Model Details

2003 Kia Rio Consumer Reviews

3.4
Average based on 15 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 15 reviews

Good value, reliable, good support from AZ dealers

by from Metro Phoenix, AZ on September 20, 2008

This care, like the three other Kia vehicles I have owned, is not the flashiest, fastest, or quickest cares out there, but fore the money you spend you get a reliable, economic, practical car. My Kia...
This care, like the three other Kia vehicles I have owned, is not the flashiest, fastest, or quickest cares out there, but fore the money you spend you get a reliable, economic, practical car. My Kia is 5 years old with 90K miles on it now; the A/C went out in year two, but the extended warranty (something I only buy when it's on a car) covered the replacement cost and paid for itself. I have had no other problems or real complaints about the car, and have pretty much just done the recommended (by the manufacturer, not the dealer) routine maintenance. Clutch went out after 60K miles, but a drive a lot of highway miles. I average 29-32 mpg most weeks, and while the interior is nothing to write home about, it doesn't have an excessive number of squeaks and rattles lfor a economy car. The road noise can be very high at high speed, especially on concrete highways, but I've not been in a small car where it is not. My only disappointment is the lack of ABS. After having a Sephia with ABS, I was kind of mystified at Kia's decision not to offer it on this (or any) car.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Its ok

by from florida on February 16, 2010

I bought my rio brand new. Always got all the maintenance that was recommended on time. The second the warranty expired at 50k miles I started having problems. I got locked INSIDE the car because the ...
I bought my rio brand new. Always got all the maintenance that was recommended on time. The second the warranty expired at 50k miles I started having problems. I got locked INSIDE the car because the locks broke. Then the handle on the driver side door breaks on the outside. It had not worked on the inside before that. The check engine light comes on repeatedly and I will immediately stop somewhere to get it checked and it goes off. They cant figure out why. The car recently hit 100k miles, which was really longer than I thought it would last so I cant say it hasn't done what a car needed to do for me. As soon as it hit 100k I started having strange problems with it. Don't know what they are as it is in the shop right now. The car does get great mileage. It was my first manual transmission so I'm really am surprised it has lasted as long as it has without having problems that I could have caused by driving it horribly when I first got it. As far as features...there are none. I can't think of anything in the car that really isn't pretty standard now. My cd player has not worked since a year after I got the car and I don't believe it was covered in the warranty.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

best car i have bought

by from fairmont, wv on June 7, 2009

I have owned my rio for about a year and a half. It's a 5 speed. It has never given me any trouble. She hugs the road very well for not being a sports car. She is very good on gas:) and comfortable fo...
I have owned my rio for about a year and a half. It's a 5 speed. It has never given me any trouble. She hugs the road very well for not being a sports car. She is very good on gas:) and comfortable for road trips...
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Very Reliable

by from Oklahoma City, OK on September 10, 2008

Six years of service and 70k miles, with nothing but normal service. I would certainly recommend this car to anyone looking for reliable economical transportation.
Six years of service and 70k miles, with nothing but normal service. I would certainly recommend this car to anyone looking for reliable economical transportation.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

300K and going!

by from Bedford, Ky on March 13, 2013

We bought a 2003 Rio New. It had 1,100 mile on the clock. We just recently traded the car off after 10 years and 334,000 mile on the odometer. Yes that's right, 334,000. My wife drove the car an avera...
We bought a 2003 Rio New. It had 1,100 mile on the clock. We just recently traded the car off after 10 years and 334,000 mile on the odometer. Yes that's right, 334,000. My wife drove the car an average of 120 mile a day to work and back. We went through several sets of tires, brakes, wheel bearings. Done all maintenance that was required, changed oil every 5,000 miles. The only work that was ever done on the car was just regular maintenance. Fuel mileage averaged around 30-32 depending on how hard it was pushed. The best was 38 mpg.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Fantastic Car

by from Mesa, AZ on November 18, 2008

I purchased my Rio new in 2003, it currently has 96,000 miles. It has been to Chicago & back 2 times, Houston, Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin. Basically it goes where I go. I have really had no problems wi...
I purchased my Rio new in 2003, it currently has 96,000 miles. It has been to Chicago & back 2 times, Houston, Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin. Basically it goes where I go. I have really had no problems with the car at all. It gets between 35 (town) 48 (hiway). My only complaint, if you can call it that, is the front seats need more padding. Especially on long drives. I think it is a great car. I plan on keeping it at least 2 more years (just bought new plates).
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great car for the money...

