2002 Kia Rio Cinco 1.5L from North America


Minus poor acceleration, the perfect subcompact!


The tires on the vehicle do not last very long, have had to change them at 40,000 KM.

General Comments:

This car's acceleration is abysmal, however everything else about this car, given its price and the competition is stellar. I have the hatchback which provides cavernous trunk space for a subcompact. It comes with power locks and windows and is a reasonably comfortable car. I have driven it on many occasions from Toronto to Montreal, and Toronto to Detroit and have had no issues that have arisen, and I was able to drive non-stop without being uncomfortable. If you are willing to accept a car with sluggish acceleration, but excellent handling, and a excellent warranty, this car is perfect.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th December, 2004

11th Feb 2005, 14:22

How many miles do you expect out of tires? It depends on how the tires are rated (cheap tires don't last very long), how you take care of them (air pressure, balancing and rotating) and how you drive (too much acceleration or deceleration or curves).

2002 Kia Rio 1.6L from North America


Good car for the low price


We have had nothing major wrong with this vehicle. However, it does shake badly when the A/C is turned on, and the carpeting is definitely ultra low grade. A/C makes the car shake. Text overlays such as on stereo buttons and around the heating controls tend to peel quickly.

General Comments:

My wife bought this car as a replacement for her dying 86 Chevy. We were initially impressed with the vehicle and it's handling for the price. The Rio drives very similar to my '85 Honda Civic (which has 201,000 miles on it and is still going strong!). In the snow I definitely prefer my Honda Civic, but the Rio does not handle too badly. Some safety features such as the fact you cannot shift it out of park unless you have a key in and the brake depressed seem like overkill, but are a minor nuisance.

Sadly, my wife was driving it and was rear ended, driving it into another vehicle in front of her as well. It was about a 35 MPH crash straight into the read end, and I am thoroughly impressed by the results. Both airbags deployed, and both bumpers were pushed in as well as the trunk lid, but until you get up close, it's hard to see the vehicle was in a crash at all! The car was considered totaled by insurance, but it more than exceeded my expectations!

I definitely recommend the Rio (at least after 2002). We've been on several trips in it and are looking forward to purchasing our next incarnation of it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th December, 2004

4th May 2006, 23:46

Thank you for the helpful information and well valued opinion. I just purchased a used Kia Rio 2001 and was wondering about the quality of this car. I myself have fallen in love with this great little car! I love how it drives and saves on gas! But was quite unsure as to whether my son should drive it, will it have transmission problems, are there constant defects, repairs, etc.? I have gone from a 6 cylinder to a 4 cylinder car, and I had a bad experience with a 4 cylinder. He can be rough on a car and wonder if I should let him drive it? I feel more confident with reading your review that I will absolutely enjoy this economical car. Thanks.

4th May 2006, 23:52

The mileage is at 59,000 and am one very, very, happy customer to-date.

2002 Kia Rio from North America


Worthless piece of an automobile


Clunking noise coming from right front the moment I drove it off the lot.

Has been in the shop 6 times in 2 years.

Had rear wheel bearings replaced at 20,000 miles.

Have had right front wheel bearing replaced 4 times.

First wheel bearing replaced when my car had less than 2,000 miles.

Struts and mounts replaced 2 times.

3 recalls for electronic fuel injection problems.

General Comments:

From the day I drove my new Kia off the lot it made a clunking noise in the right front when going over bumps in the road, such as speed bumps or a gravel road. Since then, I have had my Kia in the Shop 6 times, four of those times were to replace the front wheel bearing. This latest wheel bearing didn't even last 900 miles.

Currently as I type this, my Kia is at the dealership having the front wheel bearing replaced again.

My car also whistles around the front windows at speeds above 60 MPH no matter how tightly I try to close the windows.

I can't tell you how much I Don't love my Kia Rio.

To top this off the loaner car they gave me this time has a defective power lock system, and it has locked me out of the car two times in the last four days. Thank goodness for Triple AAA.

I have decided to either trade this lemon in on something more reliable such as a Toyota or Honda, or sell it to someone else. At least it still has 67,000 miles on its warranty. The poor person is going to need it I am afraid.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd November, 2004

23rd Nov 2004, 08:42

My Rio whistled very loudly above 55 mph as well. The whistle actually comes as wind flows through the grooves on both outside mirrors. Your manufacturer (if they have any brains in their heads) can fill the grooves to prevent the irritating sound! Good Luck!

7th Jun 2006, 11:16

I also have a 2002 kia rio. At 60,000 miles my timing belt broke and seized my engine on the freeway! Luckily I was able to pull over to the side of the road before my infant daughter and I were hit at 70 mph. The dealership replaced the engine free of charge, but only because my brother in law worked there!!! Now it pulls and whistles when I hit 55 mph and the other day my heat and air conditioning went out! What a piece of junk. Not to mention that I have had to put new tires on it once a year since I have had the thing.