2004 Kia Rio RX V from North America


I love my car!


Replaced the rear bearings.

Clutch is slipping, probably needs to be replaced.

Other than that, only regular maintenance (including replacing the timing belt).

General Comments:

My Kia Rio RX V has been super reliable.

The manual transmission is great for this size of car.

It's very inexpensive to operate, and is very good on gas.

I love the space in the back - big enough for my needs - fits my bike, loads of branches for the dump, small boxes while moving, etc.

The only negative is that the passenger seats do not have a lot of room. The folks in the front seat have to move their seats forward, so the folks in the back seat have enough room for their legs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd March, 2013

2004 Kia Rio from North America


Cheap but reliable, but follow the maintenance schedule or pay big


Engine destroyed itself on the freeway.

General Comments:

My girlfriend bought her Rio brand new, and put on 88,000 miles on it in eight years. She is a very light footed driver and rarely put the car under stress. Unfortunately she never did any maintenance on it. I'm surprised the car made it 88,000 miles on the original timing belt, as the owner's manual recommends replacement at 60,000.

After the car stalled on the freeway and towing it home, I took the head off and the motor, and found that it completely destroyed itself, holes in the top of two pistons, valves rammed into the top of the other pistons; they all look like they were beat to death with a hammer and chisel. The cost to get a used engine and swap it out is more than the car is worth. We dumped the car for steel recycling.

If you own one of these, be sure to get the timing belt replaced probably every 50,000 miles. I see several people on here where it broke in less than the recommended 60,000 replacement interval. I also learned of a coworker whose broke at about 54,000 miles.

If you are considering buying... ask for proof of a new timing belt within the last 50,000 miles. If none, steer clear.

Other than that, the car was very reliable for her. I drove it a lot, but it is so gutless and has no power; you are on the throttle all the time. That doesn't help the timing belt either... so if you drive your Rio hard, maybe it's safe to change the belt every 35,000 to 40,000 miles if you want to keep the engine.

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

Review Date: 23rd November, 2012

2004 Kia Rio from North America


Risky purchase..


Timing belt went off and destroyed the engine.

General Comments:

The timing belt for this car broke and destroyed the engine. I have been talking to a few of the machine shops that fix engines, and they all tell me that it is known issue for Kia Rios, that when the belt fails, the whole engine gets destroyed.

The issue is so common that guys that get used engines to re sell consider the Kia Rio engines a gold mine; they know there will ALWAYS be buyers, because the engines get destroyed quite frequently.

They told me that if I want to make sure my engine for my Kia Rios will be fine, they would change the belt every 40K miles; that is outrageous, and FYI used engines run about 1500 (cheapest I have found) with about 70K miles on them.

My advice is to stay away from this car, or change the belt quite often, to make sure your engine does not blow up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th April, 2010

22nd Apr 2010, 18:28

That's to be expected on a car that listed under 8 grand BRAND NEW, and once you drive that thing off the lot, it's worth probably less than 5k BRAND NEW. You get what you pay for..

In 2002 I drove the brand-new KIA's as a temp job at Port Of Tacoma from one lot several miles to the next. They had just come off the boat from Korea, and I was shocked at the lousy build quality of the KIAs, even with less than 5 miles on the odometer. The interior plastics were flimsy from the get, and one of the brand new RIO's already had a howling transmission. KIA stands for Killed In Action.