Car Reviews

Is Kia a Reliable Car?

By TheCarzingTeam February 3, 2023 | Car Reviews

Car Reviews

Kia is an auto brand based out of Seoul, South Korea. Kia models have been noted for their fuel efficiency and affordability; in addition, many models also received top safety ratings/scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

A brand’s dependability and reliability are often factors that buyers might take into account when shopping for their vehicle. How reliable are Kias? The company produces 19 different models, and eight models in its lineup are hybrid or electric vehicles.

How Reliable are Kias?

Each year, J.D. Power releases its list of most dependable vehicles; one vehicle is chosen as the most dependable in its class. Scores are determined by thousands of vehicle owners, and cars are assessed after three years. Owners take into account any issues during the past 12 months. All vehicles are assessed in three categories: Quality & Reliability, Driving Experience, and Resale Value.

For the 2022 Dependability Awards, Kia models did not take the top honor in any category/segment. However, several 2018 Kia models were named as the most dependable in their class for the 2021 Dependability Awards. The 2018 Kia Sportage was the most dependable small SUV, the 2018 Kia Sorento was the most dependable midsize SUV, and the 2018 Kia Optima was the most dependable midsize car.

Are Kias Reliable Cars?

Understanding the dependability of a particular model might require the owner to drive it for a few years to uncover any issues or mechanical weaknesses. As previously mentioned, owners that participate in the J.D. Power dependability awards do not score or assess their vehicle until it is three years old.

New cars should not have any issues. As a car accrues more mileage and wear and tear, its mechanics might start to reflect the usage and daily driving habits of the owner. Some vehicles can endure 200,000 miles on the odometer and not exhibit any issues beyond the normal maintenance. Other models, though, might start to exhibit more and more issues with mileage and age.

Kia produces numerous different vehicles, and each model might fare differently related to dependability and reliability. The most recent dependability scores assessed 2019 models; here’s what car shoppers should know about the scores of each different 2019 Kia related to its scores from owners.

Small SUV Dependability: 2019 Kia Sportage

The 2019 Kia Sportage was assessed under the small SUV category. The Sportage was the second most reliable small SUV. The 2019 Sportage received a total dependability score of 83. For Quality & Reliability, it received an 88. Owners gave the Sportage an 85 for Driving Experience and an 84 for Resale Value.

Small SUV Dependability: 2019 Kia Niro

The 2019 Kia Niro also was assessed in the small SUV category. The Niro ranked 14th for dependability. It received a total score of 78. For Quality & Reliability, it scored a 77. For Driving Experience, the Niro scored a 78, but for Resale Value, it received an 86.

Compact Car Dependability: 2019 Kia Forte

The 2019 Kia Forte was the third most dependable compact car (for 2019 models). The Forte received a total score of 82. For Quality & Reliability, it received an 83. In the area of Driving Experience, the Forte received an 88. It received an 84 for Resale Value.

Midsize SUV Dependability: 2019 Kia Sorento

The 2019 Sorento was the second most dependable midsize SUV. The Sorento received a total dependability score of 79. In the area of Quality & Reliability, it received an 87. For Driving Experience, owners gave it a score of 78. For Resale Value, the Sorento received a score of 74.

Midsize Car Dependability: 2019 Kia Optima

The 2019 Kia Optima was the second most dependable midsize car. The Optima received a total score of 82. For Quality & Reliability, owners gave it a score of an 85. For Driving Experience, the Optima received an 82. In the area of Resale Value, it received an 87.

Minivan Dependability: 2019 Kia Sedona

The 2019 Sedona was ranked fourth for dependability. However, only five minivans were assessed. In addition, the Sedona was discontinued and replaced by the Carnival. The 2019 Sedona received a total dependability score of 72. Its score for Quality & Reliability was unavailable. For Driving Experience, owners gave it a score of 71. The Sedona received a score of 73 for Resale Value.

Not All Kia Models Were Assessed for Dependability

Kia’s lineup includes 19 different models. While older models were scored for dependability, not all models were included in the dependability assessments. In addition to the models that were scored for the 2022 Dependability Awards, Kia also offers the following vehicles:

  • Kia Soul
  • Kia Seltos
  • Kia Sportage, Kia Sportage Hybrid and Kia Sportage Hybrid Plug-In
  • Kia Carnival MPV
  • Kia Telluride (SUV)
  • Kia Niro Hybrid Plug-In and Kia Niro EV
  • Kia EV6
  • Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid
  • Kia Rio and Kia Rio 5-Door
  • Kia K5
  • Kia Stinger

While dependability and reliability might be best ascertained after the car has accrued more miles, there are many auto sites (and writers) that might have an opinion related to which Kia is the most dependable.

