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????
When I bought this car it was sitting on the Kia show room floor with a JD Powers Ass. award for reliability sitting on top of car. NOT this car. starting after 3 months. 2 check engine lights, rear brake wheel cylinder bad, bad passenger airbag sensor ( took nearly 3 years to resolve- meanwhile front pass. airbag inoperative)2 front wheel bearing failure, 3 power steering belt replacements, 2ea alternator and ac belts replaced, timing belt replaced, windshield randomly cracked and replaced,exhaust pipe gasket failed, and now clutch throwout bearing is going out, and finally I'm on my 5th set of tires. All before 99,000 miles.
Interior fit and finish. Drives nice and is easy to drive.
Bad continued. This car will not hold an alignment for long. Chews up tires. Front and rear wheels cambers are out of spec and are not adjustable - unbelievable. Special aftermarket kits must be ordered and installed to correct.Engine whines away at 3300 rpm at highway speeds and is noisy. Dealer window sticker claims 30 city and 34 highway mileage. I have never seen better than 23 city and city/highway combined 30mpg. I have tried babying this car and cannot get any better results with any above mentioned problems. No abs brakes or traction control= poor winter driving character.
Better drive line engineering. Get rid of v-belts for engine acc. serpentine way better.Suspension too weak to handle New England winters. Pot holes will kill this cars suspension. Better quality bearings, needs abs for winter driving. MPG claims are flat out wrong. I have 4 other cars sitting in my driveway and this is by far the worst car I have ever owned. Upkeep is expensive except where warranty covered...which was about half of problems. We affectionately refer to this car as the "Crapper" car.
I love my car, it gets great mileage and until recently it was very reliable. I put 30-36K miles a year on my car and do a lot of stop and go driving. I have over 166K on my car. In the past 3 yrs we have had to replace 3 ignition coils, both O2 sensors and now we have to replace the catalytic converter. She also tends to eat front tires. Constantly out of alignment. She has done very well overall and if possible will buy another Kia. Considering the kind of driving I do, she had held up very well.
Mileage, Comfort, inexpensive to drive overall, great heater, A/C, safety features