2004 Kia Rio RX-V 1.8L gasoline from North America


Tight ride, but will not purchase again


Clutch plate replaced 40K Km

Timing belt broke at 60K Km

Handle on hatch replaced at 70K Km

Repeated leaks in rear-window washer hose

Interior light erratic

Three Kumho tires popped very early

General Comments:

- I have seen Rios dead because of timing belt

- Manual trans is a saving grace for low-power engine

- Corolla has smaller engine but puts out more horse-power and gets better consumption -- fuel efficiency is a disappointment in this vehicle

- Scheduled maintenance remarkably inexpensive

- Body work remarkably expensive

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th May, 2008

2004 Kia Rio 1.6L DOHC from North America


Car will self-destruct, make sure you are up to date on your maintenance!


Transmission Replaced (Under Warranty) at 57,000 miles, Timing belt broke at 66,000 miles and destroyed engine. (Not covered by 100,000 mile warranty because apparently it is supposed to be replaced at 60,000 miles)

General Comments:

Cheap piece of junk, gets you from A-B until it self destructs. Make sure you do all your scheduled maintenance. or warranty won't cover you at all. My uncle bought a Kia Rio the day after me and his timing belt went out and destroyed his engine at 55,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th April, 2008

2004 Kia Rio RS 1.6 DOHC from North America


Perfect for daily commuting at cheap cost


I have had to have one wheel bearing replaced.

I had the car into the dealer for a check engine light once; turned out to be nothing.

General Comments:

I was so pleased to buy a car in perfect condition for only $7500.00.

I drive it in Northern Ontario, Canada where the temperatures reach -30 Celsius, pot-holes etc.

The car is flawless. Good gas mileage.

Can't push it too hard up hills. If you drop it into 3rd gear it actually performs rather nicely.

I barely touch the gas to cruise at 120k/p/h. Summer I get 45m/p/g (Canadian gallon) and in the winter average 33. I can't complain.

The bumper to bumper warranty up to 100,000km or 5 years is terrific.

The dealership has been excellent.

Of course the paint doesn't stand up well, but this is a cheap car. I think for such a cheap car it is pretty amazing to have a DOHC motor, A/C, CD player, dual airbags etc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2008

2004 Kia Rio from North America


I think I got the lemon of the bunch


The timing belt broke at 90,400 ks, which seized my engine making the car useless to me.

The clutch started squeaking about 3 years into to owning the car.

Has no real horse power at all.

General Comments:

I bought a KIA because of it's great warranty, only to find out that you must follow their overpriced scheduled maintenance program. It was my 1st car and I was not willing to pay $125 for the minimal service #1, or the $250 Service #2, let alone the $750 for the major one every year. Since I purchased my car in 2004, KIA has lowered their rates, they have also improved on the poor craftsmanship of the parts used, but I still have a totally useless 2004 vehicle that I'm still paying for and that KIA's "great" warranty won't do anything for. I will not purchase a KIA again, and I warn others to be sure that the previous owner has records of service done at a KIA dealership, otherwise the warranty is null and void.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th January, 2008

2004 Kia Rio LS 1.5 from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap and reliable.. Shame about the poor after sales service


* Within 2 weeks of owning the car, KIA was recalling them to have the fuel filter or pump (or something like that) replaced as faulty.

I got this replaced at the 1st scheduled service (I think 15,000k).

Prior to this I had a couple of problems starting the car when facing up a hill & running low on fuel. This ceased once the above mentioned part was replaced.

* At 35,000k's the car would make a thump noise from near the front L.H.S wheel. Something was tightened on the next scheduled service. Problem fixed with no dramas.

* At approximately 65,000k's, the car would pop out of reverse. This was looked at at the next scheduled service. This was the last scheduled service within warranty, & we were assured the problem would be covered by the warranty. By this time Subaru had taken over the KIA dealers servicing for some reason. After being assured the problem was fixed, the car successfully reversing out of the service yard. The reverse continued to pop out. One staff member mentioned it was a known problem with the Rio's gearbox (the bush nut's were wearing away prematurely & not keeping the gear in reverse). Was told the part would be available within days & they'd call. No calls whatsoever though. After calling them every couple of days & being told a different story each time. Then had to speak to the arrogant manager of Subaru (KIA) servicing. Rude as hell & completely unhelpful. He implied it wouldn't be covered by the warranty, but soon backed down once set straight there.

After 1.5 weeks of them having the car (initially quoted 2 days), we finally got it back today. So far the reverse is behaving.

So aside from having the cost of a rental car for 1.5 weeks (at $75 per day). We've not had to pay money for these problems to be fixed. With the exception of the latest problem (which had Subaru servicing correctly fixed the 1st time), all were fixed efficiently by the KIA servicing department.

# The warranty had just run out on the Rio. My partner then bought it from me. I was planning on potentially buying a KIA Cerato Hatch. This latest drama put me off buying a new KIA for now though. I settled on a nice 2nd hand car instead.

My advice to any prospective KIA owner would be to buy the car from a dealer that doesn't sell too many other brands. The dealer I bought the Rio from, also sold Subaru, Holden, Mitsubishi, Saab & probably more.

Buy from a KIA dealer that sells no more than 1 other brand to avoid being treated like a 2nd class citizen from the after sales service department. We ended up copping attitude because it was the Subaru department that took over the servicing.

I'd never touch a Subaru out of principle after all this too.

General Comments:

The car has generally been reliable. It's started 1st go every go & has never broken down.

It's extremely fuel efficient & cheap to service.

The car has a nice engine, accelerates well. Has plenty of power for the car's size.

The cars handling is below par though. Not a good car for accelerating through corners.

The worst thing about driving the Rio is the awful gearbox. Quite jumpy when changing gears. I can still get into almost any other car & change the gears smoother than the Rio. You do get used to it, it's only once driving another car that you realise how poor the gear-change in the Rio is.

Otherwise it's a nice, light, generally reliable zippy car that accelerates well through all gears.

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

Review Date: 28th August, 2007