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…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (64 total reviews)

Good no frills putter

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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.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful


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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.

Gas Mileage


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

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

2003 Kia Rio Discussions See all Started By

all right! Nice car you chose there, the Kia Rio 5. Welcome to the Kia family. I have owned a 1999 Kia Sephia and a 2001 Kia Sportage 4X4. Both were solid vehicles. My wife likes the new Kia Souls in ...

I looked on a previous post and see that you mentioned a 2004 Rio Cinco. From what I can find, it doesn't look like they break out the Cinco from the Rio sedan. Total 2004 sales for the Rio was 38,5...

I'm thinking you could buy seats from a 2004 or 2005 Rio Cinco and they would fit your 2003 Kia Rio Cinco. You could call a Kia dealer to ask them that specific question and then see about ordering th...