20 Best & Worst Kia Rio Years [Ranked Data]

Source: autoevolution

One popular subcompact that many love for its pleasant ride is the Kia Rio. It retains the framework of a conventional car while offering a plethora of high-end amenities because the car has been available since 1999. Knowing which Kia Rio years to stay away from is essential if you’re in the market for one. Obviously, not all of them are equal.

The worst years to avoid the Kia Rio are 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2021. The best years to buy the Kia Rio are 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022, 2023, and 2024. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and even some Nissan Leaf forums.

Worst Kia Rio Years to Avoid

There are a lot of Kia Rio models that will meet all of your needs, but you should stay away from certain years. Investing in some years is risky if you want your money to go the furthest. These are:

  • 2001 Kia Rio
  • 2002 Kia Rio
  • 2004 Kia Rio
  • 2005 Kia Rio
  • 2013 Kia Rio
  • 2016 Kia Rio
  • 2017 Kia Rio
  • 2021 Kia Rio

8. 2017 Kia Rio (3.88 Rating)

Source: autocar.co.uk

2017 Kia Rio is among the unreliable years. This year, you will notice a clunking noise, spontaneous cracking of the windshield, and the speaker not working in cold conditions. Many customers complained about a bad engine this year. Defective airbags are another problem.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

7. 2021 Kia Rio (3.83 Rating)

Source: carbuyer

The 2021 Kia Rio often has problems, such as a brake master cylinder with sharp edges that might harm the oil seal on the inside. problems with the batteries or noises made during braking, such as screeching, grinding, or squeaking are also noticed. 

Among the other complaints from Kia Rio customers include noise from the engine, a light that stays on all the time, problems with the gearbox, and rodents gnawing on the soy wire.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

6. 2005 Kia Rio (3.82 Rating)

Source: wikipedia

If you own a 2005 Kia Rio, you should change the timing belt before the recommended 60,000 miles (96560.64 km) because the engine is an interference engine.

The engine will be ruined if the belt breaks while the vehicle is moving. Customer evaluations for the 2005 Kia Rio list transmission difficulties, failure of the AC compressor clutch, and a false check engine light among the most common complaints.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

5. 2013 Kia Rio (3.77 Rating)

Source: limitedslipblog

The most common criticism about this model was that the engine failed. With an average repair cost of $4,750 and a severity rating of 10.0 for “really awful,” this vehicle has seen 79,000 miles (127138.176 km) on average. With an average mileage of 73,050 kilometers, it is also listed as having engine noise as one of its biggest concerns.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

4. 2016 Kia Rio (3.71 Rating)

Source: carscoops

Many 2016 Kia Rio drivers complained that their car was using an excessive amount of engine oil and that the warning light was illuminated. A safety recall has been issued for the 2016 Kia Rio because of a potential issue with the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU). This failure might lead to a fire in the engine compartment, which could happen either while driving or parked.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

3. 2004 Kia Rio (3.57 Rating)

Source: kianbattery

In 2003, Kia debuted the 2004 Kia Rio, which received middling reviews from critics. Several critics and buyers panned it for its clumsy handling, mediocre gas mileage, and narrow back seat.

The 2004 Rio was declared the worst model year by Car Complaints, even though this is far from the category’s highest complaint figure. The seriousness of its engine issues was the deciding factor in its “Worst” classification.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

2. 2002 Kia Rio (3.43 Rating)

Source: polovni-delovi

The Kia Rio from 2002 is just one more year from the first generation. Similar to its forerunner, the Kia Rio was greeted with mainly unimpressed reviews upon its debut due to its subpar ride quality and the lack of several essential amenities. The vehicle’s engine has been the source of the majority of complaints.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

1. 2001 Kia Rio (2.57 Rating)

Source: planet-greece.blogspot

A first-generation vehicle, the 2001 Kia Rio debuted in the year 2000. Everyone agrees that this is one of the worst Kia Rio models ever; Cars.com gives it an average grade of 3.0. It is now widely considered to be among the most unreliable Kia Rio variants due to the seriousness of engine problems.

According to Car Complaints, the most common issue with the Kia Rio is “intermittent loss of power.” This problem has a severity rating of 9.1 and affects vehicles with an average mileage of 74,000 miles. Even if it’s free, don’t even consider getting a 2001 Kia Rio because it isn’t a trustworthy vehicle.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

Best Kia Rio Years to Buy Used

For those who are dead set on the subcompact Kia Rio, there are a number of great years to pick from. These are:

  • 2006 Kia Rio
  • 2007 Kia Rio
  • 2008 Kia Rio
  • 2010 Kia Rio
  • 2011 Kia Rio
  • 2012 Kia Rio
  • 2018 Kia Rio
  • 2019 Kia Rio
  • 2020 Kia Rio
  • 2022 Kia Rio
  • 2023 Kia Rio
  • 2024 Kia Rio

12. 2012 Kia Rio (4.00 Rating)

Source: mercurynews

The 2012 Kia Rio had a much better start than the majority of the preceding model years here, with mostly positive reviews and ratings. The 2012 makeover of the Kia Rio made it a more attractive option for those looking for compact cars.

The emphasis on aesthetics is consistent with Kia’s previous revised models. When compared to other compact cars, the Rio stands out for its daring design on the inside and out. More space for passengers and goods is a result of the new Rio’s bigger dimensions.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

11. 2006 Kia Rio (4.01 Rating)

Source: Pinterest

In 2006, Kia launched the second generation of Rio in the US. With a 4.3 average rating on Cars.com and a 4.6 average rating on Edmunds, it premiered to tremendous praise. Impressive acceleration, a beautiful cabin, a quiet ride, and agile handling are some of its outstanding qualities.

