2004 Kia Rio

  • 2004 Kia Rio Base Sedan

    Base Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.6L I4
    • MSRP
  • 2004 Kia Rio Cinco Wagon

    Cinco Wagon

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.6L I4
    • MSRP
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2004 Kia Rio Review

A very affordable and easy-to-drive compact sedan with great fuel economy.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2004 Kia Rio is a subcompact car from the South Korean automaker. The Kia Rio entered production in 2000, replacing the Kia Pride and Kia Avelia. All models use a front-engine, front-drive layout. The first generation models include those made from 2000 to 2005. These come in either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback body style. The exterior of both body styles look fairly plain for a sedan and hatchback, with little to show it is a Kia or any other brand outside of the small logo in the front and nameplate in the back.

In general, the Kia Rio is known for excellent fuel efficiency, a very affordable sticker price, and easy and convenient urban driving. Newer versions are also noted for a stylish exterior and ""fun to drive"" models, though these are not common accolades for early models, including the 2004 models. Some criticisms throughout the Rio’s lifespan have been a lack of power, safety, and back-seat room.

The Range

Body Styles: sedan, hatchback
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Kia Rio sedan, Kia Rio Cinco station wagon

What's New

For 2003 Kia added a range of options and some standard features to the Rio. As such, the only notable change for 2004 is the addition of lumbar support for the driver’s seat.


The exterior design of the 2004 Kia Rio, both sedan and hatchback models, have very little to set them apart from older sedans and hatchbacks from makers like Ford from the mid-1990s, and perhaps it is the older look which does set them apart from 2004 models in general. Unfortunately, the vehicles it takes its styling cues from, like the Ford Aspire, are not considered attractive. A spoiler and alloy wheels provide the only optional exterior features.


The 2004 Rio fits five officially, but the back seats are very tight for three adults. The front bucket seats do offer a descent amount of legroom for a compact. According to Kia, the seats sit higher to offer a better view of the road. With the redesign from 2003, the Rio received new cloth upholstery, rear heater vents, LATCH child-safety seat anchors, and a few additional features. Other standard items for the 2004 Kia Rio include power windows, a CD player standard on the Cinco, and optional air-conditioning.

Performance & Handling

Both of the body styles get a fuel efficient 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine which gets up to 104-hp. Acceleration is not impressive but the Rio does handle well and offers a smooth ride on smooth surfaces.


The only standard safety features on the 2004 Kia Rio are the required front airbags. Anti-lock brakes remain optional and side-impact airbags are not available.

EPA Fuel Economy

Kia Rio: 25/32 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Price
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Comfortable ride on smooth surfaces
  • Comfortable seats

You Won't Like

  • Automatic transmission performance
  • Speed
  • Back-seat space
  • Side-impact safety ratings

Sum Up

A very affordable and easy-to-drive compact sedan with great fuel economy.

If You Like This Vehicle

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See the New 2017 Rio.

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