2004 Kia Rio Reviews and Owner Comments

2004 Kia Rio owners review and rate their 2004 Kia Rio.

2004 Kia Rio (13 Reviews)
Body, Interior & Misc.
Drive Train
Electrical & Lights
Exhaust & Emissions
Heating & Air Conditioning
Suspension & Steering
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CHECK your timing belt!!!! ours only had 53,000 on it and timing belt went out! Motor is toast! never buy one again!!!
I read some of the other review and wonder if I really have the same car as everyone else. I got my Rio in '07 @56k miles. I've kept the oil changed, timing belt changed @70k, but that's about all the maintenance it has gotten. Works just fine. The engine is underpowered, but that's only if you're expecting a Ferrari. It's a low budget, commuter car. It does exactly what it is supposed to - 4 wheels and drives. Has a manual tranny, so I can down-shift to get onto interstates, just have to know what you've got and work with that. Problems - Internal lights for the heater switches flicker; 1st gear is stubborn but works; Internal body parts are cheap plastic (ie - seat belt cover); Glove compartment handle is non-operational, but is non-essential; cover for stick shift and e-brake are cheap vinyl cloth - easy fix if the cosmetics bother you. Now @140k and still going strong. Enjoying not having a car payment.
I bought my Kia Rio in 2004. I will never buy a Kia again. It is so sluggish, I hate to get on the interstate. My heater constantly quits working. My Mechanic says too much current runs through and causes a part to blow. The air conditioner blows lukewarm air. I had a pontiac I drove for 20 years and loved. I can not stand this car. Don't buy a Kia!
my Rio will not stay running going down road will die somtimes 3 times in a row other times not for 3 days no problem. Had it at dealership they charged me $1600.00 said it was fixed .Will never buy another Kia. If I could get it fixed would be ok with it .
I bought this car new in 2005 as a last years model with 64 miles on it. I loved it for the most part except for a few problems: My version was the 4door manual and the clutch went out after 5 years 500 bucks out of my pocket...Then the clutch cable broke another 100 bucks...Then around 68k miles my timing belt broke and just as everyone above says: it totaled my engine. Luckily I found a nice mechanic who rebuilt my entire engine for about 900 bucks. I've been advised to check the timing belt again at 90k miles and then again at 120k miles. Its about $180 per check and when my engine timing belt broke my dealer refused to cover the damage under warranty. I think the misfortune of damages that I recieved from car accidents made me about $3000 and my car does still currently run, with a horrible wobbly feeling, probably from the aforementioned car accidents where I recieved car insurance compensation but chose not to apply it to the POS cheapie looking car that I own. Non-powersteering of this car gives me a great workout when i need to make those turn on a dime handles mentioned in the earlier review.
How do you remove the alternator on my rio sedan?
It is on the passenger side near the firewall towards the bottom of the engine. There are 2 hoses above it that might have a little play but not much.
I bought this car as a second car for the kids to run around in. I've had it 2 years and only replaced the battery. Its' adorable and I'd buy another one.
bought my car less than two years ago with 29,000 miles and it has been in the shop almost 20 times!!! It dies in the street 3 times and is even dead now as Iw rite this. The battery just went. the other times it died it was because it needed a new transmission. The dealership seemed to have no clue and kept putting things on my car. Finally on like the 15 visit they put a transmission in. But than the water pump went, it needs a timing belt, and now the battery is dead. Thank God I got an extended warranty but I still pay $50.00 a pop just to be seen. Luckily so far everything was covered. But the timing belt won't be. I am stuck with the car now. I must say I learned a lot about cars from this. I call my car the "White Devil" now, lol. Everytime I get in I pat the steering wheel and pray it will start.
2004 Kia Rio can really be surprising with all kinds of vehicle problems that it has eyes and ears so you need to behalf in it, while riding and driving. Problems of a 2004 Kia Rio and along the trail will eat your money throughout its lifespan. It can really be a good car, if only these problems do not exist... here goes the evils of 2004 Kia Rio.. Drive on a smooth road, if your tires are bad because it can hold you for two years,but once three tires become really bad, start buying one by one. After you buy the first tire, your wheel will start shaking like a cranky baby (alignment/axel problem) scaring you all the time as you take a drive on road and not making you drive on the freeway because the second tire will blow out on you. It is true that as you drive on a steep hill, it does not have the horsepower to go on the speed limit, as a very idle baby needing to be cradled, as other people would make a laugh at you on the road for slowing done on the speed limit. Then, again, it becomes so active in speed beyond the speed limit like an hyperactive crying baby without control. The Brakes are unpredictable because it does not hold onto a stop that its timing just sped you so fast that is why you need to leave one car space in front of you as you drive on the road. When it comes to traffic light stops, you need to start stepping on the brakes half-a-mile before you come to have the brakes stop. Its brake plates are bad because the lugnuts does not fit in the hole size, what a workman's craft in this 2004 kia rio. Kia company needs to replace its engineers for having a sleepy nonsense brain in math and design. Alignment/axel, a very noisy car, when it its bumps and broken road. Its door just lock you out and its window just trick you in the roll up. there is a ghost living in the 2004 kia rio, could it be that the previous owner died in the car of the worker at kia rio manufacturing shop. Wiper just cut you off, headlights panel darken its face. raditor, transmission, starter all are problems. Kia Manufacturing company needs to give all 2004 Kia Rio Free repairs for life. it is just a sickly car with too many ailments. thanks! Owner 0f a pre-owned 2004 kia rio
I actually live in Canada, I just used my ex's zip code lol

I bought my '04 brand new, it's the tuner edition, and I loved it, because I was 19. He's had his ups and downs.

It's amazing on gas, that's the biggest plus. And it turns on a dime, I've driven other people's cars and had to do a 3-5 point turns in spots where I just flip around, comes in very handy when you need to do a U'y :)

But, alas, like most other rio owners, my timing belt went as well. It blew last year, my car had approx. 100, 000 km's on it, and it was right after I revved the engine pretty high.

Also, the interior light acted up, and my glove box broke (the handle won't open the box and they said I'd have to completely replace it)

Other than that, I haven't had any issues with it, so I reccomend it for people who don't want to pay a lot for gas, and don't need to feel like they own the road :)
Purchased as a 2nd owner with 20K miles. Cute and sexy for a subcompact *the cherry red paint on mine looked great with tint*.

Last night @ 85,900 miles the timing belt "snapped" 2 miles from home on my way to work. This caused the engine to "blow". I read above someone else had the same problem and wanted to post that my car did the EXACT SAME THING.

Saved some money on gas for the 40 months I had it. Had it paid off as well. Thought it had another 50-60k miles on it...BUMMER

$2860 for a "used engine" and installation. Mechanic said I just had horrible luck and that everything else looks tip-top.

This 2004 Rio needed 4 new headlight bulbs as it is extrememely shaky especially on older or banged up roads. The suspension is actually the worst of any somewhat newer car I've driven in.

I got ~31-32 mpg when doing 90% freeway miles.
I bought this car for my daughter to go to school and work. It had 45,000 miles on it-was a "cute" looking car. Less than 2 years later-the timing belt went and blew the engine. We've had issues from the start with the transmission, cooling system, brakes and suspension. My mechanic labeled the car "a piece of crap-not worth fixing". Had taken it to Kia dealer multiple times while under warranty for possible engine issues with the standard "nothing wrong found" response- till the belt blew and the car was a total loss-with $4000 still owed. DO NOT BUY A KIA!
Does not have anti-lock brakes. Doesn't have enough horsepower to get you up a steep hill.