15th Jun 2008, 17:31

Wow, I am not he only one.

I had a 2002 Kia Rio that worked until I was driving on the expressway. The engine blew at 81,000 miles on my car.

I do not recommend anyone to buy another Kia. It's sitting in front of my house looking pretty. It will cost more than the car.

I really love my red car and did my best to keep it up. My husband has a Chevy and his miles are 133,000 on his car and still going. Why me!!!

13th Jul 2008, 21:04

I have a 2005 Kia Rio, still under warranty. My problem is the window fuse blows out like every week or every other week. I took it to Kia several times and they say "there's nothing wrong with it". What the heck people. Obviously theres something wrong with it or it wouldn't keep blowing out. Let me guess they are going to keep telling me theres nothing wrong with it until something major happens that the warranty DOESN'T cover, and I have to pay for it. DARN STR8, KIA SUCKS.

20th Sep 2008, 18:50

I bought a used KIA Rio 2002 last month. Maintenance had been great, 53,500 miles. Took it to a mechanic and had it checked out. Only needed basics, spark-plugs etc. The engine seized up. No apparent reason. I am out the money. Can anyone tell me if this car is worth fixing?? Am I throwing good money after bad? Help! Do you know how they work after new engine is put in? Will it be worth it? Is there any way to get help?

Frustrated and broke!!!


2nd Oct 2008, 00:11

I bought a 2003 Kia Rio 2 months ago and I made the mistake of driving it on vacation, and the engine "seized" and it only had about 67,000 miles on it. It got a new head gasket, and all that junk... I actually had to leave it in the town because apparently Kia parts are hard to come by, so now I have to deal with getting it back home, and I'm selling it cause it apparently seized before I bought it.

What a pile of rubbish Kia is. I wish I knew this sooner =(

3rd Sep 2009, 11:56

Well I purchased a 2002 Kia Rio about 2 months ago... It runs perfectly fine and I just broke 100,000 miles... The timing belt went out and screwed the whole engine, but the dealer I purchased it from replaced the whole engine for FREE!!! But other than that it runs like a champ; nothing like an American, car but I commute 6 days a week, but parts are impossible to find so I rate my KIA as a 7 out of 10...

22nd Mar 2010, 18:04

I bought my 2002 Rio brand new. It was fine and like a lot of people say, you get what you paid for. It isn't as fuel wise as I thought, Then there is that wind noise I get when I go at high speeds on highways, and yes even the check engine light comes on and can't be fixed. I went to the dealer and they said the estimate is around $800.00 or so. So I just left it like that. The timing belt broke at just over 170,000 klicks.

And yes, I must agree with one person writing that the parts were hard to come by. It took almost two weeks just to find the head gasket. Since my mechanic couldn't find it, they had to rebuild the original one. I am just wondering if there was a recall for the engine light?

9th Oct 2010, 15:40

I sure wish I had found this forum before yesterday. I probably won't sleep for a couple nights. The reason being, we just bought a 2002 Rio Cinco yesterday. It has 57000+ miles on it. My wife wanted a small car for herself and it was "so cute". It is a great looking car, but after reading all the timing belt comments, I'm a little apprehensive about the purchase. Hopefully, there are some "happy" owners out there, and the only folks who write reviews are just the unhappy ones.

We had a 2005 Sportage (leased), and it was a super auto in every respect. The only trouble we had was with the rear windshield wiper. The carwash broke it off twice, but the car wash paid for both replacements.

19th Dec 2010, 02:30

We have a 2002 Rio, and have had it since 2005. It has over 200,000 miles on it now, but still runs and drives great. My wife's sister bought it brand new, and since then, the only major problem either of us have had out of it is the timing belt broke on us around 190,000 miles. Only cost us around $500 dollars to fix, in taking the head off and had it completely rebuilt.

Overall, this has been a great car for our family. Cars in general are gonna have their problems, you can look and any other forums for Chevy, Ford, etc and see the same thing. Sometimes you get some faulty parts on one and don't on another.

Warranty need be strictly looked at when you buy something though. Everyone doesn't intend on using it when you first make a purchase and forgets to obey the guidelines. I know, because I have done it myself. But when that time comes when you need it, then well...

15th Jan 2011, 10:27

I just recently purchased a 2002 Kia Rio. My car has only had simple fix issues, and it was all due to the previous owners neglect.

I replaced the radiator, coolant temperature sensor, thermostat, and I've cleaned most of the other parts on the car.

Maintenance in the manual is not really optional, it's like preventive maintenance. I would say if you DON'T want to lose your car, do what the manual says when it says it.

After I added the cost of repairs to what I paid for the car, I basically had it up to the KBB in Fair condition, which is right about where the car is.

I've got the fuel pump and filter to replace next (my fault, ran the car dry), and the car should be golden.

These cars are actually built well as far as drivetrain, my car can hold high speeds for long periods of time and not have any issues. If a motor can hold 3,200 rpm to drive down the highway, I'd say that's a pretty strong motor.

The suspension could use some loving, but some nice new shocks and springs can turn this little thing into a nice riding car.

The block in the 2002 Kia Rio is actually a Mazda block, so if you some how managed to mess that up, you're not taking care of your car, whether it be oil or you holding it at redline for 10 minutes. The motor is also an interference motor, so if the timing belt breaks, the head and most likely the pistons are going to be damaged. This is true with any interference motor. I owned a Volvo S40 before this, and had spend 5x as much to fix the stupid crap that went wrong with it, and at 138,000 miles the transmission gave out.

I plan on buying another Kia, especially since the newer models are built much better.

12th Mar 2011, 19:02

We bought a 2002 Kia Rio (new). A week ago, at 57,600 miles, the timing belt failed, in that several of the "teeth" on the belt stripped. The Rio has an "interference engine", which means that the valves and pistons occupy the same space in the cylinder (although normally this does not happen simultaneously!). When the timing belt fails on an interference engine, it usually results in catastrophic engine failure. It may well cost more to repair or replace the engine than the vehicle is worth. At this writing, a used Rio engine costs anywhere from $1,200 to $1,900. Another $800 to remove and reinstall, so at least $2,000. Then, you've got a Kia Rio, which may run quite a while. Or not. By the way, my mechanic told me it's only the factory timing belts that are subject to early failure. The aftermarket replacements do fine. For comparison, we also have a Honda Civic that went more than 120,000 miles on its original timing belt!

12th Aug 2012, 22:29

My 2002 Kia Rio has 120,000 miles. It runs smooth at 85-90 on the freeway. Gets 28-30 MPG freeway, about 22 MPG city. Has poor acceleration at freeway speeds, which is to expected from its underpowered engine. The car as been maintained per the KIA recommended service schedule. Timing belt replaced when due. The engine oil/filter is changed every 3-4 thousand miles. No surprise it still runs good - it's been properly MAINTAINED.