Used 2003 Kia Rio Review

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.




what's new

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.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.