2002 Kia Rio from North America


A death trap!



Unexplainable rattling

Bad transmission

Airbag light going on and off

Some nasty smell when the car was running

Broken seats!

General Comments:

My friend bought a KIA Rio in 11/2002. At first it was a perfect car! She was happy with it, her Rio was the first new car she ever owned! We went all over town in her new car. Then things started happening.

The first was she let a friend drive it to Neveda. While driving through the desert the windshield crack. No rock ever hit it, it just cracked. So she had it replaced.

Then it started making a rattle sound so she took it in, got the oil changed, and got it checked out. They said it was fine, but a few miles down the road it started rattling again. The rattling comes and goes. The dealership said "There is nothing wrong with it!"

Then her air bag light would come on then go off. It started shifting funny.

In the last few months it had developed the most nastiest smell, like rotten eggs! We knew it wasn't coming from the inside. She had the car detailed and still it smelled. But it only smelled when the car was running.

But the thing that got us both wondering was last week. My friend was driving her KIA Rio and I was in the front passenger seat, when we were struck from behind, in a hit and run. While we were waiting to be taken to the hospital, because of neck and back pain, we noticed our seats had broke!! The impact and because the car was so light (in other words cheap) from the point of impact rippled a dent all along the passenger side. So the firemen had to rip the car door open to get to me! The car maybe cute and at first fun to drive, but cute and fun don't add up to safety! So my friend is also looking to do a class action suit!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th October, 2003

22nd Jan 2004, 22:46

Lawsuit against who? On what basis?

24th Jan 2004, 17:06

As far as the rotten egg smell, that might be the battery. You might want to check with the better business bureau for the issues you have been having, especially with the seat.

25th Jan 2004, 01:14

Newer cars are supposed to break so we don't the more it breaks the less force is pushed into us. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

Usually a rotten egg smell is a bad oxygen sensor, you probably smell it when the car is is under heavy acceleration. Like a minute after starting off from a stoplight. It also may not be your car. If you are behind someone else after they accelerate hard you will smell it from their car. It would be covered by the bumper to bumper warranty.

Finally, I would never let somebody take my car on a long trip. you would be surprised how some people drive. Also do you remember at any time when you first bought the car (first 500 mile) doing a screeching or hard stop. The first 500 mile break in of a car is critical.

19th Apr 2004, 22:40

The rotten egg smell may also be a result of the sulfur content in cheap gas. You can check out the sulphur contents of different company's gas to find the one with the least sulfur.

2002 Kia Rio LS 1.5 from Australia and New Zealand


Overall, a good buy, even though there is some problems with it..


To this point, I have had issues with the Gearbox, and Clutch around the 25000km mark.

I have had problems with the engine filling up with water from an unknown source. Possibly from within the engine... unsure at this point.

Dealerships are appalling.

General Comments:

The car is overall, quite good to drive, handles well and is cheap to run.

I purchased the car and was getting approx 510km to the tank (Approx $35AUD) and now approx 610km.

Car appears to be heavy on the tires, as I have had to replace 2 sets.

I spend a lot of time in my car, and still love to drive it.

It has some power for the size!

I have had the car up to 220km per hour, and for the lead foot, it gets up to the 0-100km very quickly.

I would seriously recommend the manual over the automatic, as I have driven both, the manual is far better.

Overall, a good buy... would recommend it for the first car buyer.

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

Review Date: 10th September, 2003

11th Aug 2004, 05:25

This car is probably the cheapest car on the Australian new car market and you've driven it at 220kph? I hope you have your life insurance paid up and did this without passengers. May we never share the same road.

9th Sep 2009, 10:41

This car is the most unsafe car I have even driven, I don't even know how it could be allowed on our roads. It's only early days; soon enough you'll be having all the problems I'm having at the moment!