Are Kia’s New Cars and SUVs Reliable? Here’s How Kia Compares to the Competition

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Last updated Feb 1, 2024

Once a brand synonymous with budget-friendly options, Kia has been striving to shed its old image and emerge as a reputable name in the automobile industry. But how do Kia’s latest cars and SUVs fare in terms of dependability? How reliable are Kia cars and SUVs today? If you’re thinking about purchasing a Kia, we’ve got data you’ll want to see.

Kia Reliability Rankings

Kia’s dedication to quality has not gone unnoticed. In 2024, Kia proudly stands within the top 10 of the most reliable car brands, as ranked by Consumer Reports. Let’s see how Kia’s reliability score measures up against its competitors:

Lexus – 79

Toyota – 72

MINI – 71

Acura – 70

Honda – 70

Subaru – 69

Mazda – 67

Porsche – 66

BMW – 64

Kia – 61 (Down one spot from the previous year, but with a higher score)

This list of the top 10 most reliable brands has gone through quite the shuffle in recent years. Brands like BMW and Kia have entered the top 10, while others like Lincoln and Audi were kicked off.

So, is Kia a reliable brand in 2024? Considering the latest rankings and reviews from Consumer Reports, the answer is a resounding yes.

How does Consumer Reports determine their reliability rankings? Here’s how they explain their methodology:

Every year, CR asks its members about problems they’ve had with their vehicles in the previous 12 months. This year, we gathered data on over 300,000 vehicles, from the 2000 to 2024 model years (with a few early-introduced 2024model years), that address 17 trouble areas, including engine, transmission, in-car electronics, and more. We use that information to give reliability ratings for every major mainstream model.

There you have it. This robust methodology is why consumers put so much trust in the Consumer Reports rankings and reviews. This makes it even more noteworthy that Kia has joined the top 10 most reliable car brands.

Next, we’ll take a look at the most reliable Kia models.

The Most Reliable Kia Models

Consumer Reports tested nine Kia models, and there was a wide range of reliability scores among them. From the terribly rated Sorento to the superb Sportage and Carnival, it’s clear that Kia still has some work to do to bring the entire model lineup into the top rankings.

The most reliable Kia models include the Sportage, Carnival and Forte. The K5 and popular Telluride are not far behind. 

Here’s how the nine Kia models CR tested were most recently rated:

Kia Consumer Reports ratings - 2024 scores

The Reliability of Kia’s Best Sellers

The Sportage PHEV, Carnival and Forte may be the most reliable Kia models, but how do the top sellers fare? Here are the reliability rankings of the best-selling models. A few of the most reliable models are also the most popular!

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage reliability

Base Price: $26,290

Top Spec Price: $43,190

MPG: City 17 / Hwy 34  / Combined 25 miles per gallon

Consumer Reports Reliability Score: 60

Consumer Reports Kia Sportage review

You’ve probably noticed the redesigned Sportage’s spaceship-like front fascia over the past year. Most drivers would agree that it looks good, and is a pleasure to own. Consumer Reports says that The hybrid Sportage is the one to go for because it is “quicker, quieter, and gets 36 mpg overall.” Sounds like a winner for this price point. 

When it comes to reliability, the Sportage ranks slightly above average for the brand with an overall score of 60. 

Browse Kia Sportage listings with local market data.

Kia Forte

Kia Forte reliability ratings

Base Price: $19,690

Top Spec Price: $25,090

MPG: City 31 / Hwy 41  / Combined 35 miles per gallon

Consumer Reports Reliability Score: 44

Consumer Reports 2024 Kia Forte review

In 2023, there are just a handful of new cars priced under $20,000. The Kia Forte still makes the list, just barely. This compact car has some redeeming features, such as impressive fuel economy. However, it has a stiff suspension that is noticeable on any road surface, and a loud cabin with lots of road noise. At this price, it’s still not bad for getting around town.

Browse Kia Forte listings with local market data.

Kia Telluride

Kia Telluride reliability rating

Base Price: $35,890

Top Spec Price: $52,985

MPG: City 14 / Hwy 30  / Combined 21 miles per gallon

Consumer Reports Reliability Score: 59

Consumer Reports 2024 Kia Telluride review

In just a few years, the Kia Telluride has gone from a market newcomer to one of the top selling SUVs out there. There’s no doubt about it: the Telluride offers amazing value for the price. With seating for up to 8 passengers and a well-equipped 291-hp, 3.8-liter V6 engine, there’s a lot to love. Regarding the Kia Telluride’s reliability, it scored just above average in Consumer Report’s testing and member surveys.

Browse Kia Telluride listings with local market data.

Kia Maintenance Costs

According to our CarEdge Maintenance Cost Rankings, Kia ranks #7 in the least expensive brands to maintain after 5 years. That’s in the top quarter of the 42 car brands sold in the U.S.

On average, the 5-year cost to maintain a Kia is $2,167. That’s $500 more than Toyota, about $100 more than Honda, and nearly $100 less than Kia’s sibling Hyundai.

Kia maintenance costs

KIA models average around $8,442 for maintenance and repair costs during their first 10 years of service. That’s because more frequent and costly maintenance is typically required between 5 and 10 years of operation. This is more than the industry average for popular brands by $1,628.

There is also a 19.92% chance that a KIA will require a major repair during that time. This is 0.58% better when compared to the other auto manufacturers in this segment that we have studied.

See the complete breakdown of Kia’s cost of ownership expenses and Kia maintenance costs.

Conclusion: Are Kia’s New Cars Reliable?

Kia’s transformation from a budget-friendly brand to a name that resonates with reliability is commendable. With continual improvements and a keen eye on quality, Kia is steadily carving a niche for itself in the automobile industry. As you contemplate your next vehicle purchase, Kia certainly deserves consideration.

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