2001 Kia Rio from North America


KIA Rio worse than my '82 Acadian


The day I drove it off the lot, looked to my right and found the adjuster for the side mirror broken.

Within months I had warning lights flashing, I brought it right in and was told it was a sensor chip.

A few months later I was in a parking lot and simply could not shift the car out of Park.

A couple of weeks after that, I had backed the car out of my drive-way and could not shift out of reverse.

Check air-bag light comes on for the first time shortly after 1yr of purchase. This will happen no less than half a dozen times over the next 2 years.

Year 2, shifter sticking again.

I notice a whistle from the windshield at highway speeds.

More warning lights flashing on and off -- especially if it rains.

Year 3, car difficult to start in rain or extreme cold.

Driving on highway is deafening -- car shakes and is so loud I can't hear the radio.

Alternator goes, needs replacing, and battery too.

More warning lights, check-airbag and the O/D off light flashes constantly, I'm told this is the shifter again. It's completely replaced this time, but the problem happens again less than two months later.

General Comments:

Almost without fail I am at the dealership every 3 months -- and not just for an oil change. All work so far has been covered under warranty, but the warranty does not cover my time or frustration.

This is without a doubt THE worst car I have ever driven -- and it's not that cheap either -- apparently a single woman doesn't get the advertised deals at a KIA dealership.

I'm sick of the KIA service folks telling me how much everybody else loves their Rio.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th October, 2003

19th Aug 2004, 11:08

I also have a 2001 Rio and almost everything described has happened or is happening to mine. P.S. I do NOT love MY Rio. Mike S. from MD.

12th Oct 2006, 01:56

Too bad my 2004 Rio is a perfect car. Good gas mileage, cold A/C, easy to park, and a quality look. What else could I ask for.

2001 Kia Rio LS DOHC 1.5L from North America


Cheap to run, but expensive to buy


The transmission syncs are not meshing right. I have to bring this in to the shop.

The hub caps could not withstand one wash at the carwash. The paint flaked off all of the hub caps. KIA will not warranty this.

Scratches from delivery. This was under warranty.

The spark plug boot in way to tight so when I changed the plugs the boot split. Blue silicone was the solution to this problem.

I found bubbles on the black wrap on the drivers door top. This was under warranty.

I just did a oil change on my car and found the transmission has a slow leak in it. I will wait for the transmission to blow and get a new one under warranty.

General Comments:

The KIa Rio has a very good weight to horse power ratio. But the horse power is only 95. The car though can accelerate very quick. I go from 0-80 Km/h in only 5-6 seconds. But the car can't go any faster than 230Km/h and in the 170-230 range it is really sluggish. I have had a lot of people ask me about this car and I would not recommend this car for someone who wants a cheap car. When you factor all the stuff the price goes from $13,000 to $17,500 + tax and extra stuff. This comes out to around $22,500 which is a lot of money for a advertised $13,000 car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th September, 2003

12th May 2004, 09:26

Did you actually go 230KM/Hr? I didn't think a car with only 95HP (factoring in the weight and wind drag) could do 230. Did you do some performance mods?

And where were you able to drive it that fast? Did you take it on the track?