2002 Kia Rio Overview

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2002 Kia Rio Overview

Kia Rio. No, it's not the call of an exotic bird, but actually a plain subcompact sedan that at one time was the cheapest car in America. And some would say it showed in the initial quality, reliability, and features. The 2002 Kia Rio sedan does not go through any changes this year, but it is joined by the Rio Cinco, a 5-door wagon. It shares the 1.5-liter, 96-hp I4 engine and choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. But the 2002 Rio Cinco comes with a few more features that make it attractive to budget commuters looking for a little versatility.

With a 27/32 mpg, long-term warranty, and low price tag, the 2002 Rio is a great starter car. It comes with air intermittent wipers, dual front-side airbags, 13-inch wheels, and power brakes. The Rio Cinco adds a tachometer, cassette player, power steering, and a tilt steering wheel. Power windows, locks, and mirrors are not offered even as an option. Unlike the sedan, the rear seats in the Rio Cinco fold down to expand the 24.8 cubic foot trunk to 44.3 cubic feet. Unfortunately they don't fold flat. In comparison, the 2002 Rio sedan's trunk holds 9.2 cubic feet.

Generally, owners appreciate the extra trunk space in the Rio and the folding seats, something they wish was in the sedan. Though not winning any races, the engine is peppy because the Rio is so lightweight, and owners like the size for fitting into city parking spaces. Headroom is also ample for a subcompact, and front legroom is good. Rear legroom is suitable for kids. The 2002 Rio also rates highly for comfort. On the negative side, owners report numerous visits to the mechanic to deal with transmission and brake problems. They also don't like that there are few standard or optional features.

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