2001 Kia Rio Overview


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2001 Kia Rio Overview

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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Kia Rio Questions


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

3,968 views with 9 answers (last answer 2 weeks ago)

Kia 2003

2003 kia rio wont atart can hear spinning sound

3 views with 1 answer (last answer about a month ago)

Popping Noise When I First Start Accelerating

My 2001 Kia Rio will make a popping noise from the front driver side wheel area when I first start accelerating. It runs fine other than that. It doesn't affect the car at all but I can feel it und...

19 views with 3 answers (last answer 2 months ago)
Mandy Nicole

Kia Rio Problems

I was driving my 2001 kia rio, i got about 3 blocks from my house when it shut off.. The car will turn over but wont start. Its never done this befor. It didnt sputter it just shut off..

33 views with 2 answers (last answer 2 months ago)
Jeff Bassett


When I try to start my car it trys to start but it won't turn over like the starter or motor is locked up but starter is good and I can turn the fly wheel I tried jumping it and stiil won't turn o...

20 views with 2 answers (last answer 2 months ago)