What Kia Has The Least Amount Of Problems? (Revealed!)


Kia produced cheap and low-performance vehicles in the 2000s. That reputation still remains with some motorists, but Kia has improved its vehicles greatly over the past two decades. Today, Kia produces reliable vehicles for different markets around the world. 

Although Kia has had its issues in the past, the Korean automaker has a host of reliable models. Below are some of the most reliable models from Kia.

What Kia Has The Least Amount Of Problems?

The Kia Sportage and Kia Telluride. Although the other models have had a few challenges, they are still reliable when you need an everyday car. Kia shifted from a brand that made cheap and poorly made cars to a brand that creates reliable vehicles to rival Toyotas and other models of this world. 

Today, most Kias can hit up to 200,000 miles when properly maintained. Here is what you need to know about Kia models. 

Kia Models You Can Trust

Kia Telluride

Kia Telluride is one of the recent additions to the Kia lineup. It is a midsize crossover introduced as a concept car in 2016, and it was later launched in 2019. Perhaps the fact that it is a modern vehicle makes it stand out among other vehicles from Kia. 

The Telluride is the largest vehicle Kia produced. When it launched, MotorTrend named it the World Car of the Year and also the SUV of the year in 2020. 

It features a 3.8L V6 engine that allows it to perform exemplary on and off the road. 

It is a model for the U.S. as it is not available in South Korea. 

The model is available in four trim levels; the base LX, S, EX, and SX, which is the top trim. 

If you want more features in the SX model, you can take the available SX Prestige Package, which introduces Nappa leather, all-wheel drive, head-up display, and heated and ventilated seats among premium features. 

The Telluride also offers a host of advanced technology features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and Kia’s Drivewise driver assistance technologies. 

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage was the UV to go for before the Kia Telluride. It is a compact crossover SUV since 2004. Kia released it to fall in between the Sorento and the Seltos.

The first generation of the Sportage came out in 1993. However, this generation did not have any significant performance strength. 

The second generation came as a major improvement of the first generation. 

This second-generation was released in 2005. Although the styling was better, the new generation did not have the off-road capability of the previous generation. It was also larger than the previous model. 

However, the model from 2005 came with an available engine that generated 173-hp V6. 

The Kia Sportage was named one of the most reliable and inexpensive models in 2009 in a Consumer Reports survey. 

It is also one of the least expensive models to insure after the facelift in 2008. 

The second generation of the Sportage was rated five stars out of a possible five by the NHTSA while the IIHS rated the 2008 model as acceptable for safety. 

Common Problems Experienced with Kia Models

Although most of the Kia models do not have any major issues, the success of Kia has not been without challenges. 

Some of the problems include:

Kia Sedona had a faulty alternator. The model received more than 300 complaints in CarComplaints and NHTSA, most of which were about the electrical system. 

The Kia Rio has also had several complaints. Its 2004 model received the highest number of complaints, thanks to its many engine problems. 

Further, the 2007 Kia Rio also experienced engine problems, but the 2004 problems were more expensive to repair. 

The Kia Forte also had challenges of “intermittent power loss,” especially the 2001 model. 

In total, the Kia Forte has received more than 175 complaints on CarComplaints. This makes Forte the most complained about car after the Optima.

The 2012 Kia Forte had the highest number of problems and complaints, but the 2010 model had the most reported problems, thanks to its knocking engine sound during operation. 

The Optima has received more than 605 complaints on CarComplaints, which makes it one of the most complained about Kia models. 

However, the Optima is one of the most popular Kia models, which explains the high number of complaints. 

The worst year for the Optima was 2011, and like Rio and Forte, it also suffers engine problems. Its 2013 model has an engine failure problem that made Optima lose its popularity among motorists. 

One of the Optima issues was an engine failure at 102,000 miles. The owner of the vehicle used about $4,600 to repair the model. 

Later, in 2015, an engine failure problem cost a motorist about $6,000 to repair. Some motorists claimed to experience the problem earlier at 61,000 miles. 

How Many Miles will Kia Models Last?

The Kia models from the 2000s weren’t as reliable. The company introduced basic models in the state that had a low price tag. 

Over the years, the quality of the cars improved, and they could last well over 100,000 miles without major issues.

Kia’s reliability has improved a great deal, and you can see the reliability in Kia’s generous car warranty. 

Although it is not possible to predict how long a Kia model will last, Kia cars today last for 250,000 miles or longer. 

The longevity of the Kia models is dependent on the driving conditions and how well you take care of the car. 

Modern Kias will compete with Hondas and Toyotas on longevity. The comprehensive warranty that the automaker offers cements the longevity promise. 

When you buy a new Kia, you rely on the automaker that you will have a vehicle that doesn’t require repairs in the first few years of use. 

However, you have to keep up with preventative care maintenance, including tire rotations and oil changes to lengthen the productive life of your vehicle. 

You also need to make repairs timely to ensure there are no severe damages to components of your Kia vehicle. 

Timely repairs ensure that small problems do not exacerbate huge problems, leading to costly repairs. 

Your driving habits will also determine the overall health of your vehicle. Going off the road, hard braking, and pushing the vehicle beyond its limits will increase wear and tear. 

If you would like to drive your car for ten or more years, you should not overlook Kia. 

Are Kia Repairs Expensive?

Kia is one of the automakers that offer a warranty way beyond the standard warranty by other brands. 

You will get a ten-year or 1000-mile warranty on the powertrain, whichever comes first. The warranty is so great that most car owners do not go for an extended warranty. 

However, after the 60,000-mile, or after five years, your warranty becomes limited and most of the minor repairs are not covered. 

You need to check the terms of the warranty to ensure you are not left with some unforeseen bills. 

Kia cars are expensive to maintain, according to YourMechanic. In the first ten years of using the cars, they will cost about $8,800 to maintain. 

This is in comparison to Toyota cars, which will cost you about $5,500 in the first ten years. 

Some of the major repairs recorded are with a few of the Kia models. The 2012 Kia Sorento cost $5,300 to fix a catastrophic engine failure at 73,000 miles. 

The 2011 Optima cost $4,600 to fix an engine failure problem, which occurred at 102,000 miles. 

The 2013 Sorento cost one motorist $5,700 to fix a blown motor at 72,000 miles. These are some of the numbers that show the cost of repairing Kia vehicles. 

All vehicles break down eventually, but you have to take care of your Kia so that it doesn’t break down within the first few years. 

Again, you have to avoid models and model years identified with major engine and transmission problems. As a motorist, you need to ensure that you do not end up with unexpected and huge repair bills. 

Closing Thoughts

A decade ago, Kia vehicles were among the cheapest on the market. Even today, you can still shop for used Kia cars at a bargain. 

Today, however, most of the Kia vehicles are priced the same as Hondas, Hyundais, and Toyotas. 

If you take care of your Kia, you will spend less on maintenance and repairs. The older models were less desirable, and you need to be keen when shopping for used models. 

Newer models have better build quality and better interiors. 

Most of the Kia models are good for different applications. Even if you choose to buy a Kia Sportage, which has several complaints, you will still get several model years that offer you value for your money. Look at online reviews and car complaint boards and forums to know which years to avoid and which to buy. 

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

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