Its lengthy guarantee was another selling point that helped propel the vehicle to new heights. When looking for a dependable Kia Rio, the 2006 model year is among the best options.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

10. 2007 Kia Rio (4.02 Rating)

Source: paultan

The 2007 Kia Rio is one of the most affordable options for a Kia. Some have praised the 2007 Kia Rio for being an attractive, capacious, and reasonably equipped compact car that is both economical and easy on the gas pedal.

In 2007, Kia introduced the Rio SX, a four-door sedan that expanded the Rio family. The Rio5 SX sedan has many design cues with its five-door hatchback sibling, including foglights, a rear spoiler, 15-inch alloy wheels, metallic interior details, metal pedals, and a black and red color scheme.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

9. 2020 Kia Rio (4.03 Rating)

Source: edmunds

When it came to subcompact cars for 2020, the Kia Rio was a top pick. Its great gas mileage, agile handling, and first-rate interior earned it a lot of accolades. It was one of the most dependable Kia model years ever, earning an outstanding dependability rating of 87 out of 100 from J.D. Power.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

8. 2015 Kia Rio (4.08 Rating)

Source: all-the-best-cars.blogspot

Among the greatest Kia Rio models ever made was the 2015 model year. It premiered in 2014 to universal praise from reviewers, TV hosts, and consumers. Swift handling, beautiful design, and an easy-to-use infotainment system are some of its most lauded qualities.

With an exceptional quality and reliability rating of 87 out of 100 from J.D. Power, it is ranked #1 among 2015 subcompact automobiles by U.S. News. The 2015 Kia Rio should be considered if you are in the market for a used vehicle that is not too old.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

7. 2008 Kia Rio (4.08 Rating)

Source: Carsdirect

There are a lot of good things said about the 2008 Kia Rio. In 2008, the Rio5 gained the LX trim level. This eliminates the need to shell out as much money for the top-tier SX variant for individuals who want the more adaptable hatchback body shape over the sedan.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

6. 2019 Kia Rio (4.14 Rating)

Source: pricemycar

As a member of the sixth generation of the Rio vehicle, the 2019 model year made its debut in 2018. Surefooted steering, a straightforward infotainment system, and precise handling are some of its best attributes.

Among all vehicles featured on Car Complaints, the 2019 Kia Rio has garnered the fewest complaints. Although more time is needed, we already consider the 2019 Kia Rio to be one of the most dependable Kia model years.

So there have been no major concerns about this model year’s quality as of yet.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

5. 2022 Kia Rio (4.18 Rating)

Source: TopGear

The 2022 Kia Rio is a subcompact vehicle that offers excellent value for the money, is reasonably priced, and uses gasoline efficiently. It has a 120-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and is offered in both sedan and hatchback body styles. Consider the Rio a viable option for your everyday commute thanks to its estimated fuel efficiency of 32 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the interstate.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

4. 2018 Kia Rio (4.21 Rating)

Source: cnet

The 2018 Kia Rio falls under the sixth generation of the Rio nameplate. A return to the top spot on U.S. News‘ list and an exceptional 8.8/10 rating were among the many honors and praises bestowed upon it upon its launch.

Among the many great things about the 2018 Rio are its high safety ratings, agile handling, and user-friendly infotainment system. So far, it has received five complaints, which is among the lowest totals for any Kia Rio model. This list would not be complete without the 2018 Kia Rio, a stylish model that has maintained its dependability.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

3. 2010 Kia Rio (4.37 Rating)

Source: hightqualtiycars.blogspot

The 2009 Kia Rio made its debut in 2009. Critics were overwhelmingly enthusiastic, praising the vehicle’s well-balanced handling, comfortable seats, great gas mileage, high-quality interior, and 10-year warranty.

With just three reports, the 2010 Kia Rio ranks among the platform’s most underwhelming vehicles in terms of customer satisfaction. The 2010 Kia Rio may be unpopular and financially unviable, but it more than makes up for it with its dependable performance over the long haul.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

2. 2011 Kia Rio (4.38 Rating)

Source: driving.co.uk

Some have praised the 2011 Kia Rio, a subcompact automobile, for being economical, dependable, spacious, and easy on the wallet. You may relax and enjoy a peaceful ride in this car. In general, driving it is a pleasure. It has safe, if uninspiring, handling, and excellent fuel efficiency. A nice bonus is the standard curtain airbags.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

1. 2023 Kia Rio (4.49 Rating)

Source: cars.co.za

According to reviews, the 2023 Kia Rio is an excellent entry-level vehicle because of its affordable pricing and high quality. You may have the 2023 Kia Rio in either a sedan or a hatchback body style. A 1.6-liter inline-four engine with 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque powers it. An automatic transmission with continuous variable shift is also standard.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints

Common Kia Rio Problems

The following are a few of the most often reported issues with the Kia Rio:

  • Engine Problems
  • The Frozen Engine
  • Concerns with the Air Conditioner
  • The engine suddenly stops running
  • Uneven starting and misfires
  • Poor security measures

Brief Wrap Up

After careful consideration, we have determined that the most valuable years for the Kia Rio are 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022, 2023, and 2024. These years provide exceptional value by combining technology, safety, and efficiency like never before.

Keep in mind that the years 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2021 are not the best years to buy a Kia Rio because customer satisfaction was lower during that time.

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