Kia Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.33/5 Average
7,338 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 7,338.00
  • Excellent Small SUV - 2021 Kia Seltos
    By -

    Coming from a Ford Escape, you can tell where Kia has improved upon the small SUV design. It does feel slightly smaller but the color schemes are great and is very snappy.

  • Good - 2015 Kia Sedona
    By -

    I got my first Sedona 2003, second Sedona 2009 and my Sedona now 2015 , I've had it since April 1st of this year. So since 03 until now I've been driving Sedonas .

  • Two accidents, little damage - 2009 Kia Rio
    By -

    I have been side swiped and now rear ended. Both sounded very bad, loud bangs and jolt. I have zero repairable damage, just a slight scratch and small ding. I will buy Kia again!

  • I love my Forte! - 2017 Kia Forte
    By -

    My 2017 Forte is my second-ever car, following the Accord Id had for 9 years. I love the interior of the Forte - the first time I ever sat in it, I felt like a CEO, and I still do. Its just so classy - the display is so nice and I really love the design of the seats. The front seat has plenty of leg room and the back seat has plenty of space. Im 58" and my boyfriend is 65" and we agree that the front seat is really comfy and accommodating for tall folk. I adore the outside of the car, too - the little front windows between the windshield and the mirrors (what do you call those?) are so charming to me. The only kind of off-putting thing about this car is that the display lights up even if your headlights arent on. That took some getting used to, and I definitely drove with my lights off a couple of times the first week. I have the LX with the popular package and I think the technology is perfect - I really enjoy having a back-up camera and the displays are all really user-friendly and aesthetically attractive. Ive only had my Forte since December but so far, I love her.

  • Very Disappointed - 2015 Kia Sorento
    By -

    Lots of issues with this vehicle. Very dangerous blindspot on both sides. Doing an over the shoulder check is a must before changing lanes or backing up. Fuel consumption is terrible with the 2.4 liter engine. My F150 is much better. Steering wheel bottom controls not well placed. I would inadvertently activeate certain functions when sliding hand to bottom of steer wheel. I also noted lots of road noise when driving at highway speed. Seems that Kia may have scimped on the insulation. The factory installed remote start has lots of issues. The normal key FOB does not support a remote start so you need to carry two all the time. There also lots of issues with with the car alarm going off when using the remote start. Very poor design. The #1 issue overall is the suspension and ride. Its like driving a tank. Very uncomfortable and rough to drive. All that being said, I would not recommend you buy this car. Too many issues and not enough solutions.

  • 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. Its not the sportiest or fastest car Ive 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 cant be found. I have a squeaky rattle in the van since picking it up (and the dealership cant 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. Im 65", and the Rondo has plenty of head, shoulder and leg room for me and a 6 passenger riding behind me. Maybe it wont 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 havent 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 Ive 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.

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