Kia Rio Problems
No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Kia Rio reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
What car should I buy to replace my 2006 Toyota Corolla?
There are still plenty of great small cars around within your budget, Agnes, and they all have good safety packages (or we wouldn’t recommend them). Look at offerings such as the Suzuki Swift Navigator (with the optional autonomous emergency braking) for around $17,000 (plus on-road costs) or the Kia Rio S at around $19,000 or Kia Picanto S (one size smaller than the Rio) at closer to $16,000. Both the Kias also feature the brand’s excellent seven-year warranty, capped-price servicing and free roadside assistance which is great peace of mind.
The Volkswagen Polo is a classy drive but a little more expensive at closer to $21,000 for the 85TSi Comfortline. Actually, to be honest, you’ve missed the boat on bargain small cars by a couple of years. Firm favourites such as the Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2 have both been updated relatively recently and have recorded big price jumps in the process. The cheapest Yaris with an automatic transmission is now around $23,000 (it was less than $17,000 back in 2018) while the Mazda 2 Maxx went from being a sub-$17,000 proposition in 2018 to a $23,000 car by the time you add an automatic transmission in 2020.
What should I do if the transmission warning sign comes on in my 2020 Kia Rio?
I wouldn’t be taking the car to a transmission specialist…yet. Since the car is still under warranty, you need to give Kia every chance to sort it out for you. The good news is that this won’t cost you a cent, whereas taking it to an independent repairer will start emptying your wallet.
You’re doing the right thing by keeping a close watch on the transmission temperature readings (provided that’s not at the expense of watching the road) and if overheating was what caused the warning light to illuminate, then I’d be of the view that the transmission fluid should be changed (at the very least) and an investigation carried out into why the transmission overheated in the first place.
I haven’t heard of a rash of problems with the Rio GT-Line’s seven-speed DCT transmission in Australia, but Kia’s DCT gearboxes in other models have been known to give problems in other countries. Given our typical summer ambient temperatures, we probably won’t be immune from the same problems. This is not a Kia thing, by the way, but seems to be one of many problems that have plagued DCT (double-clutch) gearboxes over the years from a variety of car-makers.
The clutch packs in these gearboxes have to slip to work and that’s a well-known cause of heat in any transmission. If they slip enough, they could conceivably cause the transmission to overheat at which point it will trigger the warning light you’re seeing as well as not operating properly and potentially doing internal damage. Both Ford and Volkswagen have discovered this the hard way, replacing many double-clutch transmissions under warranty over the years.
It’s a bit hard to see why so many manufacturers are persisting with this technology, especially when the modern, multi-ratio conventional automatic is so compact, light and efficient these days.
Skoda Fabia 2017: Would it make a good first car?
I think that a Kia Rio would be an excellent choice as a first car. Especially since a Rio built in the time frame you’re looking at will still have a big chunk of its factory warranty left to run. The Kia seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty is the best around, really, and provided the car you buy has a complete service record, that warranty will be real peace of mind.
Also, the Rio is known to be a good, solid car that has a good reputation for reliability and durability. The Skoda Fabia, meantime, suffers from the poor reputation of is dual-clutch transmission. The Fabia is also a bit of an orphan in Australia, meaning that it’s largely overlooked by buyers. That means it will potentially be more difficult to unload when you daughter looks to upgrade her car in a few years.
Kia Rio 2019: Is it economical to run premium petrol?
The Kia Rio only requires 91RON unleaded. The engine is tuned for that octane rating, so you won’t gain anything, apart from more space in your wallet, by switching to 95 or 98RON fuel. Despite every premium petrol marketing campaign suggesting otherwise, running on more expensive fuel won’t gain you any performance or greater fuel economy, so stick with 91.
What car should I buy that is reliable and safe?
You’ve got a limited budget, which will determine the car you can buy. It will be a relatively old car, so buy one in the best condition you can find, with the lowest odometer reading, a good service history, and the best safety rating. Try a Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, Kia Rio, and Hyundai i30 from 2008/2009.
Kia Rio 2019: Problems with sports shift
You’re possibly trying to downshift at a speed that’s higher than it was designed to do. Try downshifting at a lower engine speed.
Kia Rio: Key replacement cost
It will depend if you have a spare available or not, but in some cases there are cheap alternatives to going to a dealer. You can find out more about the best way to get a replacement here.
Kia Rio 2007: How to check automatic transmission dipstick?
The dipstick is located on the left side at the front of the engine, it’s got a red handle. Simply remove it and check the level shown. The engine should be running when you do the check.