2003 Kia Rio Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Kia Rio Wagon

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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 (19 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

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.




No more kias

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

Worst Car ever once I got it I had to take in in after a few months do to the weather guard on the windows being deformed. Tires blow out so fast on this tire it's not even funny. If it weren't for the great mileage it would have no up side.




Build quality

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

Overall the car has been reliable, requiring little maintenance. However many smaller items such as door handles, rear hatch handle, wiper arms, and headlight bulbs fail. Also horn no longer works, keyless entry no longer works, and power locks malfunction, indicating poor electrical system.




Great econo coach!

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

Great little cheapie, all I expected was for her to get me from point a to b cheaply, and reliably, and she's definitely filled those requirements. I expected low power due to the engine size but it's more than sufficient on flat roadways. I would not recommend the automatic, in hilly or mountainous conditions, since the computer wants to up and downshift to maintain road speed. I haul a lot and this little wagon just keeps on chuggin', my gas guzzlers stay at home while I drive this one back and forth to work. I doubt you could have found a better car for the price back in 2003.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Very smart purchase.

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

Although we are in a position to purchase vehicles that are more expensive than Kia's, we've found that we simply don't want to. We now own 2, (1 Cinco, 1 Sedona), and have every intention of making the next 2 vehicles Kias as well. For the money, you simply cannot beat the quality, warrantee, and simple (albeit modest) comforts. I sincerely believe that Kia and Hyundai have, and will continue to change the North America car market forever.




Good

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

fun to drive economical - little more power and bigger gas tank would be pluses - but fairly well satisfied after six months



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