View Full Version : Way OT - Any Experience Here With KIA Cars?

Howard Rosenberg
01-11-2007, 9:11 AM
Hi all -

Ordinarily I wouldn't look at either Hyundai or KIA cars.


KIA has frecently come out with an unusual car - a sort of "mini-mini-van" that challenges the Mazda5.

I'd actually been very interested in the Mazda5 but soooooo many of its details are waaaaay off for me.

The KIA Rondo, on the other hand suits me PERFECTLY - overall size, interior room, performance, safety features etc.

But KIA's quality history leaves me apprehensive. The showroom salesman says things have improved greatly in the past year or two; auto journalists LOVE the car - but they only get the car for a week or so.

So, does anyone here have a KIA product? If so, how would you describe reliability, longevity of parts (brakes etc), fuel consumption etc.

Thank you.


Matt Day
01-11-2007, 9:19 AM
Don't they have a 100,000 mile B2B warranty? That's all I'd care about if the price is right and it suits your needs.

I'd still recommend Subaru though;)

John Davidson
01-11-2007, 10:02 AM
I wok on the car industry and lot of people laugh at Hundai and KIA. However many of the trade magazines say the same thing that since Hundai purchased KIA tha there have been great improvement in both design and quality. On the over hand I am a big Mazda fan. I have had both the Mazda 3 SP edtion and know I have an RX-8. Love both of these cars. I work for BMW and they are at the top of my list. Buy the Mazdas come fairly close.

Adam Bauer
01-11-2007, 10:07 AM
I've got a kia rio. The gas mileage is not that great ~27. I bought it mainly because I used to have a Geo Metro that consistantly got 40 mpg. Mechanically though the car seems to be excellent. I've owned it 3 years now and the only problem I've had is that the factory battery died about 2 months ago. However there is almost always a rattling sound in the car that seems to move around. Sometimes its in the dash, sometimes its in one of the doors, sometimes its in the roof, and sometimes its nowhere. So it has kind of a cheapish feel to the interior, but I was looking for a car to get me from point a to point b and the car has done that. Also if you are looking at a hundai how tall are you? My parents have owned two of them and the ceiling height seems low in them. I'm only 5'11" and in both my parents santa fe and their accent my hair would brush the ceiling. In my kia there is plenty of room between the top of my head and the ceiling.

John Schreiber
01-11-2007, 10:34 AM
My farther-in-law drove big American cars all his life. Mostly Grand Marquies and Crown Victorias. He joked that the Crown Vic was the cheapest car on the market on a per pound basis.

About a year ago he bought a Hundai Sonata and he has loved it. Not sure why he made the transition, but it's been a success for him.

Me, I've owned many Mazdas and have had great luck with them. Don't ask me about my Saturn, I'll get booted off the board for bad language.

Ernie Hobbs
01-11-2007, 10:56 AM
As a long-time driver of Fords and Dodges, going to Kia was a big leap. I bought a Kia Sorento 3 1/2 years ago. I now have over 90,000 miles on it and it still feels like a new car. I have been very happy with it and would choose to get another one (although I don't intend to need a new one any time soon). When I was making the decision to get a Sorento, I narrowed my choices from the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot. The Sorento had the best ride and comfort of the three, not to mention that it was $10,000 less than the others. After three years, the quality has remained high and I've been satisfied.

When I was looking at cars, some of the car magazines ripped the Sorento for having a "cheap" interior but, on the contrary, with lots of abuse, it has held up well. My wife has a 2005 Dodge Durango and I have been very disappointed with the quality of the interior components- the plastic feels cheap and has fallen off around the seatbelts. None of this with my Kia.

Regarding service, I haven't been really impressed with the service department at the dealer. The local dealership in Huntsville, AL has changed ownership three times in the past three years and there seems to be a lot of turnover in the service department. Fortunately, I haven't been in there very much. - the only problems that I've had are a couple of warranty things that were fixed right away. Since I've put a lot of miles on it, I've had to get new tires and brakes and the 60,000 mile service was pretty expensive (you have to change the timing belt to keep your warranty valid).

Whenever I'm ready to look for a new car, I hear that Kia is coming out with a 7-passenger Sorento and a Pickup Truck. They'll be in my short list.

Dave Sweeney
01-11-2007, 10:59 AM
My wife has a pre-Hundai KIA Sportage that we purchased new in 2001. She just loves it. Over the last 5+ years we've had it in the shop for what I would say is an above average number of visits. The vast majority of those times were for warranty covered problems which they stood behind 100% percent, no questions asked. Once they got all the warranty covered defective parts replaced the vehicle went quite awhile with only routine maintenance being done to it. Actually, we just replaced the alternator last week and I believe that was the first major under the hood repair we've had to pay for.

I don't think that I'd recommend the Sportage for anyone doing a lot of highway driving but it's a great little car for getting around town.

Randal Stevenson
01-11-2007, 12:02 PM
What in other countries was called a Kia Pride, was sold here as a Ford Festiva. I don't really drive it much anymore, but for what I gave for it, it has been one of the better and cheaper cars to operate. I actually wish Ford still sold them. I have my truck for the lumber runs (work runs/other runs), and used it for around town. When it was my daily driver, my fuel bill was at most $45 a month.

Jeff Monson
01-11-2007, 12:29 PM
I also work in the auto industry, a few years ago I wouldnt recemmond a Kia to anyone, as for now after Hyundia has purchased Kia, I give them a thumbs up. You get alot of car for the money and I havent seen alot of pattern failures in them either, not to say we dont see them in our shop but usually nothing major. The only downside is fairly rapid depreciation, but if its a car you plan on keeping for a few years who cares.

Ron Journeau
01-11-2007, 10:07 PM
Had a 2001 Kia Rio(actually we bought two of them) and my wife's was at the dealer fourteen, count 'em, fourteen times for a check engine light that was never resolved, and warranty was coming to an end, so ditched both of them for Suzuki Swift +'s, been two years now, not sorry for the switch

Mark Rios
01-11-2007, 10:22 PM
If you have/had a Ford Aspire, you own(ed) a Kia. I hated working on those things. :D

Jay Albrandt
01-13-2007, 9:29 PM
In my line of work, the saying is that KIA stands for "Killed In Accident".

Bad construction, bad collision ratings, and airbags that are placed to meet the MINIMUM requirement for transportation safety.

I agree that they appear to be a lot for the money, but it is what you can't see that is important sometimes.

Good Luck.


Curt Fuller
01-13-2007, 11:59 PM
I don't know anything about the Kia but I've found the Consumer Reports ratings to be the best indicators of how a car will perform. That said, I also remember when Toyota (my favorite) was considered cheap Japanese junk. Most people don't buy a car and drive it into the ground anymore so anytime you can get something that comes with a warranty that lasts as long as you plan to own the car, that's a pretty good deal.