Used 2002 Kia Rio Wagon

2002 Kia Rio
List price range
2002 Kia Rio


  • Unbeatable price, peppy engine, decent build quality relative to price point, inoffensive styling, great warranty package.


  • Unrefined ride quality, power windows and cruise control are MIA from the option list.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

This is one of America's cheapest cars. If you're low on ducats and are absolutely addicted to that new-car smell, the Rio should do well by you.

vehicle overview

Kia is determined to get a tenacious hold on the econo-car market, and with the appealingly inexpensive Rio sedan and Rio Cinco wagon, along with the company's impressive new Long Haul Warranty Program, it may well be on its way to doing just that.

The Rio's 1.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder, the only engine available and charged with motivating less than 2,500 pounds, is surprisingly peppy, providing quick acceleration from a stop as well as adequate passing power on highways. Over 75 mph, the engine serenades the driver with an incessant whine, but maintains speed quite well. The optional four-speed automatic tranny has an overdrive-off button to avoid gear searching in the hills.

The wedge-shaped exterior design of the Rio is inoffensively generic, which, as Kia notes, means "your friends won't give you a hard time when you show up in [the Rio]." The interior is solidly screwed together, although the materials used reflect the bargain-basement price of this subcompact sedan and wagon. Hard plastics and cheesy upholstery abound, but rattles and squeaks are kept to a minimum within the cabin. Outside, the Rio boasts upscale-looking clear lens headlights. Snazzy alloy wheels are available as an inexpensive independent option, and you can get a nifty spoiler for the deck lid of the sedan, too.

Antilock brakes are not standard equipment, but you can get them as an option. Air conditioning, which works beautifully without hampering engine power too much, is also on the a la carte menu. For tunes, you can choose either a cassette player or a CD player, but you can't get both. Note that the wagon comes with a bit more standard content, including power steering, a tachometer, tilt adjustment for the steering wheel, vanity mirrors and body-side moldings; you can add all of these items to the sedan via a reasonably priced upgrade package.

The inside of this thrifty car is logically and simply laid-out. Radio controls are conveniently placed above the climate switchgear, although the latter are set a little too low in the center stack for optimum ergonomic operation. Buttons and switches are all big enough and easy to find and use, and the front seats are comfy, but lack lumbar support. The rear seat feels like a park bench, but interior room is pretty impressive for a vehicle of this size, measuring more than even Toyota's relatively spacious Echo, according to Kia. One accoutrement of which Kia is especially proud is the driver seat fold-down armrest, but it's pretty much useless with the stick shift and, in fact, impedes arm movement somewhat even in the folded-up position.

The Rio behaves well on the road, with a tight suspension that keeps body roll to a minimum, but communicates irregularities in the tarmac directly to the driver. The power rack-and-pinion steering is tight and accurate for a vehicle at this price point, but a lack of overall refinement is apparent in the vibration through the gas pedal and shifter.

The Rio competes with the Hyundai Accent, Daewoo Lanos and Toyota Echo; among this group, the Rio sedan is the cheapest four-door and Rio Cinco is the only wagon. Although we would encourage those shopping in this price bracket to consider a larger, slightly used car from one of the major Japanese manufacturers, the Rio sedan and wagon are definitely worth checking out if you're low on funds and really want a new-car warranty.

2002 Highlights

One of America's least expensive cars now comes in sedan or wagon flavor. Dubbed the Rio Cinco, the five-door Kia provides 44.3 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seat down.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Kia Rio.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

trouble free miles
Everytime I get asked about the car i have said this. Bought her new with zero dealer add ons. Starting at 40K and today I'd say "got 207K trouble free miles" Check engine light has been working for 11 yrs. Gotta ignore it, it rearly goes off. I am lazy but do the oil changes religiously & read the review warning about timing belts. Got that at 149,000. At 200,000 got front wheel bearings & someother stuff there for $700. Hatch latch broke, using a bunge cord. If you dont like yours I will buy it :) update: sold car at 227K to a mechanic who replaced the original but just blown alternator and somehow the hatch latch ( bunge cord looked tacky) who resold it but I bought a 2014 Kia Rio and were at 44K now with no troubles
R E L I A B L E ! ! ! Exactly what I needed.
Sure, I would like something prettier, flashier. And navigating traffic would be easier and more fun with a little more acceleration power. But for me, getting there is more important than how cool I look on the way. This car has NEVER broken down. Never left me stranded. Worry free, problem free, low maint. Oil service every 5k miles. Replace timing belt every 60k miles. It's survived multiple curbs and medians with just a quick alignment and/or new rim. Clutch cable strand snapped at about 58k miles. Felt a pop in the stick and the sudden subtle clutch pedal and shift resistance change when the remaining strands stretched (Only needed a $35-40 part but idiots at Kia replaced entire clutch- everything EXCEPT the frayed cable!) Btw, AWESOME WARRANTY! 5yr/60k bumper to bumper. 10yr/100k powertrain. Priced around $14k- my actual cost was closer to $30k (5yr 22%) but I still count it among my top 5 smartest buys (or luckiest). PS. It falls a distant 2nd place to my 69 toyota celica fastback. Paid $3k used w/120k mi. It's 2nd 100k Just as- if not more- reliable and low maint than the Kia's 1st 100k for only 1/10th the actual cost of the Kia. Traded it for daycare just over 200k miles. It was sold one more time just under 300k miles before I lost track of it.
Miss my wagon
We bought a Kia Rio Cinco back in June of 2007, we bought it for one reason, gas mileage. It replaced a 94 Cadillac Deville, (15 mpg). This Rio would get 32 mpg city every time, and only one trip on the highway we got 37 mpg! Going 70-75 mpg (no cruise). Loved this car. We had only trouble with it, and that was when I was driving, the rear right wheel locked up, as if the emergency brake had been applied to just the wheel. But what actually happened was that the rod that makes the wheel turn, was so rusted it collapsed. We would still have this car today if some idiot didn't run through a red light and total it. Tough car, I wasn't killed.
Good Vehicle for it's Price
The car is excellent in any weather and proved to be reliable transportation. I would buy another Kia. The gasoline mileage in town and on the highway would average 25 to 28 mpg. My highest maintenance cost was at 60,000 miles which I have completed. Without the air conditioner on, the car has excellent pick up speed for highway entering and exiting.
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Features & Specs

22 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
96 hp @ 5800 rpm
23 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
96 hp @ 5800 rpm
See all Used 2002 Kia Rio Wagon features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2002 Kia Rio
Used 2002 Kia Rio Wagon Overview

The Used 2002 Kia Rio Wagon is offered in the following styles: Cinco 4dr Wagon (1.5L 4cyl 4A), and Cinco 4dr Wagon (1.5L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Kia Rio Wagon?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2002 Kia Rio Wagons are available in my area?

Used 2002 Kia Rio Wagon Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 Kia Rio Wagon.

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Can't find a used 2002 Kia Rio Rio Wagon you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Rio for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $12,992.

Find a used Kia for sale - 7 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $25,423.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Rio for sale - 6 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $21,071.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 5 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $14,136.

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Kia Rio?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Kia lease specials
Check out Kia Rio lease specials