December, 2006