2003 Kia Rio 1.6 lt from North America


Cute little car within my budget


Nothing yet, but its not the time to have problems, I guess :) Let's hope for the best.

General Comments:

Being a college student, I was looking for an used Toyota Corolla or Honda Accord. But when I first saw my friend's 2003 Kia Rio; I really loved it at first sight. It exactly fits into my budget and with that price I am getting a NEW car with better warranty! Definitely I can't expect the performance of a BMW for that price! But I am just concerned about the fuel efficiency, with a full tank of gas, it goes around 240 miles : (I will give it a serious thought once the car runs over its break-in period (~600 miles)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2002

4th Mar 2004, 00:31

I purchased my 2003 KIA RIO LS in Oct 03.now has 24,600 km. it came surprisingly loaded with options, sporty and fun to drive. it seems the gas mileage is a little less than rated. this may be due to how you drive and weather conditions. like yourself, it was within my limited budget. it seems a good investment, but needs more time to be proven.

5th Jun 2004, 16:24

Just wait and see how you go bankrupt under heavy cost of fixing your KIA RIO while under warranty. I have first hand experience since I made the biggest mistake of my life and believed in 5-5-5 so claimed "best warranty" in the world. It wouldn't surprise me if they promised "1000" years of warranty, so far they have no intention to honor it, since they know the cost of time and money for any legal action against them isn't worth it.

2003 Kia Rio Base 1.6 from North America


Very Impressive for bargain vehicle, love it so far


Running light burned out (or was bad when delivered?) Fixed by myself for $1.49 plus tax.

General Comments:

Positive Points:

Feels like a sports car. Slight engine roar, FUN driving this thing.

Good on corners, have read the anti-sway bars are stiffer than on the older models.

Bigger engine for 2003 is very peppy, especially matched to the 5-speed tranny.

Fit and finish is as good or better than any car I have ever purchased.

Purchased absolute base model, but am happy with all the little extras.

-8 way adjustable drivers seat

-manual remote mirrors

-speakers and stereo wiring

-auto-off headlights

-trunk light

-rear windows that roll down

-rear window defroster

-shaded mask for sun above rear view mirror

-adjustable back support

-14 inch tires (13 used to be standard)

-color coordinated bumpers/spoiler

-dual trip meter.

All for $7990! with an unbelievable 5/50,000 bumper to bumper, 10/100,000 power train, and 3-year roadside emergency.

Gas mileage as advertised, that is, good.


Ride is good for a small car which is to say choppy compared to my larger vehicles.

No fold down or split rear seat.

Could use a 6th gear or slightly taller 4th and 5th gears.

Back seat knee room tight for tall folks.

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

Review Date: 17th November, 2002

22nd Jun 2005, 12:31

I absolutely agree with everything said in this review. It's actually like I was reading a review I would have posted myself. I purchased my 2003 Kia RIo in February 2004. It is an absolute base model as well (no power steering, no A/C, no radio (had to add the radio) ). I'm not complaining though. I purchased mine for $6550 (before all of the extra charges they like to tac on). I especially agree with the RPM's running way too high at highway speeds in 5th gear and that a different gear ratio should have been chosen... in fact, this would have probably resulted in even better gas mileage. My next car is going to be a Kia (not sure if it will be a Rio again or not.. will have to check out the new design for 2006). I have been very pleased with mine so far.

4th Feb 2007, 13:51

I bought the 2006 version last month. Yes, the engine revs excessively at highway speeds and the transmission needs a 6th gear... I wonder if this could be done inexpensively? I've certainly saved enough at my initial purchase to try this out. The car is really an excellent deal for the money.

2003 Kia Rio 1.6L DOHC I-4 from North America


Minute Maid has a new competitor!


-In a span of two months, the following things have gone wrong:

-There were scratches on the rear bumper upon purchase.

-The CD player jammed.

-The paint was chipped and scratched upon purchase.

-The car began smelling of rotten eggs (this seems to be a common problem)

-The AC failed and wasn't fixed by the dealer.

General Comments:

This has got to be the worst car I have owned by far. Never before has owning a car been such a hassle.

I guess it's not a complete loss, it'll supply me with enough lemonade to last a couple of years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th November, 2002

8th Oct 2004, 09:15

Why would you accept a new car that had scratches and chips. Always pick up a new car in the day so you can inspect it for defects.

25th Mar 2008, 17:26

Rotten eggs smell. I have not come across that yet. Anything 'upon purchase' is your own fault and the dealer should fix the A/C under warranty.

2003 Kia Rio sedan 1.6 Liter from North America


Within only two weeks, a sweetheart


Nothing yet. I have read the poor reviews and I am crossing my fingers that the new 2003 Rios are an improvement over the past performances.

I am concerned about the hot CD player.

General Comments:

I love the car. It fits my short chubby body with the tilt wheel and the adjustable driver's seat, the gas mileage is excellent, and it takes California mountains just fine, even with the air conditioner on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2002