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Kia Rio 2002


I’m looking to find a used car in the 3 to 4k range that while not great would last me at least a few years. I found a Kia Rio 2002 with 60,000k miles on it for $3000. I will have an inspection included in part of my offer but should I even bother? I know Toyotas, Hondas, and Hyundais are pretty durable but are Kias of that era good as well or should I stay away?

If it was taken care of well, and had no major issues (this is what you’ll have a shop figure out), AND if I just needed basic, inexpensive transportation - I’d buy one. Kias are just fine.

The '02 been out a long time - so by now you can find plenty of customer reviews around the web. I would go read them.

That 02 Kia is due for a timing belt right now, service interval for those is 60,000 miles.

Some cars have non-interference engines, meaning if the timing belt breaks you tow it in and have it replaced. Most Toyotas are like this.

Some cars are interference engines, if the belt breaks while driving you can damage the cylinder head, turns your $600 belt job into a $1800 head rebuild. Most Hondas are like this.

Every Kia Rio that I’ve seen break a belt while driving has resulted in engine destruction. Broken pistons, head damaged beyond repair. Chevy Aveos are like this too.

That aside, I don’t think Kias are bad cars. They are just not at all forgiving when it comes to maintenance. If you don’t replace the timing belt at 60K, it will break at 70K. Follow the maintenance schedule to the letter and keep all the fluids clean and full and drive it like the economy car that it is and they can be quite reliable cars.

Unless you have an invoice for a timing belt replacement, I would assume it’s not been done

Kia Rios are light years better than Chevy Aveos, but not quite up to Toyota and Honda levels. The people I know who bought them, like them and said they were quite reliable.

10 years is on the reliability margin from what I’ve heard about these cars (Toyotas, Hondas, more like 20 years) but since the one of interest here only has 60,000 miles, I think at $3,000 it is probably a good value and will do what you need. You probably should think about selling it within four years, and at not much more than 100K miles.