2003 Kia Rio LS 1.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A good small car for general transportation


The car has been excellent, since new I have encountered no mechanical problems, however about 10,000 kms after purchase the factory cd player died and was replaced under warranty. The interior seems to be wearing a little quicker then I would like, but that's about it really.

General Comments:

I bought this car to replace my ageing and very thirsty commodore, to be used as a daily commuter, and it has fulfilled my wishes and done so much more. Buying from a relatively new car manufacturer in Australia I was a little weary at first however the rio has proved to be great around town, has yet to skip a beat and will happily lug myself and three other passengers across the northern territory. The car also performs well on the freeway for one of modest capacity although I do find that road noise can be intrusive and at speed the car crashes over potholes. The air-con works well and the car is generally comfortable however the rather firm seats can become uncomfortable after an hour or two of driving. Overall a pretty good job from Kia and if the car reliably carries me to 100,000 kms I will be happy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th May, 2006

2003 Kia Rio Base from North America


The car is defiantly not a good buy.


Check engine light came on one week after owning car.

Clutch went out after persistent problems at 20,000 miles (manufacturer would not fix the clutch).

Now the brake light stays on when it is cold outside.

The interior of the car has worn badly. The side of the seat has formed a hole that appears as though it has been ripped.

General Comments:

Overall the car is a good little car. The little problems are what have made me mad.

I was not happy when I had to take my car to get the clutch adjusted at 8,000 miles and then again at 14,000 miles. It made me mad when I took it in again at 20,000 miles and they said the clutch was burned out. I thought because it was a persistent problem they would fix the clutch at no cost to me, but it is considered a ware item and it was only covered for one year and 12,000 miles. So I had to pay to get the clutch fixed which cost me over $800.

The seats of the car are very uncomfortable and it makes me mad that the interior appears to be wearing faster than I would like. I take pride in my car and I wanted it to stay nice for a long time, now it looks nice on the outside, but like trash on the inside.

I have decided to sell the car and upgrade to a Jetta I hope my new car will last longer, the resale value of the Rio also sucks, and my car is worth only $4,500. I would recommend paying a few more dollars for a car that works and has a higher resale value.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd March, 2006

23rd Mar 2006, 16:27

I had almost the same issues with a Daewoo Lanos that I bought... what a horrid mistake, I'm sure its in car hell somewhere.

24th Mar 2006, 09:32

Read the Jetta reviews - they're mostly crap (the cars, I mean, not the reviews).

Instead, just buy a nice 10-year-old Ford Crown Victoria or Mercury Grand Marquis.

You'll use a little more gas, but your overall running costs will be lower as you'll have near-zero depreciation and the cars are generally sturdy, reliable and low-maintenance, as well as much more comfortable than the dopey-little "economy" cars.

And, unless you're a midget, you'll also appreciate the extra interior space.

2003 Kia Rio sedan from North America


I plan on keeping it until it goes to the junkyard and I will buy another one


The check engine light came on at about 2000 miles. It was a faulty spark plug wire.

You can tell someone uses the drivers seat as the fabric is wrinkled and not tight.

General Comments:

I am 6 foot 4 and have plenty of room.

Seats are very comfortable.

Hard to get a smooth shift between 1st and 2nd gear. Other gears shift smooth.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2006