2006 Kia Rio CVVT 1.6 litre petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A big improvement on the old model, and a nice little car in its own right


On delivery, the right hand tail light had a defect in the chrome inside the lens. Unfortunately, when the dealer replaced it under warranty, the paint around the tail light was scratched quite badly, as though brute force was used to remove the lamp unit, even though it is designed to be removed completely to allow the bulbs to be replaced. They fixed the paint for me, but the new lamp unit had scratches in the lens, as though it had been wiped with a dry rag when dusty. I was not impressed, but this is not a design fault.

Also, on delivery the car had a scratch on the bonnet, (that's what we call the "hood" in Australia if you are reading this in the U.S.). When the dealer sent it next door to a panel shop to get it buffed out, someone was grinding metal near the car and some red-hot specks of metal damaged the left-hand back window. This did not become apparent for a couple of months after I got the car, but the dealer replaced the window glass under warranty without any quibbling.

The radiator cap was replaced as part of a recall program.

General Comments:

This is my second Kia Rio, my first one being a 2002 model. I liked that car, but the new model is a huge improvement. In Australia, the Rio is sold in one trim level, as either a sedan or hatch. They are well-equipped here, with aircon, a six-speaker CD player, power steering, power windows, remote central locking and power mirrors. However, the price is the same now as I paid for my first Rio in 2002, although the equipment level is higher, and the new model has much more of a quality feel inside.

The 2006 Rio is comfortable and quiet to drive, with a reasonably smooth ride, and a quiet engine and driveline. The performance is good, but not brilliant, and it holds the road well, even at highway speeds. One thing I have noticed is that there is a slight feeling of body roll around town, so I expected this to increase on the highway, but it seems to flatten out as speed increases, so if anything, there is less body roll at cruising speeds than there is when driving around suburban streets. One of the few things I can fault is that the gearshift is a little clunky. The rear body pillars are also a little thick, which affects visibility.

The interior looks nice and modern, but the hard plastic trim does mark easily. There is a reassuring feeling of rigidity in the body. The remote central locking only works from a distance of about 3 to 4 metres away, but it is still a handy little extra. Our other car is a 2004 Ford Falcon, and it's remote central locking works from across the street.

One thing that is not changed from the old model is the fuel economy, even though the engine is sightly larger in the 2006 model. Overall it is a good car for the money, and with it's low fuel consumption, running costs are impressively low.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2006

2006 Kia Rio Convenience from North America


If I had my time back, I would have NEVER bought my Rio.


Seats are wearing.

Looses engine power on the highway.

Stalls while I am driving (not changing gears)

CD player shuts itself off.

Engine light comes on.

General Comments:

This car is not anywhere close to reliable. I never know if I should take it on the highway because I am scared that it will lose engine power again, and I will be stranded with my kids.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th October, 2006

2006 Kia Rio LX 1.6 gasoline from North America


Buy a Honda Fit instead


The transmission is acting very strangely, lurching under acceleration and popping into neutral between gear changes. It's shifted down into the red zone for no reason several times. It's also torque-steering, something a car with this distinct a lack of power shouldn't do.

The gas gauge is a joke. It will move the wrong way randomly-and stay there. You never really know how much fuel you have.

The handbrake keeps knocking itself out of adjustment. It's easy to fix-because Kia haven't been bothered to finish the interior, the adjustment is under the rear seat drink holder.

The front brake balance valve is faulty, which means the car dives left under hard braking.

General Comments:

Any sort of imperfection in the road surface comes through as a sharp, rubbery kick.

The engine sounds like a diesel at low speed and a broken musical instrument at high speed. It lacks severely in power. There are five-year-olds on bicycles that accelerate faster than this car.

The rear seat leaves much to be desired. I am 5 feet 8 inches tall, and I wouldn't be able to sit behind someone my size.

The interior has the same look as a German car, but it isn't nearly as good. All the trim pieces in the interior feel cheap and fragile.

Even with six airbags, it's still a very bad place to be in an accident, especially in a side-impact.

It can be quite frightening to drive. The power steering is easily overwhelmed, as are the tires. It also feels very light and top-heavy, with a lot of rolling about in a corner. There's also no traction control or ABS, which, given the abysmal quality of tire Kia fits, can be very dangerous in emergency maneuvers.

This is a rental car that my insurance has rented me because they didn't mend my car properly, and I've driven it for around a month-enough to know that it's rubbish.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th July, 2006

2nd Sep 2006, 11:01

Good heavens man - you're driving a rental - what do you expect?

28th Jan 2007, 22:32

It doesn't matter if it is a rental or not, same car that is one the lot. Not quite sure why people buy these cars.

4th Apr 2007, 06:37

Rio 2006 is a good car and your problem is, because its rental car.

2006 Kia Rio SX from North America


I love my Rio 5


So far nothing has gone wrong with the car.

General Comments:

For an inexpensive car it has a good stock stereo.

The seats are very comfortable and easy to adjust.

I didn't get the power windows and door locks, but the car is easy enough to reach around so this is not a problem.

It is very spacious inside with plenty of leg room.

I like that the storage area in the back has a rack in the back to cover what is in it, but when I had to help my friends move, we found the rack did not fit on the floor like explained, so we had to try to rest that on top of everything.

When the rear seats are folded down there is a lot of storage room.

Car had no problems driving up a steep mountain loaded with two college students belongings and three passengers.

I am used to fast cars and was worried that the 4 cylinder engine would be to small for the car, but the car reaches 90 and I can't feel it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2006

15th Aug 2006, 23:16

I have the same car - Kia Rio 5 - no power windows, doors - stick shift - I love the size of it, styling and the fact I get 34/35 mpg on a regular basis. the car is suprising quiet and you're right - the stereo is surprisingly good!

2nd Sep 2006, 10:57

Bought a new Rio in June 2006, and so far have no problems - it rides and handles well, is quiet, and surprisingly refined for a cheap car. Don't like the position of the ashtray, though. A carefully thought out and engineered automobile.