2001 Kia Rio Overview


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Kia Rio Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 300
#2 T_S_T
Reputation 200
#3 Francis Lapointe
Francis Lapointe
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Average User Score

3.45 stars

Based on 10 reviews

Its A Kia But Its The Best Thing And The Next Thing I Would Buy Again by Emily
 — performance- brakes excellent, slow on acceleration. consistent with times. handling- very good... build quality- ij havent had to fix anything on this, except the usual things oil change tires... i l... Read More
...... by Michael
 — I've had this kia for over 12 years and only have 35000 miles on it, not joking, and it's so far very reliable. It's easy to park, and it's GREAT on fuel. However, I don't feel very safe and the engin... Read More
Perfect Student Car. by Jillo
 — Nasty Color the Kia Rio was bright yellow, cheap, and reliable. I drove him from TX to NY and back with zero trouble. Cold A/C in the summer, warm heater in the winter, and a fantastic warranty. Kias ... Read More

2001 Kia Rio Overview

Overall User Score

3.4 out of 5 stars3.4 out of 5 stars3.4 out of 5 stars3.4 out of 5 stars3.4 out of 5 stars3.45

Based on 10 reviews

2001 Kia Rio

The Kia Rio had the distinction of being the lowest-cost new car in the United States when it debuted in 2001.  Based on the Ford Aspire/Festiva, which Kia had built, the 2001 Kia Rio was a subcompact sedan focused solely on budget.  As such, few standard features came with it, and the first year suffered from some reliability issues.  But good fuel economy, a lightweight size and peppy engine, and the price tag made it attractive for city commuters on a budget.

The 2001 Rio came in one trim, a base sedan with a 1.5-liter, 96-hp DOHC I4 engine.  A 5-speed manual was standard and a 4-speed automatic optional.  This engine was particularly responsive in such a tiny car, and though there is engine noise at higher speeds (as with most compacts), for city driving the Rio was ideal for maneuvering around cars and into tight parking spaces.  There are few standard features.  No power windows or locks, no air conditioning.  Intermittent wipers, power brakes, 13-inch wheels, and dual-front airbags were all you got.  Options added ABS brakes, air, a CD or cassette player, and a rear spoiler.  

The biggest draws for owners of the 2001 Rio were its great value and the Kia 5-year warranty (10-year for the powertrain).  Owners liked the fuel economy and felt the seats were comfortable, although rear legroom is more suited to children than adults.  Negative comments mention the lack of power features, some body lean, no split-folding rear seats, and lots of repair issues.  The checking engine light comes on a lot for no reason.


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Looking for a Used Rio in your area?
CarGurus has 6,657 nationwide Rio listings starting at $2,395.

Kia Rio Questions


P0302 Cylinder 2 Misfire

I have a P0302 fault (cylinder 2 misfire). I replaced the spark plugs just a week ago, and when I checked them today they all still look new, except for the cylinder 2 plug. It is completely corroded...

10,587 views with 22 answers (last answer about a day ago)

01 Kia Rio Won't Stay Running

My car will not stay running. Dies out all the time! New battery spark plugs/wires oil changed. Father in law mechanic and can't figure it out

1,673 views with 5 answers (last answer about a month ago)

The Alternator Belt Broke And I Am Going To Replace It. Should I Be Able To...

288 views with 6 answers (last answer 5 months ago)

Unable To Shift From Park

I am unable to shift from park. I have ruled out all the usual causes, such as brakes, solenoid release, cable etc... When I disconnect the cable from the transmission, the shift works fine, so the ...

453 views with 5 answers (last answer 7 months ago)

I Have A 2001 Kia Rio Standard And My Ac Wasn't Blowing Out Cold Air So I B...

63 views with 1 answer (last answer 9 months ago)