2002 Kia Rio Base 1.5L from North America


Reliable, but follow maintenace parameters


Battery died at 70000.

CV boots torn at 72000.

Timing belt ripped at 96000.

General Comments:

It's a good and dependable car. I bought this car used in 04/2008, and aside from the fact that I've had to replace a dead battery, it was still the original in the car, it has been very reliable.

Reliable is the car not having any problems with powertrain, electronics and accessories. I'm still on the same brake pads, rotors and drums since buying the car. This car is economical to keep up and it's definitely a gas miser. Other than it's scheduled oil change and tires, I've had no problems with it.

I was holding off on the timing belt replacement until I could have enough to replace all three belts, and I regret not doing it sooner. Now I have to replace the valve-train, timing belt and the alternator and A/C belt. I'll probably go ahead and replace the water pump and flush the radiator while I'm at it.

It's a good dependable commuter if you follow its maintenance schedule religiously.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th January, 2010

2002 Kia Rio 1.5 from Australia and New Zealand

General Comments:

I bought a 2002 Kia Rio last year as my first car.

Ever since I got it, I have had nothing but problems with it. Most recently, sometimes I go to start it and it doesn't want to go, it will either take a few goes to get started and then it's still very shaky feeling, as if it wants to stall (even though it's an auto).

In the last week, when I take my foot off the accelerator, and the car jolts back, and now when I brake, the car cuts out all together! I have taken it to several mechanics. None can figure out the problem, and have taken it to Kia, they deny it's a common problem (which is crap!) and they wanted me to give them $100 JUST to look at it!!

I should not have to spend a cent on a car that wasn't made properly! It's unsafe and I will NEVER buy Kia again!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th September, 2009

2002 Kia Rio from North America


I love this car!


Sometimes dash lights won't come on.

Leaking power steering fluid.

Terrible people working at the dealership.

General Comments:

I have had this car since 2003, and I have never had any serious issues with it. This is a great little car that I love taking on long road trips up and down steep mountains. Out on the highway I do notice a high pitched whistling if the wind catches it just right, but I just turn up the stereo and drive.

However, I have had some problems with the car. The dash lights have never worked since I got it. They work maybe 90% of the time. They don't like to come on when I first turn them on, but if I pound on the dash board they will come on.

The other problem is the power steering fluid. It was always using tons of fluid and my family thought that wasn't normal. They believe the problem is with the hose, and we will replace the hose soon.

So far, I have only had 2 major repairs. All four tires have been replaced twice. The first set was from the manufacture and blew out about two years after I bought the car. So I got my second set which I replaced last year because they had worn out. The other repair on the car was replacing the battery, gaskets, spark plus, timing belt, dry belts, water pump, and air filter. My family did all of these repairs ourselves and now the car is in better condition than before we did the repairs. Before the repairs, the car would shake really violently when I was sitting at a stop light or sign. Now, it doesn't shake at all and my family says it purrs like a kitten.

My biggest complaint has nothing to do with the car, but with the dealership who sold me the car. After I had the car about a year, I took it in to get some recalls taken care of and I mentioned the dash lights to them. They said they couldn't find a problem with the dash lights and said there was nothing they could do. I suspect they didn't want to do anything because the car was still covered under factory warranty, and they would have lost money fixing the problem.

Then a few months ago I took the car back to the dealer because the air conditioner went out, and I mentioned to them to check the power steering fluid. They were able to fix the air conditioner and didn't charge me for it. Instead they charged me for a diagnostic they ran that said the belts needed to be replaced and that the entire steering system need to be replaced at an estimated cost of $2,000. Whatever! I don't know where they got the crazy idea the entire system needed to be replaced just because the power steering fluid needs to be refilled every couple of months. Then they had the nerve to say that the new system will last the life of the car, and yet they never said why the original system won't last the life of the car. Plus, they just told all of this to my dad and never made eye contact with me and acted like I wasn't in the room. They were very rude and were just trying to milk $2,000 out of us.

Well we weren't born yesterday. We replaced everything ourselves, and next is the hose for the power steering, which was only $13 at our local auto parts store. Once that is replaced, I am confident the car will be fine, perhaps even better than it was when I got it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2009