Purchased this car in 2009 with 50,000 miles on the engine. With the bald tires on the car, it road like a roller coaster ride on the freeway. Purchased new tires and it drove almost 100% better. Replaced the entire radiator about 2 years later. Replaced the ball joint 6 months before that. Replaced the right passenger side head light about 5 times since we purchased the car, at some point it completely stopped working and my husband switched around the light from the brights to the regular headlight to salvage it. Parts are extremely hard to find for this car, we've usually have to purchase online and when we do find the part in store it is usually more expensive than say a honday or acura.
We have it since new and i am a drummer and have to travel a lot in PR the only problem that i had with it was the window that broke the power window cable and a small damage on the material of the seats that is weak.but for the rest is ok.
I purchased this car new, and owned it for 5 years.
In that time, I replaced the serpentine belt 3 times, the alternator once, the radiator twice (the replacement from the Kia garage had a hole in it, though it was supposedly a new part), and the alternator belt 4 times.
The electrical system started acting wonky after three years, and after spending 2 months in the Kia garage, I got it back but the internal lights never worked after that.
I cut my losses and gave the car to a friend, who told me that the engine died at 78,000 miles.
I would never again buy a Kia.
Car is cute, gets great gas mileage. I bought my car new. Had to change the tires by 30K Replaced brake pads and rotors twice. Replace battery. Driver side locks broken & sometimes won't unlock and I have to crawl through the passenger side. Driver side window roller broke, Alternator going out. Problem with steering system. Hatchback cover broke within a week. Rear window brake light is falling apart from sun damage (I live in Indiana & typically don't have this problem). Brake lights are a pain to change..have to remove whole back panel of car. Very lightweight car and blows around on windy day
Purchased a 2003 for my daughter, who
was moving to Arizona. She flew out,
but I drove the KIA, hatch loaded to the
gills and a fully-stuffed roof carrier,
2500 miles from NJ to AZ, averaging 31
MPG at speeds of 70-80 MPH. Had to
downshift a few times going over the
Continental Divide, but generally the
power was adequate. I think the 2003
model has more torque than the 2002.
The car was comfortable, too. Only
request would be for a little more
"grunt" from the AM side of the AM/FM/CD
player; max volume was overwhelmed by
road noise at 70 MPH!
The hatchback design is very versatile.
Car has performed flawlessly so far.