by from Phoenix, AZ, USA on February 8, 2008

I have owned my car since I bought it new in 2003. It is now January 2008. I cant believe I have had this car for 5 years! It has been the most reliable of the 4 cars I have owned in my lifetime. I ha...
I have owned my car since I bought it new in 2003. It is now January 2008. I cant believe I have had this car for 5 years! It has been the most reliable of the 4 cars I have owned in my lifetime. I have never had to take my car to the shop. I know there is a recall on the "2003 KIA RIO FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:DELIVERY " for which I need to take it back to the dealer, but the serviceman that I talked to said it would be no prob and to bring it by. Other than a few little issues it has been a great car. I took it to the dealer to be check before I drove from AZ to MI which is about a 4,000 mile road trip. I drove there and back completely safe. No breakdowns at all. The only problem was that I don’t have cruise control. It gets great gas mileage though and it zooms! I have the standard model so I am in total control of the acceleration which is excellent. Like I said there are a few little problems. There are 3 recalls: The first is the seat belt, the second about the fuel system, and the last is the clip that is supposed to be added security when using a child safety seat. Also, the cigarette lighter fuses keep blowing when I try to plug anything into them. I tried different things each time. There is one in the front and one in the back and neither have ever worked. Oh yah the speakers blew right away too even though I dont listen to loud music. The other issues are somewhat surface. It gets easily dinged by stray rocks and the paint is chipping and oxidizing because of the sun out here even though I paid extra for sun protection and extra clear coats. It is also very low to the ground when driving it makes it hard to see around large vehicles. Still for what I paid I think I must have gotten the best deal on a car ever. No shop fees so far and my car is paid for with A/C, 5 doors, Alloy wheels, Pirelli tires, and a CD player. It made it back and forth across the US without a hitch. I am quite happy, but the next car I am getting cruise control and working cigarette outlets. : )
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Kia RIO the worst car I have ever bought

by from Wirral UK on January 21, 2008

I bought the car because it looked like good value for the money. I couldn't have been more wrong!! The engine had an intermittant fault which the dealer couldn't find. Every time we used it we were e...
I bought the car because it looked like good value for the money. I couldn't have been more wrong!! The engine had an intermittant fault which the dealer couldn't find. Every time we used it we were expecting it to stall. It got to the stage where it had my wife in tears. Eventually we had to part ex to another model which cost us thousands. Kia offered "as a gesture of goodwill" half price on the next service but then withdrew the offer saying it only applied to the Rio not the new car. My personal experience is that both the Rio and Kia customer services are pretty useless and I therefore recommend that you avoid any dealings with them.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does not recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great Car

by from Waukesha, WI on December 2, 2007

This car was awsome. We got because our Saturn's transmission blew up. It was very comfortable. It never lost a part. The air conditioning was optional. And this car had it. This car also got scratche...
This car was awsome. We got because our Saturn's transmission blew up. It was very comfortable. It never lost a part. The air conditioning was optional. And this car had it. This car also got scratches very very easiely. It was scratched in 3 months. Otherwise this car got very good gas milage around 33
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

The Kia RIO 4-Door Sedan

by from New York, NY on May 28, 2006

A work-horse of a car. The Kia is the Taxi car fleet of choice in Colombia, S. America (Bogot?, Medell?n, Cali) Plenty of leg room in the front. A perfect second car for the wife and/or kids, grandma ...
A work-horse of a car. The Kia is the Taxi car fleet of choice in Colombia, S. America (Bogot?, Medell?n, Cali) Plenty of leg room in the front. A perfect second car for the wife and/or kids, grandma or even a recent college graduate whose income can't quite allow him or her to have a BMW or Mercedes. The engine's power is decent for the size of car that it is. In this day and age of $3.00/gallon gas prices, the Kia RIO is a smart decision.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?