New Kia Rio or Hyundai Accent??

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Jul 19, 2005
Pullman Wa
Anyone own or thinking of buying either of these new cars? I've seen pictures of both and they seem like they have come a long way since their debuts.
Yeah, they are good little economy cars. I almost bought my cousin's accent off him when I wrecked my saab 900 but I have a little too much invested in Saab! But yeah, they are good basic cars. I'd take them over a last gen cavalier!
Don't do it!! Everyone I know (myself included) that had the misfortune of owning a Hyundai/KIA has completely regretted wasting ANY money on those piles.

More info, please. What years?

I have two friends: one Sonata owner and one Sante Fe owner and they both love them!

The earlier years had to have su*ked with those two manufacturers. I believe Hyundai has come a long way since their inception and warrant at least a look and test drive. I cannot say the same for Kia at this time.
norseman, you need to know more people.
I have no regrets about buying a Hyundai (I even bought a 2nd one). My sister has one. A guy where I work got one after he drove mine. I know many people that are happy with them.
Don't compare the Hyundai/Kia of the 80's and 90's to one of today, totaly different vehicle (heck, they are actualy Hyundai now, not Mitsubishi/Hyundai hybrids).
All of Kia's vehicle's are now the twins of Hyundai, so there is no real difference between the two (Kind of a Chevy/Pontiac thing).
And yes, while not up to the same level of quality as some of the other Asian brands, they have greatly improved.
The stigma that the korean automakers had are long past. Just to let you know, the Hyundai elantra and the kio rio share the same platform. So the choice would be purely styling. They both offer 10 year warranties and their reliability ranking is next to Honda's according to Consumer Reports. They offer the best value imo and I think they are tainted by their past quality issues, but they have cleaned up their image the best they could this past 5 years.
The new Accent now starts at $12,455 MSRP. At that price point, I would look into the slightly larger and more powerful Elantra.

I believe the Elantra is redesigned for 2007 if that interests you. The hybrid Accent will also be available for '07.

That said, I own an '04 Elantra and it has been a fantastic vehicle so far. The new Sonata and Azera are also fine automobiles and should put to bed any myths about Hyundai's quality.
I have a Hyundai Getz which is a superb little car and fantastic value. The paint finish is as good as my Toyota Kluger/Highlander. I would thoroughly endorse this car and as a bonus it is so easy to service and work on.
I had an '00 Accent. It was a great car, except that I got back aches from driving it. I could never figure out why, since the seat was comfortable enough. Many co-workers drive Hyundais. They local dealer is huge. I think it is the most popular brand in my area.

I now own a Suzuki Forenza made by GM-Daewoo in Korea. It's a great little car with a superb warranty, and cheaper than a comparable Hyundai. You also might consider one of those.
The Hyundai is supposed to be the higher content version. However, the new Rio is getting good reviews for sportiness. Flip a coin! Or, you could see who gives you the better deal...LOL

The Suzukis aren't bad, either. The Forenza wagon looks like a nice vehicle but when optioned I seem to remember it getting pricey.

The Suzukis aren't bad, either. The Forenza wagon looks like a nice vehicle but when optioned I seem to remember it getting pricey

I bought my '05 Forenza Wagon with automatic transmission for $13,100 after rebate last March. I thought that was very reasonable.
I test drove a Kia Rio wagon with my wife.
The interior was kinda' cheap.
The overall car was O.K., assuming you are comfortable not paying much and not getting much car.
My biggest complaint was that the car is

My wife was driving along at 35, decided to test it, floored the gas, it downshifted promptly, and we proceeded to tool along at about the same speed we were at when she floored it. The engine buzzed like a bumblebee that just came home from work early to find you in bed with its queen and the thing s l o w l y made it up to 40.
If you can't stand a car that accelerates like a pre-WW2 tractor trailer, don't bother test-driving it.
I seem to recall that its crash rating was ABYSMAL, too.

Nonetheless, if it was the only car I could afford, it would get me to work and allow me to continue feeding my family, so I'd drive it if it came down to it. Maybe if I was younger and made less than I do now, it would be worth considering.
I used to get 45 MPG in a 1989 Civic. Now, they're pushing expensive hybrids to tackle the mileage issues, to get about that same milage in a heavier car.

But the economy Kia and Hyundai are what the Civic was, with light weights and a 1600 cc engine. How much do you want to bet that the Kia or Hyundai will match the hybrids in MPG for $10,000 less, in real world driving???
Hmm, I know plenty of folks who have 2002 and up Hyundais. The issues they do have are usually minor things like broken cd players or a piece of trim coming loose. Everything was repaired under warranty though.
Everything I've read has leaned towards the Rio over the Accent; however, I don't get the impression you could go wrong with either car. The Hyundai consistantly gets high praise for doing exactly what it's supposed to: basic, cheap transportation w/more standard features and a better warranty than most. If you go into the purchase understanding what these cars are about, you'll be fine. If you think you're getting an Avalon, perhaps you'll be disapointed.

BTW: Why not include the Corolla in your search? The one thing with Kia's and Hyundais is so-so gas mileage, whereas a 5-spd Corolla will get you 41mpg on the highway. Plus, there is that GREAT engine to boot!
Still, the curretn Kia's/Hyundais are nowhere near as good as the civic was in the earliest days. Rode in a coworkers Kia the other day, never felt so much like a THIN tin can before, and the grab handles came off when you tried to use them. No ******* thank you, Cheap POC disposable death can cars is what those are.
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