I enjoy driving it so much that I am going to end up replacing the motor and transmission on it. Even with replacing both of those I will still be only paying a third of what it would cost to buy a new car. Not to mention even with all the maintenance I've had done, The car has never once left me stranded. I've had cars, trucks, and SUV's prior to this car. This was the first time I've ever had this much fun driving though. Finding parking spots, flitting in and out of traffic, great gas mileage, and she's so simple.
Those new cars have just too much technology that will distract me while I am driving. I can also foresee a huge expense of having to replace that technology when it goes out.
Fun to drive, Simple, Tiny and maneuverable, Great gas mileage
Not had the car long, but so far not bad. Good mpg, rides well, comfortable. (I'm 6'4'').
bought from private owner who had already had the head and belt done, along with a new clutch. So the hard stuff is done. I use it as a commuter car, and it serves me well. Not bad for me!
My Kia Rio has kicked the bucket at 177k after a crap load of problems. I replaced everything under the sun in the cooling system. 2 new radiators. headlights, tail-lights. Drivers door doesn't lock. Two windows wont go down. I had a transmission fluid leak which was a pain in the butt breaking down every 20 min. New alternator belt. Brake fluid leak. and 2 bad oxygen sensors caused a horrible shaking. I HATE THIS CAR. EVERYTIME I GOT IT FIXED, something else went wrong.!!! NEVER AGAIN KIA. NEVERRRRR AGAIN !!!
I purchased my Kia Rio new in 2004 and treated it well - always got oil changes on time, replaced the timing belt at 90,000 miles (I was told to do it by 100k).
Within 3 years of purchase the brake proportioning valve went bad.
W/in 2 years the rear tires were going bald far faster than they should have - turns out I was sold a new car with a bent rear axle.
Past 2 years (100-120k): intermittent electrical problem that we finally realized (after replacing the spark plugs/wires 2x) was a cracked engine coil.
Last week (139k): fourth cylinder blew.
Got relatively good gas mileage (about 28-30 mpg), but my partner's 03 Toyota Matrix did just as well with far more pep.
The interior is poorly designed, but I could live with that.
I expect that if I pay for a new car with a 100k mile warranty, it will run reliably for at least 150k miles.
I will never buy another Kia again.
Overall, this car lives up to it's reputation; you get what you pay for. The good aspects of this car are: decent fuel economy and clutch (in a 5-speed manual) is easy to engage. However, in this case, the cons significantly out weigh the pros. Performance wise, this car lacks any kind of power. You have to put the gas pedal to the floor just to merge onto the highway. The exterior of the vehicle is weak; it's extremely easy to dent and can be done with a fierce shove with the palm of your hand. As for the interior build, this car is a complete nightmare, believe me.
After owning this car for two years before writing it off in an accident at only 100,000km, I had to replace: the transmission, the starter, the alternator belt, the steering belt, the ENTIRE break system (brake lines went when I slammed on the breaks to avoid an accident), the oxygen sensor, etc. The biggest replacement of all was the engine. At 80,000km the timing belt snapped. At 98,000km I had to replace the timing belt AGAIN. From what I've read about the vehicle, the timing belt is a 100% failure rate after 60,000km. That is just not normal. Take the advice from someone who has had this car in their family for eight years -- get rid of this nightmare now.