Kia Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.33/5 Average
7,333 Total Reviews
Make Overview:

Kia Motors is a South Korean automaker that's relatively new to the United States. In its early years, Kia largely catered to budget-minded consumers with well-equipped vehicles priced below competing models. More recently, this growing brand has kept value a priority while also emphasizing technology and sportiness.

Founded in Korea in 1944, Kia started as a producer of steel tubing and bicycle parts. The company's name has its roots in the Chinese language, and means "to arise, to come up out of Asia." By the early 1950s, the company had produced Korea's first bicycle; by the latter part of the decade, Kia had branched out into motor scooters, with the rollout of the C100.

The 1960s saw Kia expanding its lineup to include motorcycles and three-wheeled cargo vehicles. Naturally, the next logical step was automobile production, and the company began moving in this direction in the early 1970s. By 1973, Kia had built a facility designed to make its automotive dreams a reality; its Sohari plant held the distinction of being Korea's first fully integrated automobile production facility, and went on to spawn Korea's first internal-combustion gasoline engine. A year later, Kia unveiled the Brisa, Korea's first passenger car. By the end of the decade, Kia's technology was being used to manufacture vehicles like the Peugeot 604 and the Fiat 132.

By the late '80s, Kia's lineup included new models like the Concord, Capital, Potentia and Pride. In 1987, Ford brought the Pride to U.S. shores, rebadging it as the Ford Festiva. Seven years later, Ford dealers got a replacement for the entry-level, subcompact Festiva in the form of another Kia constructed product, the Aspire.

Kia finally began selling vehicles in the U.S. under its own name in the early '90s, trumpeting its presence with the introduction of the compact Sephia. The car's rollout was gradual; in the early days of its production, the Sephia was only available in select Western states. By the mid-'90s, SUVs had emerged as a phenomenally popular and profitable vehicle segment. Kia responded with the 1995 Sportage, a compact SUV. By the end of the '90s, Kia's nationwide rollout was nearly complete.

Financial difficulties in the late '90s prevented Kia from expanding its lineup beyond those two models. Hyundai, South Korea's other major automaker, acquired the company in a merger in 1998.

Kia has been on a major upswing since its purchase by Hyundai, with improvements in build quality, performance and overall refinement. Reliability, previously a weak point, has also improved markedly and consumers' confidence was further bolstered by Kia's substantial warranty program. Today, Kia is on a dramatic upswing and offers a broad lineup of well-built coupes, sedans and crossovers that stand out for their value, performance and sporty styling.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 7,333.00
  • Well I bought one! - 2006 Kia Spectra
    By -

    Well I bought my car brand new. I even peeled the plastic off the seats, and body. I tested it for 6 miles and said yes. I traded in my 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS, which yes I do miss. But I have to say that I had more problems with the eclipse than I ever did with my Spectra. It's not the sportiest or fastest car I've ever owned, but I added a set of Autolite platinum plugs and a APC intake. so instead of that measly 138 standard horses I got about 145. Every once in a while I can get that good grip to spin those tires from a dead stop. I have more plan in the performance center, like that stage 2 turbo kit that I found on the net. A 300HP+ Kia Spectra is what I want. Hello Kia?

  • Not impressed - 2005 Kia Sedona
    By -

    I have owned this van almost 3 years now. It has 43k miles on it on I just put the 3rd set of brakes on it. It gets OK gas mileage (about 18-19 combined driving). The front end vibrates horribly and makes a weird popping noise, but the dealership can not find an issue (of course). My tires on the front only seem to last about 15k miles probably due to the front end issue that can't be found. I have a squeaky rattle in the van since picking it up (and the dealership can't fix that either). I would not recommend this car. I hope that the newer models have improved.

  • A real sleeper! - 2008 Kia Rondo
    By -

    The Rondo is a well put-together small car that feels bigger on the road that it really is: the V-6 engine is very quiet, the transmission shifts smoothly, and the amount of room for 5 passengers is simply amazing. I'm 6'5", and the Rondo has plenty of head, shoulder and leg room for me and a 6' passenger riding behind me. Maybe it won't set you heart on fire, but it sure gets the job done without any fuss.

  • Most car for the Money - 2003 Kia Sorento
    By -

    I installed a higher cranking amp battery and haven't replaced any lights since. At 99400 miles the rear U-joint caused vibration at higher speeds then at low speed. It was replaced fully under warranty. In fact, KIA replaced the total driveshaft and support bushing with all related parts free. These reports stating bad warranty are incorrect. KIA is very good! Another car with the same equipment would cost over $30,000.00 compared to $20,000.00 for a new 09 Sorento. Great car fun to drive sure feeling great pickup. Not easy on gas though. Only draw back.

  • Best mid-size SUV on the market today - 2011 Kia Sorento
    By -

    I bought my 2011 Sorento SX AWD new and it has been an absolute pleasure to drive. It is the best new car I've ever owned in my 50+ years on this planet. It was heavily researched before purchasing and there were very, very few negative reviews. Anything that did come up was related to some early transmission problems on the 4 cylinder models. The 2011 Sorento has been a joy to drive and I expect to drive it well past the 10 year/100,00 mile warranty. KIA knocked it out of the park with the Sorento.

  • Love my Amanti - 2006 Kia Amanti
    By -

    I haven't owned my Amanti long but felt compelled to share. I love the way it drives and get lots of compliments. I have been in a Durango and was worried about space but that is not an issue with the Amanti.

  • I Love My Sorento! - 2004 Kia Sorento
    By -

    The warrenty can't be beat. pick the one you want, price it and shop the dealerships on-line. keep shopping them until you get the best price. It's a wonderful car, I love mine. Looks like a Lexus but priced like a Kia.

  • Kia review - 2004 Kia Sorento
    By -

    I thought it would be a big change from driving a car at first it was but it handles great. The gas mileage could be better but what do you expect these days nothing gets as good gas mileage as it used to.

  • Love it - 2004 Kia Sorento
    By -

    Never been happier with an SUV. Owned Hondas for the past 15 years with much satisfaction, but I can't say enough about the Kia Sorento. Much more for the money than anything wlse I test drove, including BMW x5,x3 & Lexus RX330. Buy one and you'll see for yourself.

  • lx 4 wheel drive 3.5atuo - 2004 Kia Sorento
    By -

    this suv is a good handling machine , with features ready to go , do ur comparsion and ur come back

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