This car is awesome on gas mileage! Number one reason I bought it. Its nothing to look at on the inside. A no bells and whistles car. Engine was great the entire 152k miles I drove it. However; it eats tires, it shakes at 70mph, it weighs nothing so is completely unsafe if you get into an accident. Do not buy this as a first car for your teenager. It was a stepping stone car for me. If money is not the real issue, I would buy a honda.
Owned: Bought new at dealer 2007. Still own and run today. Lived in CO, WV, GA, MN, and VA with this car. Offroad, cities, and highways. Cons: Rear tire camber means I must rotate every 5k and no less. Often inner edges of tires destroyed before main tread of tire. 5 sets of tires in 102,000 miles. Misfires on occasion ever since purchase, but never fully stranded. Keep cranking' and it starts. Front wheel bearing started thudding down the road at 95k. All belts replaced at 75k. Spark plugs at 75k (Boche platinum now, but occasional misfires continued). Have to be on the highway to get good gas mileage; city and winding mountain roads dramatically dents mpg figures below EPA estimates. Radio volume knob stopped functioning around 80k. Battery at 45k (Haven't replaced autocraft gold since first replacement) Rear window seals rotted at 45k (used silicone to patch). EVAP solenoid failed around 45k. Pros: Never stranded me despite rual mountains roads, snow and ice, high elevation, and extreme temperatures. Mpg on highway is around 30. Summary: if you want a nice car you'll pay for it. You could get a cheaper car than this, but this is about the bottom of the barrel within cars market so if you don't have a good income a Kia is a nice trade-off between cost and quality. Unlike a used car my first 40k of ownership was flawless (except tires at 20k and the occasional misfire tripping the check engine light).
Bought used when my Aztec gave up the ghost. Took it for a test drive and fell in love with the acceleration and tight steering. It had 96,000 on it and now at 108,000 the only problem I had with it was two cylinder coils went out causing misfires (mildly annoying fix). I have to put the seat back since I'm 6'1", but its a very comfortable ride and I've taken it nonstop 500 mile trip on a single tank. With the seats down you can fit a 6-drawer Dresser, really the best car I've owned.
I wrote this because some people seem to exist to complain about cars every time the air is low in their tires. My '05 Kia Rio5 has been great, and I've only encountered things you would expect from an inexpensive car. It came to me used, from my mother's estate after she died a few years ago. It was low-mile, with the I4 and a 5-speed (ma always liked to row her own!). The LX is sporty, handles well, and the shifting is snappy and clean. Not a powerhouse, but what do you want from a sub-15k car? It's quick enough, and I learned that while off-the-line acceleration is not mind-bending, at-speed and lane-change acceleration is pretty darn good. Brakes are great, as I learned in San Francisco on the busy, hilly streets. Also, I've had two people hit me in this car (their fault both times), and after repairs the car still runs great. Now at 55k with a cross-country road trip under its belt, the Kia is still running great. In fact I only this week had one of the few off-schedule maintenance issues, a PCSV valve that's giving me a check-engine. Only replacements besides tires/oil have been two of the Coil-on-Plug units on the motor at about $50 each. I put them in myself, they're right on top of the motor and it's pretty easy. Even a shop couldn't charge you too much for the service. At 8 years, the only issues are some dry-rotted rear window seals from it's first 5 years in Arizona, and the chrome/plastic passenger door handle which is peeling. There's some increased body noise coming from the hatch area, and it's a bit squeaker overall than when new, but I think that for a budget car, it's been terrific. No electrical problems ever, which I hear is not the case with some newer Kias. Overall, I'm very very happy with this low-maintenance long-running car. Oh, fold-down rear seats in this hatchback provide ample room for stuffing things in the back. I've loaded this car to the roof many times, then driven her 12 hours straight. She runs great still!
AMAZING lil beast! Traded in a 2002 for it ... WAY happy with it. Done nothing to it other than normal maintenance. Just this year A/C needed recharging. STILL getting 48mpg.. UPDATE A/C not just a recharge, pump replaced, all parts needed, with SIX relays, it won't kick from the dash button. WTF????....UPDATE: 145,000 still a strong runner. UPDATE still totally disgusted with the A/C system and just got a recall for a missed undercoating. That explains why the bottom is rotting out. Expect it will rust out by the end of salt ridden winter season. Never KIA again, God willing I live longer than it does.