13th Nov 2003, 16:54

After only having 61,000 miles on my 2001 KIA Rio, still under warranty for the engine, KIA will only pay 2/3rds the cost for replacing the engine that froze up. After proof of all regular oil changes, with original receipts, they say I still have to pay 1/3 of the cost to replace the engine.

I will never buy this car again nor recommend this car to anyone.

3rd Oct 2004, 16:19

Kia's warranty is only a power train limited warranty. That explains why it doesn't cover some of these other poor-quality parts and only 2/3 the cost of a new motor.

3rd Dec 2005, 10:10

I bought a used 2001 5/speed manual hatchback KIA Rio a year ago. It had 65,000 km then, and is now 80,000km. I have been very favourably impressed with my car - with 550km to the tank, reliable starts, excellent roominess and affordability to buy and to maintain.

My firm decision to buy a Rio was made because I knew that the Ford Festiva had been designed by KIA, and that KIA had decided to conclude it's contract with Ford, and to manufacture it's own car, the KIA Rio, based on an improved model of the Festiva. So I knew I would be buying a tested 'Ford' car which was being, I presumed, improved by KIA.

The reason I did a web-search and found this site is that for the first time this week, I have had a scary mechanical situation in my car. It stalled at a busy city intersection, ran very rough on restarting, and had no power to accelerate. My first breakdown! And the breakdown happened (and resolved itself) so mysteriously...

I'd love to give a glowing report of the KIA Rio, and until this week I would have done just that. Now I feel nervous. The Australian road rescue service, the RACV, charged me heaps to join on the spot. And when they arrived to get my car going again, it started beautifully without any assistance from them and hasn't had a hiccup since.

So now I wonder if it was the very rainy day and water under the bonnet that caused the problem. Or was it the mysterious oil leak that caused the out of character breakdown, or is it something else which may randomly occur at some other very inconvenient time?

Having read all the comments on KIA Rio 2001 models listed on this website from 2000-2005, I make the following observations:

1. One or two people from North America seem to be making repeat entries about their frustrations with KIA's, making it hard for people like me to get a balanced view about problems with Rio's.

2. There seem to be more problems with automatic Rio's than with 5/sp manuals like mine.

3. If KIA don't know about their door and window seal problems by now, they never will.

4. If KIA don't know by now about their cheap and unsatisfactory paintwork, especially on their plastic car parts, they never will.

5. If KIA don't know that their selling and service agents in other countries are letting them down, then they ought to know by now. (Koreans take pride in their work - they would be shocked if they thought agents in other countries were ruining their reputation.)

6. If the problems with catalytic converters which cause 'rotten egg gas' smells have not been picked up by KIA, then they should pay a more attention to it. (I smelt this for the first time when my car broke down this week)

Still, I love my KIA Rio hatchback! It is the only small car I have ever been able to fit a full-size single bed foam mattress in the back to sleep in when camping. And reliable!...well, except for once.

I'm nervous about my KIA Rio, but still optimistic. I'll Give an update here in a year or so.

Debbie S. Victoria, Australia.

11th Dec 2005, 00:23

From day one it wouldn't start. We drove it home OK from the dealer. The next morning was on my to work and the car just wouldn't start. Kia had to come and tow it back. Got it back the same day, but have always had problems with it just cutting out for what seems no reason and no-one can find any problem. I HATE Kia. Also, at MtGravatt (where I bought it from) the car salesman said to me at my 6 month service he was glad I didn't have any major problems, he had been worried because they'd had nothing, but problems with the Carnival. On the day that I purchased it, FROM THIS GUY, he didn't say anything at all about his concerns. And why would he. I HATE KIA.

25th Jul 2008, 20:46

I purchased 2001 Kia Rio and thought it would be the last car I would ever purchase. It has been in the shop at least 30 times with various problems. The worst being the clutch. I have always driven a stick.. It is waiting for a fourth clutch. Each one lasts less time than the last. This time it went out in 13 months. My last car was a 90 Nissan Sentra it still has the original clutch. The Rio has less than 40,000 miles and the Nissan has 80,000. I will never buy another Kia. I am 72 years old and thought this car would last as long as I wanted or could drive.

M A Visalia, California

25th Apr 2009, 00:24

I bought a KIA Rio for my wife in 2004. It was our first new car.

It had problems from the start, but all were fixed under warranty. This included; clutch cable and bearings, a stereo that was always dying for no apparent reason, and back seat backing.

Overall nothing too bad for what we knew was a cheap car when we purchased it.

However, at 59,000 kilometres the engine just stopped at the lights. When the car club guy showed up, he informed us that the motor had seized! We were unable to even buy a reconditioned motor as they are not available in Australia, but were looking at paying over $3,000 to have a second hand motor installed with 100,000 km on the clock! Not very appealing, and we ended up trading the car back to the dealer for $3,000 on proviso that we purchased another new car. (This time a real car Toyota). The dealer actually had the hide to tempt us with a new Rio! I will never buy another KIA of any description!

26th Jul 2009, 16:50

I will NEVER buy another Kia!! The can sell them so cheap for a reason.

The interior is such poor quality that I put my fingers through the plastic when I went to turn up the air. We have had nothing but problems with the clutch. The clutch mount cost us $600.00 to replace when it shouldn't ever have come off in the first place (it is supposed to be welded on, it doesn't make me feel very confident in the quality of the welds on the vehicle). The clutch cable constantly needed adjusting by my husband and now the clutch cable has snapped.

To replace the clutch is $3000.00 on a car that at best is worth $1200.00. And we cannot find anybody that will work on it, except Kia.

Nothing but problems with it.