2002 Kia Rio Base 1.5 from North America


Affordable, economical, reliable, transportation


Rear defrost inoperative, switch removed before I bought the car.

Original tires have a soft sidewall, which can puncture easily.

General Comments:

This has been a great car.

It is economical, dependable, basic transportation.

I drive it daily, and on the interstate generally run from 70 to 80 MPH.

If you exceed 80, the rear end begins to feels loose and unstable. I plan to buy some nice gas shocks to correct this issue.

A set of lower profile tires would also greatly improve handling.

I have had no problems with the this car at all.

The acceleration is but smooth, but I wish that 5th gear was a little higher for I often try to shift for a higher gear.

I use Mobil 1 for oil and plan to have this car for many years and miles.

I am 6 feet tall and am very comfortable driving this car.

My car gets a respectable 34MPG even with the higher speeds I drive at. I have got almost 37MPG if I drive the car slower.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th May, 2005

2002 Kia Rio 1.5 Litre Four Cylinder Gas from North America


The car is unrefined and unreliable


5000 miles, extremely bad vibration thru steering wheel from 55mph to 75 mph. Tire rotation has no effect.

5000 miles, Aluminum strips in rain channels on either side of the roof blew out when driving thru hands free car wash. Had these replaced by dealer.

5000 miles, dealer installed rubber grommet inside fuel filler cap which was missing. Now filler cap does not close inside the body line.

23000 miles, replaced dead battery.

26000 miles, tires almost bald. (Thought I could see a nail embedded in the right edge of the right front tire. Turned out to be worn down to the steel belt!) All four tires replaced. Plus alignment.

34000 miles, Reprogrammed Engine Control Module under recall.

36000 miles, replaced fuel distributor under recall.

36000 miles, replaced brake pads and turned rotors.

42000 miles, engine radiator fan fell off.

50000 miles, replaced broken right rear shock absorber.

50000 miles, drivers sun visor broken, new one ordered.

50000 miles, trunk will not stay up when open, ordered new trunk balance spring.

500000 miles, severe front tire wear again will have to replace soon.

General Comments:

I like the styling of the car.

Good Radio and CD player.

Comfortable drivers seat with arm-rest.

However it's a badly engineered car.

Also, badly built and unreliable.

The severe front end vibration on the highway is caused by inadequately engineered steering column, front suspension components and engine mountings. The 03 model was re-engineered to fix this. I guess I'm a sucker for getting an 02.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th February, 2005

2002 Kia Rio Cinco from North America


The KIA Rio Cinco is a poorly made cheap car that is very unreliable


I've had the car in the dealership to get fixed 14 times in the past year for the same problem. Before that I'd had it in 5 times for this problem, 2 times for recalls. There's "something" wrong with the car, after 19 times taking it in the dealership service people can't figure it out. They think it is something with the fuel system and have replaced the entire system. Still not working. What happens is that if I am going 45MPH or higher and go up an incline, the engine light comes on and the car loses power until it is down to about 10 MPH. Not safe when you are on a freeway!!! I have to pull over to the side of the road, turn it off, then turn it back on. This sometimes work, but not always. I had to drive up a mountain pass at 25 MPH once - again, not safe.

General Comments:

Good thing I have the warranty - it has paid for all service and labor - a good warranty. But the amount of recalls on a 2 year old car, plus the fact that this problem has gone on since I bought it brand new is bad. (Lemon law doesn't pertain, I would have had to file within 60 months of purchase, and at that point it looked like the problem had been fixed. After 60 months, the problem steadily got worse and worse until it happened regularly)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st January, 2005

1st Feb 2005, 22:17

60 months of service is 5 years so you have time to file for the Lemon Law. my car was just accepted by the Lemon Law lawyers in my state.