2003 Kia Rio consumer reviews

$9,665 starting MSRP
side view of 2003 Rio Kia
64% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.2
  • Interior design 3.2
  • Performance 3.1
  • Value for the money 4.1
  • Exterior styling 3.3
  • Reliability 3.7
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This is one of the most fuel efficient cars I've e

This is a great car but one thing I can say about it is you need to be aware of the timing belt issues these cars have you need to change the timing belt about every 60 thousand miles or you will destroy your engine other than that the car is super reliable


Best car I've owned so far

This was one of the best cars I ever owned. It was bought new for my great grandma and she passed it down to me. I never had any issues with it and I always felt safe while driving in it. There was plenty of space in the car and everything worked. When I got in an accident the front end of the car was smashed in up to the windshield but I and the other person with me were untouched. I loved this car.


not worth it

Yes the car is "cheap" but when you go in they end up trying to sell it for $10,000. Ridiculous. I liked the car because it gave 30mpg and it was supposedly $4500. It drove good until I started to park then it just started vibrating. Luckily I didn't end up getting it. All I know is that these cars need extra care. Every 3,000 miles just remember to do a oil change.


300K and going!

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.


Not impressed at all!!!!

We bought the car for our Daughter since it was suppose to be great on gas (not that great) and had it about 1 1/2 years when the timing belt slipped on her way to class. She was stuck in the middle of the road so my husband got it to the shop, long story short it shot the whole engine threw a valve through the Pistons and Shota piston through the head. After talking with several shop owners this is apparently normal for this type of car, wish we had known this info first, now we have a large yard ornament in our yard, The price of an engine is more than the value for the car. So we will shop another brand. please beware if you own a RIO change the timing belt at 70,000 miles or your worse nightmare may come true.


Its ok

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.


best car i have bought

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...


Fantastic Car

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).


Good value, reliable, good support from AZ dealers

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.


Very Reliable

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.