2003 Kia Rio Sedan from North America


Poor, very poor


Started shaking was told it was the tires by the dealership. The tires were and are fine.

Check engine light came on at 17,000 miles. Was told the gas cap was loose so I did what he said and it didn't fix the check engine light. Took it to the shop, error code that they had never seen. Some wire in the transmission melted. I was told we would have to replace the transmission the next time that it happened. *?*

The check engine light came on again at 25,000 miles. Took it to the shop immediately. The on-board chip lost its programming.

The check engine light has come on again just weeks after the programming was lost. We are going to drop it off this week.

A horrible rattling noise has started in the car. I brought this up during the "reprogramming" session, but the issue was not addressed.

Not near as bad as the other KIA we own.

General Comments:

I believe KIA is going to have to own up to it's problems with these cars. They are poor quality and poorly serviced. They quickly fall apart and the longevity of the mechanics is just not there.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th December, 2005

2003 Kia Rio RS 1.5 from Venezuela


The KIA Rio is good, basic transportation that gets you from point A to point B without a fuss


The battery was dead the day after delivery, and would not hold a charge. Had to really pester the dealer to give us a new battery.

After getting a flat tire, I discovered the dealer failed to supply a lug wrench. The Rio's lug nuts are a non-standard size.

Overall, I have been unsatisfied with the local KIA dealer here in Venezuela.

General Comments:

My wife loves "her" KIA. I like it too. It is a good car for the money.

We have taken several cross-country trips across Venezuela in this car. It has proven to be comfortable, reliable and economical (11 km/liter in the city).

The Latin American model is definitely different from the North American model. Style-wise and engine-wise, it would be a 2002 model in North America, but here was marketed and sold as a 2003. Also, the Latin American RS model is very basic with only a radio and air conditioning. There are no air bags. We did have the dealer install a stereo/CD player and after-market aluminum wheels.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st September, 2005

2003 Kia Rio from North America


It's my little race car, and I love it, and love to drive it!!


Nothing - I love my KIA!

General Comments:

I have owned my KIA for 2 years now, and have not had any problems with it. I received a recall about my fuel tube and even though mine was fine at the time, I still took it in (it was free!)

To everyone who reads all the negative comments - don't believe what you hear. I run my car to the limit, and 2 years and 33,000 miles later, it is still in mint condition. It even looks good with 10 spoke 17 inch rims!! All I can say is that I love my Kia, and I will definatly buy another.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2005

6th Jun 2012, 13:09

A 2003 Kia Rio that works... you must be one of the lucky ones. Because over and over again, this car is rated a piece of junk... Wait til you get to 40,000 to 50,000km or more, and then you will see it is a piece of junk. I hope you have lots of money to fix it. Good luck, you will need it...

2003 Kia Rio from North America


A bad investment. It was my 1st new car and I'm a very sad ownner


Windows leaked air since day 1.

Hard start because of reformulated gasoline. Problem fixed.

Oil shooting out of plugs. Replaced head gasket.

Oil shooting out of plugs. Replaced head.

Day after replacing head. Check engine light came on. Temp went to hot and car smoked.

This car is a 2003 and been the worst investment I made.

Car has been in service often.

General Comments:

Car is unreliable.

Looks are great.

Mileage great.

Engine. Atleast in this one was bad.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th June, 2005

17th Jul 2005, 11:34

Have KIA help you out of the car. I have a Spectra bought USED and they are giving me $$$$ to trade it off. Sounds like you got a lemon. Just like I did. This CAN BE DONE!!!

22nd Feb 2007, 23:16

Why do people think cars are investments? Every car depreciates in value, they are not investments! (With the exception of very rare cars and classics)

25th Mar 2008, 17:29

If your temp goes to hot you should turn off the engine so it does not smoke. I mean really. And oil shooting out of the plugs? That has nothing to do with the head gasket or the head. If the oil was leaking out between the head and the engine block that's on thing, or the head and the intake manifold. Unfortunately you make no sense.

27th Apr 2008, 04:59

I agree with the above post - this person is not telling the story as it is, these things do not happen on cars. When was the last time anyone left the car running, opened the bonnet just to see oil spurting out of the plugs. I suspect the engine would not have been working if that was the case. How could combustion be taking place in a pool of oil and no pressure. I know it's not nice to have faults on new things, but it happens and that's why there are warranties. Get the car fixed to your liking for free. Here in the UK KIA have a fabulous reputation for reliability and service.

19th Sep 2008, 02:59

Oil shooting out like that means you intake manifold is cracked. Likely a result of your engine over heating so badly.