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Kia Has Suddenly Become One of the Most Reliable Car Brands

A few weeks ago, we posted the results of a Consumer Reports reliability study that placed Kia in fifth — ahead of virtually all luxury brands and even ahead of car companies that consumers traditionally consider reliable, like Acura, Honda, Infiniti, Porsche and Subaru.

The study was unusual, but it wasn’t that surprising. We know that Kia has made some big strides in recent years, going from bargain-basement economy cars and little hatchbacks to vehicles that you and I would be pretty excited to own, or at least pretty excited to rent. See the Kia models for sale near you

More recently, a new study came out: the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, which surveys problems owners have with their vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership. While this isn’t a long-term reliability study, it’s a useful tool for understanding how well cars are received when they initially find buyers — and guess who won? That’s right… Kia.

Now, this might not seem like such a big deal to you, but trust me when I say it’s huge news in the industry. One reason is the fact that someone finally unseated Lexus from the top spot, which they had held for approximately 9 million years. But the biggest news is that a scrappy little mainstream automaker like Kia beat out allllll the luxury brands to top this list. All the brands that normally find themselves near the top — Porsche, Lexus, Buick, Lincoln, Infiniti, BMW — were topped by Kia.

Of course, I freely admit that a couple of reliability surveys over a short term don’t necessarily guarantee that a car company has become reliable. But from my time working at Porsche’s corporate headquarters, I know the work that goes into winning the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, and I know that it’s not easy to finish near the top of a Consumer Reports survey, either.

And so, while we should all continue to monitor the situation, I’ll say this: Kia has already debuted some excellent products, and it’s now hard not to be impressed with its promises of reliability. Is there a new Toyota in town? Find a Kia for sale

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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  1. this is complete nonsense i am a professional mechanic kia and hyundai do not compare to toyota quaility and reliability.people have flocked to kia etc because of price andoptions etc as far as engine design and reliability there is no comparison with toyota i cannot count how many times ive seen lets say toyota corollas with 200,000 miles and even camrys with almost 300,000 plus kia doesnt compare

    • LMAO!! Go to a Manheim Auction which is owned by Cox Automotive, which also coincidentally owns Autotrader and you’ll find thousands of KIA’s and Hyundais with 300k-500k plus miles still running, in fact you’ll find more KIA’s and Hyundais in far better shape for the mileage than Toyotas because Toyotas are made with uber cheap materials, while Toyotas may have decent reliability, their quality is still really poor. 

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