2002 Kia Rio 1.5 from North America


Good car if maintained properly


Replaced the auto transmission at 85,000 miles.

General Comments:

Bought a used 2002 KIA Rio from a dealer in Sept, 2004 with 20K miles. AND I got the add-on 5-year extended warranty. Have ALWAYS had it serviced at the recommended intervals, at the dealership.

You have to replace the timing belt at around 60K-70K to avoid expensive engine problems later.

Got a replacement transmission, covered under warranty, in the last month of the warranty.

My Rio now has 100K miles and runs like a charm. Recently drove it to Las Vegas & back, got over 30 mpg. Does 85+ no problem. If you properly maintain/service your car and don't always drive like it's a race car, it will last a long time. Very satisfied with this car.

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

Review Date: 21st April, 2011

2002 Kia Rio 1.5L DOHC from North America


A cheap car that still gets the job done


I'm only borrowing the car, however nothing has gone wrong with it while I have been using it.

General Comments:

Let me start off by saying that I do NOT own this car. I'm borrowing it from a friend who is currently vacationing in Florida for the winter, while my own vehicle is being repaired.

I have 130 mile round trip commute to and from work everyday, and so far this car hasn't failed me yet. While it may not be the most comfortable car in the world, it gets me where I need to go.

The 96 HP, 1.5L engine is a bit anemic. It's very loud at all RPM's and it struggles with hills. Around town it isn't so bad, but on the highway (which is what I drive about 95% of the time) it has a really tough time moving even this lightweight car. RPM's hover at around 3000 at 65 MPH. Speeds above 75 aren't really possible. That being said, it gets fairly decent gas mileage (averaged about 33MPG).

The interior isn't exciting. This is an absolute base model; crank windows, no power locks (no power anything really) and no radio. The seats are very hard, and the interior panels are probably the cheapest plastic I've ever seen. Fit and finish is below average even for this segment. At speeds above 50, the wind whistles through the windows something wicked. Very annoying!

As for handling, I can't really say. It's the dead of winter here in New England and there's a few feet of snow on the ground, so tossing a car around isn't exactly a wise decision. However, I have gotten to test how well the Rio does in the snow, and besides having to watch out for the wheels locking up with even the slightest touch on the brake pedal, it handles the snow very well. It went right through the frozen snowbank at the end of my driveway and through the roughly 7 inches of snow covering the ground (and my driveway is on a bit of an incline).

Overall, I would say that this isn't the worst car you could buy in the sub-compact car segment, but there are certainly better choices.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2011

2002 Kia Rio from North America


This car is not worth buying, will cost you more money than what it is worth


Check engine light came on while driving down the highway, and the car would not go more than 60 km per hour.


Poor gas mileage, not what promised. 18mpg highway, 13mpg in town.

Had the engine repaired at 40,000 km due to first problem, whole new engine. Kia refused to fix it in first three years. I tried to get them to fix it, until the motor blew on the highway.

Electrical problems.

The car died while driving it, have not determined the problem yet. Most recent problem. All of the above happened at under 10,000 km and continued to 60,000km for first item electrical fixed??? at 120,000 km. Waiting to hear why the car died just yesterday.

General Comments:

Horrible, horrible, extremely horrible car. Total waste of money. As far as I am concerned, Kia owes me money. Would like to sue to get back the costs that I had to endure with this lemon. Would never buy from Kia again. Service was a big part of the problem, I am sure. Kia does not stand behind their products.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th January, 2011

14th Jan 2011, 02:45

I agree, this is an awful, awful car.

Completely disposable.

My friend had a 2001 Kia Rio, and it died in 2006; the car barely lasted 4 years!

Avoid at all cost, my advice.

Save up and get a REAL car!

19th Dec 2011, 07:28

I have a 2007 Kia Sedona. The thing I would agree with is the service with the Kia dealers, and Kia themselves. I had several problems that should have been fixed under the factory warranty, but it seemed that Kia didn't care or bother to make sure that the dealers have the knowledge to service the cars that they are selling. It took a total of 8 times to try to get my car fixed, and then when I complained, the dealer kicked me off the lot, never to get the rest of my warranty on the car that they sold, and Kia had nothing to say about that.

31st Mar 2012, 16:59

Did you by any chance call Kia's Corporate Headquarters? When I had issues with my 2010 Jeep, I called their headquarters and wanted to file a complaint/report of bad service and poor attitudes from the dealerships. It worked and I got my Jeep fixed.

HINT: What is worse than a bad product? Word of mouth advertisement...