2003 Kia Rio from North America


2003 KIA Rio, a great car for a great price!


Nothing what so ever.

General Comments:

This car takes off. It's super reliable and definitely a great car for a young adult like myself. The price is great and the warranty amazing. This car handles and rides like a higher end vehicle. The gas mileage is great and the trunk is huge. I would definitely recommend this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd December, 2004

2003 Kia Rio RX-V from North America


Affordable, but you get what you paid for


A few months after purchasing it, the check engine light has been going on constantly. Supposedly, it was because the car is sensitive (ie. gas cap has to be tightened correctly). I've been going back and forth to get the check engine light checked. I've been getting readings like problems with my air intake, but it wasn't the problem. I just kept getting the check engine light coming off and on. The mechanics said that it wasn't a major problem to worry about, however, I did worry a little because what if something had gone wrong? Then what?

Well, just recently, after almost a year of check engine lights flashing before me, I got my spark plugs changed because they were cracked, and I haven't had the light on (knock on wood!).

Pieces have been falling off - ie. covers for screws, a piece to hold the back cover for my trunk/back..

General Comments:

I find that this car is good for the city.

Long drives aren't so bad with this car.

It's OK on gas.

I find the seats uncomfortable after a while of driving.

If you're a long-legged driver and have to push your seat further back, I don't think your backseat passengers would have enough leg space.

The car is a bit unstable driving on the highway.

The car is affordable, but some of its features are of cheap quality.

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

Review Date: 9th August, 2004

1st Oct 2004, 17:01

I am having the same problem with the "check engine" light. Still don't know why. I have also had to have the transmission (manual 5-speed) serviced several times. I have had this vehicle for seven months and have had to have it serviced 7 times. The transmission still isn't what you would expect from a new car. Fuel economy is nothing to rave about. It's OK. I thank god for the warranty because I have a feeling I'm going to need to call on it a lot!!!

15th Dec 2012, 22:13

If you get a proper diagnosis of the problem, which is something very easy to get with a good mechanic and a scanner, you will find the solution once and for all.

I used to have a Rio RXV, bought it when it had 65 000km, and made 30 000 a year, sometimes 1000km in one day non stop. Never had a single problem.

The only time when the check engine came on, was because the seal of the fuel cap was a little damaged due to improper manipulation by a guy in a gas station.

It had a remote starter, and I used it daily to heat the car when it was -35 Celsius.

Anyway, good luck, even if it may be late.

2003 Kia Rio RX-V from North America


I will never buy a KIA anything as long as I live and I will warn others away from them too


Within 2 months of buying this car the check engine light came on. Was found to be faulty and was replaced. Leaving the dealership it came on yet again. Was told they needed to order the part and I never heard from them again. Light went out on its own eventually.

At 1 year the clutch pedal squeaked and taking it to a different KIA dealership, they replaced the clutch cable. Driving home from that it thunk-ed and the next day I spent another 9 hours at the dealership again while they replacde the faulty clutch.

At 16 months, another thunk started when going over speed bumps and or releasing the clutch got me a trip to my original dealership, who told me a motor mount was loose from the clutch job and I had to return to the other KIA dealership that did the clutch work to have it fixed. The second dealership told me the first was on drugs and that the motor mounts were fine, however my suspension links needed replacing. At this point I gave them a list and told them to fix it all.

Stereo speakers cut in and out.

Rear windshield wiper button turns on front windshied wipers.

The car chugs while I am in any gear and even when I am flat out at 100kms/hr on the freeway. This results in mild whiplash.

6 hours at the dealership last week got me nothing on the stereo, a temporary used replacement part for the windshield wiper button and a promise of a new one "soon" and an updated computer in it. The car still chugged going home and now I have an transmission leak too!

I returned yesterday for 6 more hours to be told a faulty spark plug was the problem with the chugging and Yes! I did have a transmission leak and they needed to confer with KIA techs before they could do any work on it. They'll call me. I am assuming they replaced the replacement part for the windshield wipers.

I have problems getting it into reverse. Not something I have mentioned to the dealership yet.

I don't even want to talk about the lousy paint job that flecks off, the undercarriage rust or the fuel consumption with the A/C running or the fact that I can barely drive up my hill in 1st gear from a stand still start. I can never get up the hill with the A/C on. It's not that steep a hill either.

General Comments:

The service is terrible. So are their service people whom I think are at as much loss as I am on what to do with this car. The car is terrible. The warranty is holding up and I imagine it is the only way they could sell such an unreliable vehicle.

The mechanics say KIA uses bad lube for parts and uses cheap rubber that hardens, and this is the cause of most of their problems.

I am leasing this car and cannot wait for the day I can trade it or send it back to them. I have never heard of another make of car with this many ongoing problems. I think I will go to a Ford dealership soon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th July, 2004

4th Sep 2004, 18:40

Are you sure the Ford will be any better, try the Japanese or GM brands where you live. Even if they cost more up front, you would be better off in the long run. The new small Gm's from GM-Daewoo have supposedlly gone through a remarkable increase in quality since GM took over the automotive wing of Daewoo.