2003 Kia Rio Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Kia Rio

Kia Rio Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 104 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Kia Rio

  • The Rio and Rio Cinco are the lowest priced sedan and wagon on the market, and they feel that way. Buy one only if you must have a new-car warranty; otherwise, spend your money on a nice used car -- preferably a Japanese compact or a Hyundai Elantra.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Small price, big warranty, peppy engine, attractive styling.

  • Cons

    Unrefined handling, five-speed manual's rubbery shift action, mediocre fuel economy.

  • What's New for 2003

    For 2003, Kia gives the Rio a number of upgrades. Among these are a new 104-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine; various suspension tweaks to improve ride and handling; larger disc brakes; new engine mounts and exhaust tuning for a quieter cabin; and reinforcements to the steering wheel and column to minimize vibration. Inside, look for revisions to the instrument cluster, center console and door panels -- the latter will include storage bins and bottle holders -- as well as new seat fabric. New standard features include child-seat anchors, rear heater ducts, auto-off headlights, variable intermittent wipers and, on the wagon only, a CD player. In addition, Kia has added dual map lights and a sunglasses case to the sedan's Upgrade Package, and will offer the Power Package, which provides power windows and locks. Finally, both Rios get fresh front fascias and wheel covers; the sedan gets a sharper-looking tail and the wagon gets an optional body-color spoiler.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (64 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Good no frills putter

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Rio 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Great car if you need a get around vehicle..bought my 03' back in 07'. Had around 48k miles back then..Now sitting at around 125. Worst thing that's happened is a A/C line sprung a leak..no biggy..On my second timing belt..did the water pump, tensioner and pulley on the second one..lasted 120k no problems just didn't wanna chance it this next 60k. It dent's easily and the paint quality is mediocre,clearcoat sucks..the door locks have an attitude sometimes but that didn't start until the 10 yr/100k warranty was up..its an old car that's taken a fair beating..Engine still runs smooth like new. Doesn't leak a drop. I have faith this car will last another 100k if I keep it up as I have.



3 of 13 people found this review helpful

5-atar???????????????

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Vehicle: 2003 Kia Rio 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I feel the need to advise you and all humanity not to buy a product. If you heed my advice your life may be saved! My advice is NEVER to buy a RIO, [non-permissible content removed]. On December eight two thousand and three, I was driving a RIO, Just northeast of Midwest Wyoming. I had a head-on collision, the Airbag and seat belt did not function. I was immediately in a two and one half month coma. When I woke up I was told I HAD TWO BROKEN FEMURS, TWO SHATTERED KNEECAPS, A BROKEN FOOT AND A TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)! My Life Was completely Altered! I am the father of 4 wonderful young-ones, the two boys are Nine and Fourteen and my two girls are ages Thirteen and Eleven. Im not the man she..




Pretty terrible

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Rio 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 4A)

Car had less than 90k miles when the engine failed. No power, looks terrible. I'm 6'4" and I barely fit in the car.




Good little car

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Rio 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

i replaced the timing belt and water pump at 60k ...a lot of people don't know ...right now has 92k ..its been reliable ..really good in gas since its standar ..power windows terrible ..don`t work ..but i don`t care as long the a/c, heater works ..very cheap to fix , parts etc ..and looks easy , my friend has a rio that has 140k and still running strong



2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Disappointed.

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Rio Cinco 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car second hand from a guy who drove mostly highway. In the few months that I have owned it The hatchback has locked up several times, the driver's side door only works half the time (meaning I have to climb out the passenger seat). The car has stalled on me in mid-intersection. The engine light came on and car started to lug, had to pull over it lost all acceleration. The engine constantly revs and drops back down making it impossible to get to the speed you want easily. The back right window will not open from drivers panel. Overall I'm really unhappy with this car and regret buying it.




Kia rio

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Kia Rio 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I had this car for two years and had a lot of problems with it mechanically. Through the short time I had it, it dropped a cylinder, the timing belt broke, bending all of the valves and the ball bearing went bad three times. It was very fuel efficient and not a bad deal for the price, but there is a reason that they are so inexpensive.



Full 2003 Kia Rio Review

What's New for 2003

For 2003, Kia gives the Rio a number of upgrades. Among these are a new 104-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine; various suspension tweaks to improve ride and handling; larger disc brakes; new engine mounts and exhaust tuning for a quieter cabin; and reinforcements to the steering wheel and column to minimize vibration. Inside, look for revisions to the instrument cluster, center console and door panels -- the latter will include storage bins and bottle holders -- as well as new seat fabric. New standard features include child-seat anchors, rear heater ducts, auto-off headlights, variable intermittent wipers and, on the wagon only, a CD player. In addition, Kia has added dual map lights and a sunglasses case to the sedan's Upgrade Package, and will offer the Power Package, which provides power windows and locks. Finally, both Rios get fresh front fascias and wheel covers; the sedan gets a sharper-looking tail and the wagon gets an optional body-color spoiler.

Talk About The 2003 Rio

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 23
  • cty
/
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs