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2012 Kia Rio Owner Review    

Engine: 1.4 Petrol, 15,000 km., Automatic, Hatchback 4dr,
Owning 1 years, Was buying as "New" - Will not buy again
Author: Justin Coetzee, Stellenbosch, Western Cape
Submitted: 14-05-2013

First impressions were good.


Looks good.


Everything else.

Advice for a Buyer:

After hearing about the new Kia Rio (2012), I decided to go and take a look. This was supposed to be the best value for money car at the time in South Africa. First impressions were good. The leather interior, beautifully designed dashboard and the stunning looks of the car were impressive. The one thing I was not impressed with however was the performance. The 1.4l engine is slightly under powered, especially on the 4-gear automatic model. I was really keen on getting an automatic transmission and overall I was pleased with what the car offered. I ended up buying the car. Not long after I bought the car however, the first gremlins stuck their heads out. The interior which seemed to be very solid started rattling. The hands free Bluetooth system seems to have a mind of it's own and is far from a hands free experience. In some instances the radio will even remain on while a call is in progress and most of the times it does not automatically switch the phone's speaker from the handset to the speaker system. The gearbox is sluggish to say the least and manual control is often necessary to keep a constant speed on uphill roads. Manual shifting also leaves a lot to be desired and shifting up and down seems like it's more of a suggestive input which the car will then deliberate, and only sometimes act upon. I've also had problems with the engine not delivering power when you try and pull off. This comes and goes. When driving at night there's a bright LED shining down on the gear shift that cannot be turned off which defeats the purpose of the dimming function of the dials and radio display. The climate control performs poorly, turning itself to minimum airflow even with the lowest temperature setting selected resulting in once again, having to take manual control. The power steering which adjusts according to speed sometimes delivers very little assistance while parking, making it hard to maneuver into tight spots. The extremely poor all round visibility from inside makes this even tougher. Road noise is absolutely unacceptable. Anything above 100kph and you need to raise your voice when speaking to passengers, by which time the built in hands free system is also useless due to the bad quality of the system's microphone combined with the incredible road noise. The fancy speed dial which jumps up and down when you turn on the ignition does not travel smoothly when driving, making it feel cheap. I have also tried with all my might to get the indicated fuel consumption. I can't do it. With consistent rain the automatic wipers get confused, either not wiping enough or wiping too much, and needs to be reset. (Yes, manual control needed again.) I believe Kia has made a big improvement with the Rio, but still has miles to before delivering a quality product in this range.

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Posted by: Portia
Submitted: 31-07-2013
I have a kia rio 1.4 tec purchased late in 2012. Overall the car is fine, but yes very sluggish especially on an incline. I've had intermittent problems with my 1st and reverse gear. Kia has not been very helpful. Doing series of tests but not resolving the issue. All they have done now is replace the gearbox oil, but I am still stuck sometimes pulling off in 2nd gear - now waiting on their feedback. My bluetooth device worked fine before, but now there's no sound coming through - Kia says a new radio unit must be ordered. Long distance and short distance driving costs a heavy penny as it doesnt save on fuel at all. My new tyre had a small cut which couldnt be patched. Went to every shop (tyger wheel etc. etc) to have the 17" replaced - no match. Went to Kia and they the only ones selling this specific tyre and size at a whopping R2300!!! Must be ordered and shipped from JHB which takes over 3 days. What happens if I urgently need tyres? And at that price??? Not too happy with my Kia though
Posted by: Niel
Submitted: 18-08-2014
Kia 1.2 4 door sedan 2013, 30 000km's. I have intermittent gear or clutch problems, sometimes it feels like the gear lever is stuck and I have to switch off the car to get it into neutral. This causes dangerous situations in the traffic sometimes. Becaus the fault is intermittent I cant proof anything to Kia, difficult problem, anyone else with same issue?