2003 Kia Rio RX-V 1.6 from North America


Low end junk


The master power window lock does not work as promised and as listed in the manual. When the driver presses the power window lock, only the driver is supposed to be able to control all 4 power windows. Instead, nobody can control the power windows, not even the driver. The dealer I leased the car from simply said sorry, they are all like that and refused to do anything for me.

Noticed very early on that the fuel economy was below where it was supposed to be. Was only getting between 400 and KM on a full 45 liter tank of gas, and this was a mixture of city and highway. I only reached close to 500KM on a tank of gas if I did 100% highway driving. I complained to the dealer constantly after 1 1/2 months and having over 3500KM already on the vehicle. I was told that it was normal until the engine was partially broken in, which should be around 3000KM. I already had over 3000 so they backtracked and said wait till 5000 km.

When I complained after 5000KM, they said wait till 6000Km when I did my first oil change. This of course was in the late summer and the weather was beautiful so I wasn't overheating or freezing the engine. I now have almost 12,000KM on this car, it is winter and I am getting between 200 and 275KM on a full tank of gas. This works out to approx 17 miles / imperial gallon at best.

My Rio wagon has been in numerous times to the dealer I purchased it at and they cannot seem to find a problem. They simply keep telling me to wait till I have more KM on the vehicle so that it is broken in. I have now taken it to the only other KIA dealership in the city, who found numerous problems with the electronics and sensors, but have now waited over 2 weeks for KIA Canada to send them the parts.

General Comments:

The car is comfortable, looks nice and for the most part drives well. Unfortunately I received a lemon and even though it has a 5 year warranty, it doesn't seem to do any good since the service I have received is sub-par.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th March, 2004

10th Mar 2004, 14:42

Man, that gas mileage is worse than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. I have 2 Toyota 4Runners, one V6 the other a 4 banger and both are much easier on gas (even in the winter using 4wheel drive). I would have a complete meltdown if I owned that vehicle!!

2003 Kia Rio Cinco 1.6 from North America


A lot for the money


No problems yet.

General Comments:

With only 600 miles on the car, I realize that I cannot evaluate it's reliability, but would like to make some comments.

I purchased the car to get better gas mileage and carry more passengers than my truck. To that degree I have succeeded (2nd tank was 31 mpg, Truck gets 20).

I test drove the Ford Focus (nice, but I really don't care for the style - inside or out).

Also drove Mazda 3 and Protege (to stiff riding and the 3's instruments color was hard for me to see, getting old I guess).

The Toyota Echo is ugly. The Prius was to expensive ($1500 premium on top of list price) and would have taken many years to make-up the difference in gas mileage.

Anyway, I just happened to stop by a Kia dealer to see what they had. Did not expect to be so impressed with the Rio Cinco. Good looking body and interior. Nice dash layout. On the test dive I liked the suspension, not to stiff and not to soft. it handled very well. Took it on the freeway and it got up to speed with no problem (80 mph), felt stable and very ecceptable noise level. The stereo is quite good for stock equipment, though the thin door panels will vibrate with the bass at higher volumes.

For $10680 with automatic trans, power windows and door locks, CD radio, tinted windows, alloy wheels, tachometer, air conditioner and the warranty, I bought it.

Now we'll see if it's reliable. I will try to give up-dates as I put on more miles, but so far I am very pleased.

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

Review Date: 7th February, 2004

8th Mar 2004, 21:14

Please tell us just what dealership you got this car from. i'll head there tomorrow, seriously. nice price for the options.

12th Apr 2004, 19:27

I just bought a '04 Rio Cinco and I think I love it! Recently, I happened to stop by a Kia dealer and kind of stumbled across a Silver Cinco. Well, I hate to say it, but it was love at first sight. Practical that I am, I spent the next few days doing research on the web.

Well, long story short, I couldn't find a better new car value, so I decided to investigate further; you know, check out the dealer.

I went to the lot on a Saturday at about Five o'clock in the afternoon. The Silver Cinco they had in stock didn't have the "Power Package" (essentially, power windows and central door locking system) that I wanted, but they had a couple in the back that did. The salesman said he'd "drive one up".

I would have to say that fate chose the car I finally bought.

What he drove up to the front of the lot was the Pewter Grey Cinco that sits in my driveway, and, without sounding too redundant, I think I love it. The people at dealership were friendly and efficient. They went above and beyond the call of duty by staying well after closing time to see that I was completely satisfied.

As for the car; I like the body styling, I like the instrument panel, I like the way it handles. It's comfortable, solid and stylish. Also, because it was so afordably priced, I managed to shave a couple bucks off my monthly car payment in the deal.

As to the reliability question; I was satisfied to learn that one popular car I am aware of was built by Kia and marketed in the USA as the Ford Festiva. I'm not sure why, but to me, that seems reassuring.

If you'd like more info, contact me at paul@popes.net.

Thanks for reading my post,