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.
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
I just purchased a Cinco wagon in January with 106,000 miles on it. It was in excellent condition and
I hoped to get a reliable car that was cheap to drive and maintain. I had an older Buick that had cost me a fortune and the engine was knocking so bad I was afraid it was going to throw a rod in my driveway.
So far this Kia has been reliable except for the check engine light coming on abut five times now. First it was the O2 sensors that had already been changed out but I had to get another one anyway and then it was the gas cap. Now it came on again and I have no idea what it is this time. The car is noisy and has little power with the AC running.
The gas milage has run about 30 to 33 mpg city and highway. I was a little disappointed in that I was hoping for 35-40.
The car is fun to drive and very easy to park and get thru small spaces.
I really like the car and hope I did not get a lemon again like my Buick was. Luckily my mechanic does not charge for the check engine light checks or else I would already be broke.
I love my little Kia... except that this year has many problems. You either get one that will last forever, or you get an utter lemon. My luck has given me the latter. These things have a nasty habit of bad grounds, blowing head gaskets, and having sensors go out... all at a premium cost if you can even find the parts. If the car were more reliable, I would recommend it to anyone. What I love is the handling. The car is fun to toss around in S-turns and roundabouts. I like the interior and it is comfortable. RPM spin a little high on the freeway, but then the motor is tiny, so what do you expect.
Handling, safety, interior comfort and design.
Car needs to be more reliable and parts cheaper and easier to find. More power needed, 98 hp is just too weak if you have to drive in traffic.