Kia vs Hyundai Which Is The Most Reliable
When you start shopping for a new car, one of the main questions in your mind is reliability. Is this car going to have you stuck on the roadside often? In this Kia vs Hyundai reliability comparison we look at two sibling manufacturers which are both known to produce affordable and reliable cars.
Kia and Hyundai are two reputable car manufacturers with their origins in South Korea. Kia went bankrupt after some years of operation and Hyundai bought a part of the company. This close relationship is evident in the fact that many similar models from the two manufacturers share the exact same body structure though Hyundai manages to outdo Kia in terms of reliability.
Even then, the two operate independently with separate design, marketing and branding functions.
When you go out looking for a reliable car, search the internet, ask friends or experts, these two brand names will probably be mentioned. Both are known as affordable reliable cars so it may take some thorough research to find which one is more reliable than the other.
We have done that digging for you. We compare the Kia and Hyundai brands as well as some popular models of each. These comparisons are based on recent customer surveys, initial purchase warranties and reliability indexes.
We compare the two brands using 3 trusted vehicle survey companies, Consumer Reports, J.D Power and WhatCar? All these use various methods to collect data from current and past owners detailing problems and repair issues they have experienced. This data is used to rank the cars based on reliability.
These surveys are trusted because information comes from actual owners and not manufacturers. It tends to be more balanced. Potential buyers are aware that marketers from individual manufacturers rarely give negatives which are also of interest to them.
The downside to surveys is that they cannot be used to get long-term information on newly introduced brands and models. If a model has only been in the market for a year, owners can only give you information on the model’s reliability in the first year of the car’s life.
How do Kia and Hyundai compare in Reliability based on Customer Surveys?
Kia Vs Hyundai Reliability: Customer Survey Table
|Consumer Reports most reliable cars 2020||9||6|
|J.D Power vehicle dependability study 2020||14 (132 PP100)||13 (132 PP100)|
|WhatCar? Brand reliability survey 2019|
The first thing we note when analyzing these two brands is that they are very closely ranked by all companies. It is clear that they are close competitors where reliability is concerned.
Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai as the 6th most reliable car and Kia comes just a few places down at 9th place. J.D Power which has been doing vehicle reliability ratings for many years puts Kia in 14th place and Hyundai right above it at 13th place.
J.D Power also compares vehicles based on the number of problems experienced in every 100 vehicles. In this case, the two brands record a similar number of problems, which is 132, just slightly lower than the industry average of 134 problems per 100 cars.
WhatCar? Also places them side by side. Kia is ranked as the 6th most reliable car while Hyundai is 7th. The former scores 96.3% and the latter scored 95.7%.
It is worth noting that if there was a prize for best improved brands over the years, Kia would be a well deserving recipient. This name was, in 2016 ranked as the number 1 brand for reliability by J.D Power. It was the first non-luxury brand to take this position since 1989.
This was a huge leap from not so far back (2005) when Kia ranked 30th in J.D Power’s Initial Quality study. A few years before that it had ranked 37th. .
It is crucial that you are clear on the details of the factory warranty your new car comes with. It is different with every manufacturer though there are some basic elements in just about all of them. These include the New Vehicle Limited Warranty also known as the bumper-to-bumper warranty, the powertrain warranty, anti-perforation and roadside assistance.
Kia and Hyundai warranty offers are interesting to analyze because the two stand out from the crowd. They both offer longer warranty periods and mileages compared to other brands.
Kia and Hyundai’s basic bumper-to-bumper warranties for example last 5 years or 60,000 miles when other similar warranties in the market last 3 years or 36,000 miles. There are however, some differences in the two which you should be clear about if you are considering buying any of the two brands.
How do Kia and Hyundai Compare in Reliability Based on Initial Purchase Warranties?
