Kia's reputation?

Does Kia still have a reputation for low quality? Do they have any vehicles with better standards? Are they cheap to maintain, or does the relative scarcity increase the costs?

In the trecent saga of disruption, my car is, how do I put it? NOT RUNNING (poor dear. I love her. And now she’s dead!). So I have to find another. Cheap and reliable are my watchwords. Good gas milage, any kind of CD unit, and power locks set so I can’t lock myself out are my secondary interests.

The lower end Kias do have that stigma, although I personally think it’s somewhat undeserved. The Optimas and Amantis, however, are really very nice and very affordable sedans. I owned an Optima for a year (until an unfortunate hydroplane killed it and tried its best to take me, too), and it was undoubtedly the best car I’ve ever owned. I loved it and miss it, and will almost certainly buy another one when I get the money. Maintenance wasn’t any more expensive on it than on any of my other cars, if I recall correctly.

When I wrecked that one, my insurance got me a lower-end Kia as a loaner, and I loved it, too. It didn’t have the classy feel the Optima did, but it was a good car, and my two weeks of driving it met with no complaints.

ETA: I know that this is more of an IMHO reply to a GQ post, but it’s the best I’ve got today.

Are they Honda-class reliable?

I have never owned a Kia automobile, but I rent from Hertz, and they will occasionally put me into a Kia Amanti. I realize this is the top of the line auto they make, and Hertz doesn’t let the cars get very old, but I’ve been very impressed with the features and quality. I know that when I get a Mercury Grand Marquis I’m always a little disappointed, and the two autos have very similar retail prices.

I know they all have the 8 year, 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty.

I think in the same price point, Hyundai has a better reputation, and I think the better warranty. They have recently been crowing about beating out a Lexus on some quality review (JD Powers I think?)

I have 2-door Accent hatchback, and its been great. Absolutely no complaints. Great mileage, easy to park, I [heart] my hatchback. If you’re thinking of buying new, it comes with a 5 year bumper-to-bumper, and 10 year powertrain, warranty.

I have a five-year-old Kia Rio (which I just paid off – whee!) – it’s been very dependable. Brakes and tires, etc., but no major problems at all. I expect to be driving it at least another five years.

I drove a Kia Rio this past April as a rental car. It was pretty nice and zippy, I must say.

My own car is a Toyota Echo, which has since been replaced by the Yaris. I love my little green baby - gets great mileage and fits into tiny parking spaces (a plus where I live and work). Not the fastest getting up to highway speed, but she’s been very dependable so far.

How did they decide to name it “KIA” for crying out loud? :rolleyes: The name alone is enough to keep buyers away in droves, given the meaning of the already well-established initials KIA.


I had to go look it up. Didn’t know what KIA meant aside from the car … heard all about MIA’s of course. Never put two-and-two together.

Could this be a generational thing? I’m in my mid thirties, and have no memory of Vietnam or any earlier conflict.

It’s a Korean company. According to the Kia corporate site, the name is derived from the Chinese chartacter “ki”, meaning to “arise or come up out of”, and “a”, referring to Asia, so the name indicates “Arising out of Asia”. The Kia name (although maybe not its representation in the Roman alphabet) dates from 1952, several decades before they started importing to the US:

Never occurred to me. 32.

But we wants Rondo. We wants it, precioussssss, yes, we does.

My daughter has a 2002 Kia Rio which she bought new. Never had any trouble. It’s a nice, neat little car. A dependable ride but a little uncomfortable for long trips.

As for the reputation—Jay Leno makes jokes about Kias regularly, but what do you expect from someone who treats cars as toys?

Honda Honda Honda…

Maybe (big “IF”) Kia improves its long term reliability, they could be a second place to Honda.

I have my eye on a 1985 Honda, at a nieghbour’s place… 200000 Km (160,000 miles, roughly)… still running pretty, and parts readily and cheaply available…only $950 (CDN)… (Some rust on body… nothing serious)
I could drive it for 20,000 KM and sell it for that much…
and not rip the buyer off…


Off to IMHO.


Better that than DOA.

I bought a 2002 Kia Rio new and I’ve not had a single problem with it. It was the cheapest car on the market at the time. I paid 9200 bucks for it. I’m rather tall and it offered me much more leg room than my GF’s Toyota of comparable size (and only thrice the price).

I see lots of them in junkyards (I like to hang around junkyards). Its waaay to early to be seeing that many there. By far, they are the newest cars there. Not a good sign.

agrees with Gato


Partly because noone will buy them secondhand, no?

New KIAs are very good at what they do. They make cars a white good of course, but so do most new cars :frowning:

KIAs and a lot of modern cars are designed to be written off is even slighlty damaged (Parking lot collision, fer example)… because they are built by machines they are cheap to produce, but humans can not get at or deal with the finicky machine clips/fasteners one application glues that hold them together…