Buyers also might consider price, fuel efficiency, and safety ratings when shopping for a new car. Kia models are known for affordable price tags. Many also are fuel efficient and score well for safety ratings.

What Kia Models Have the Best Safety Ratings?

The IIHS awards the safest vehicles with either a Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick rating/award. The difference between these two designations is related to the headlights; vehicles that earn a Top Safety Pick+ offer good/acceptable headlights as a standard feature. Those that receive a Top Safety Pick offer the headlights as an option.

These 2022 Kia models received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award:

  • 2022/2023 Kia K5 4-door sedan
  • 2022/2023 Kia Stinger 4-door hatchback
  • 2022/2023 Kia EV6 4-door SUV

The following Kia models received a Top Safety Pick rating/award:

  • 2022 Kia Soul 4-door wagon
  • 2022/2023 Kia Seltos 4-door SUV
  • 2023 Kia Sportage 4-door SUV
  • 2022 Kia Sportage 4-door SUV
  • 2022/2023 Kia Sorento 4-door SUV
  • 2022/2023 Kia Telluride 4-door SUV
  • 2022/2023 Kia Carnival minivan

What is the Most Affordable Kia?

Buyers with a smaller budget for a new car might have several choices when shopping for Kia models. The most affordable Kia model is the Kia Rio, which has a starting MSRP of only $16,750. The Forte and Soul also are less than $20K.

These vehicles also are affordable related to their fuel consumption. The Kia Rio can get an estimated 36 MPG combined. The Forte can get an estimated 35 MPG combined, and the Soul can get an estimated 33 MPG combined.

Is Kia a Reliable Car

Kia’s Electric Options

Kia also offers numerous hybrid models that provide even greater fuel efficiency. However, some buyers might focus on electric offerings. Kia’s lineup includes two electric vehicles: the EV6 and the Niro EV.

The 2023 Kia EV6 has a starting MSRP of $48,700. It offers an estimated range of 310 miles.

The 2023 Niro EV is slightly less expensive. The Niro EV has a starting MSRP of $39,950 and offers an estimated range of 253 miles.

Does Kia Offer a Pickup Truck?

While numerous other brands offer either a lightweight or heavy-duty pickup truck (or both), Kia’s lineup currently doesn’t include a pickup. However, Kia offers numerous SUV models including the large Telluride.

The 2023 Kia Telluride is a full-size, three-row SUV that seats up to eight. The Telluride has a starting MSRP of $35,890, making it one of the more affordable three-row SUVs on the market. The Telluride can tow up to 5,000 to 5,500 pounds.

Upcoming Kia Models

Kia has announced that it will debut the new 2024 Seltos in Spring of 2023. The new Seltos will be roomier and offer nine standard driver assistance features. According to Car and Driver, the Seltos is expected to have a starting price of $25K.

Is Kia a Reliable Car

What to Consider When Shopping for a New Kia

Buyers have numerous models to consider among Kia’s vast lineup. The brand offers plug-in hybrids, standard hybrids, and electric models, too. Models range in price, but several are less than $20K and might be an ideal choice for budget buyers.

Numerous Kia models scored well for safety and earned either a Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick award/rating from the IIHS. Buyers might research the ratings of the models they are considering; the IIHS provides safety reports for models they assess.

Kia’s most affordable models also can be incredibly fuel efficient. Kia’s least expensive models all offer more than 30 MPG combined.

The brand also offers two electric vehicles. However, like many electric options on the market, Kia’s electric vehicles are more expensive than many of its other models. The EV6 is priced at more than $48K and the Niro EV is slightly less than $40K. However, hybrid models could be a more economical choice for eco-conscious buyers.

Car shoppers who want to review the dependability scores for earlier Kia models can review the data from J.D. Power’s Dependability Awards. Again, though, only cars that are at least three years old are assessed; buyers who want to understand the potential dependability of newer models might need to research reviews from auto sites and pros.

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