Kia Vs Hyundai Reliability: Warranty Comparison Table
Warranty periods are given in terms of length of time or miles covered, whichever comes first.
|1.||Bumper-to-bumper warranty||5 yrs./ 60,000 miles||5 yrs / 60,000 miles|
|2.||Powertrain warranty||10 yrs / 100,000 miles||10 yrs / 100,000 miles|
|3.||Anti-perforation warranty||5 yrs / 100,000 miles||7 yrs / unlimited mileage|
|4.||Roadside Assistance||5 yrs / 60,000 miles||5 yrs / unlimited mileage|
|5.||Replacement parts and accessories limited warranty||_____________||1 yr / 12,000 miles|
|6.||Federal emissions defect and performance warranty||_____________||8 yrs / 80,000 miles|
|7.||Lifetime hybrid battery warranty||______________||Lifetime ( unless resold)|
Both Kia and Hyundai factory warranties have similar coverage for the overall bumper-to-bumper warranty and powertrain warranty which are 5 years or 60,000 miles and 10 years or 100,000 miles respectively. Bumper-to-bumper warranties cover all elements of the vehicle with the exception of common wear and tear items like tires, blades on windshield wipers and brake pads. The powertrain warranty covers the engine, axles, drive shafts and transmission.
That is as far as mirror image similarities go. Anti-perforation warranties which cater for repair of perforations on the car body’s sheet metal caused by poor workmanship are slightly different. For Kia, it lasts 5 years or 100,000 miles and for Hyundai, it lasts 7 years with unlimited mileage.
Another difference is in the roadside assistance warranty. For Kia, you can get assistance for the first 5 years or 60,000 miles. If you have a Hyundai you are a little better because the time period is 5 years and there is no limit on mileage.
One notable warranty which features in Hyundai’s list is a lifetime hybrid battery warranty. It applies to hybrid and electric batteries though subsequent owners don’t get lifetime coverage. They are limited to 10 years or 100,000 miles.
You cannot do a complete reliability analysis of a vehicle without considering its reliability index. This is a ranking assigned to different vehicle brands and models which is aimed at giving potential owners a clear indication of car dependability.
It takes into consideration the frequency of breakdowns and the cost of financing these repairs through professional technicians and auto shops. Also considered is the average amount of time likely to be spent at the shop.
The lower the number, the more reliable the car or brand is. The higher the RI (reliability index) figure, the less reliable you would expect the car to be.
Here we compare reliability indexes by brand as well as 3 top models from each brand. Also included is a comparison of average off-road hours.
How Kia and Hyundai Compare in Reliability Based on Reliability Index?
Kia Vs Hyundai Reliability: Reliability Index Table:
|Brand||Overall brand ranking||Model||Reliability Index||Average off-road hours|
Reliability Index: 109
Reliability Index: 93
According to the latest reliability index ratings, Kia is the 19th most reliable brand with an overall brand reliability index of 109. Hyundai takes 13th place in overall brand rankings with a reliability index of 93.
The Kia Rio is the best performing model with a reliability index of 35 and an average off-road time of 1.46 hours. The most unreliable Kia model on our list is the Sorento which carries a reliability index of 144 and spends an average of 3.84 hours at the shop. The averagely performing Kia is the popular Sportage which has a reliability index of 94 and spends about two and a half hours in repairs.
Hyundai’s best performing model here is the i10 which has a reliability index of 12 and spends 1.32 hours in repairs. The i30 has an index of 31 and the least reliable Hyundai model on our list is the Tuscon. These two models spend 3 and 2 hours in repairs respectively.
Kia and Hyundai are sibling names in the automotive industry. There are some undeniable similarities in their products although they are two independent manufacturers. From our comparison, Hyundai takes the lead as the more reliable car. It is ranked better by two of the 3 customer survey companies. It also scores better in terms of reliability indexes.
When it comes to warranties, it is clear that the two trounce the rest of the industry with much more attractive terms. Pick a fine tooth comb and you will realize that Hyundai’s warranty conditions are more attractive. Hyundai’s anti-perforation warranty lasts 2 years longer than the Kia one and comes with no limit on mileage when the Kia one has a 100,000 mile limit.
Hyundai’s roadside assistance warranty is just as long as the Kia one (5 years) but Hyundai’s has no limit on mileage wile Kia places a limit of 60,000 miles. Hyundai also offers a replacement parts and accessories warranty while Kia doesn’t.
What Is Not Included in My Hyundai Warranty?
The Hyundai warranty does not include costs for regular maintenance like oil changes and cleaning, wiper blades and other maintenance items. It also doesn’t cater for costs linked to negligence or accidents.
Why Have Kia Reliability Rankings Shot up So Drastically?
Kia reliability rating have increased iver the years as their build quality has improved. Kia have over the years placed more emphasis on cleaner launches and greatly improved their infotainment systems. Improvements in craftsmanship have also been responsible for higher quality cars.