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 2023, 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:
Toyota – 72
Lexus – 72
BMW – 65
Mazda – 65
Honda – 62
Audi – 60
Subaru – 59
Acura – 57
Kia – 54 (Up 6 spots from the previous year)
Lincoln – 54
This list of the top 10 most reliable brands has gone through quite the shuffle in recent years. Brands like BMW and Kia have witnessed significant rises, climbing 10 and 6 spots, respectively, from the previous year. Conversely, Lexus and Mazda have dropped, but remain on the list.
So, is Kia a reliable brand in 2023? 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 2022 model years (with a few early-introduced 2023 model 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 EV6, 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 EV6, Carnival and K5. The Sportage and Telluride are not far behind.
Here’s how the nine Kia models CR tested were most recently rated:
Base Price: $42,600
Top Spec Price: $61,600
Range: 232 – 310 miles
The Kia EV6 is based on the eGMP electric powertrain that is shared with Hyundai and Genesis counterparts. Since the European and Asian launch of the powertrain back in late 2021, electric Kia, Hyundai and Genesis models have met rave reviews and even automotive awards.
Kia’s electric full-sized SUV, the Kia EV9, is due to arrive and turn heads any day now.
Base Price: $33,100
Top Spec Price: $46,200
MPG: City 13 / Hwy 32 / Combined 21 miles per gallon
Have you ever been inside a Kia Carnival? Chances are you didn’t know living the minivan lifestyle could be so sweet. It’s roomy, modern and even a bit futuristic. Plus, Kia equipped the Carnival with a 290-hp V6 engine. Fuel economy is about standard for a minivan, and could be worse.
Base Price: $25,290
Top Spec Price: $31,690
MPG: City 27 / Hwy 37 / Combined 31 miles per gallon
Don’t count sedans out just yet. The Kia K5 replaced the aged Optima in the United States. CR notes that although the K5 shares its platform with the Hyundai Sonata, the K5 has a more comfortable ride.
The Reliability of Kia’s Best Sellers
The EV6, Carnival and K5 may be the most reliable Kia models, but how do the top sellers fare? Here are the reliability rankings of the best-selling models: the Sportage, Forte, and Telluride.
Base Price: $26,290
Top Spec Price: $43,190
MPG: City 17 / Hwy 34 / Combined 25 miles per gallon
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.
Base Price: $19,690
Top Spec Price: $25,090
MPG: City 31 / Hwy 41 / Combined 35 miles per gallon
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.
Base Price: $35,890
Top Spec Price: $52,985
MPG: City 14 / Hwy 30 / Combined 21 miles per gallon
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.
Kia Maintenance Costs
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 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.
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.