Kia is relatively new to the United States. They opened their first stateside dealership in Oregon in 1994, even though they were founded fifty years before that. Even today, there are fewer than 800 Kia dealership locations spread out across the US. There are some upsides to that low number, though. Many larger cities see a saturation of Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, and other major dealerships. By having fewer Kia dealerships around, you are likely to find better customer service and professional courtesy.
Kia also has some high-quality vehicles to offer. Sure, every dealership wants to be known as professional and works hard to build strong customer relationships, but their automobiles are what brings you to the lot in the first place. Kia wasn’t always held in high regard for its quality, but the last several years have shown a dramatic uptick in the overall quality and selection Kia provides its customers.
At pretty much every Kia dealership, like other dealerships, you are sure to find new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles.
New Kia Models
Kia offers a wide range of vehicles, though not all are available in the United States. What you can expect to find are some of the more popular Kia vehicles, namely the Kia Forte, the Kia Soul, and the Kia Sorento.
The Kia Forte is a compact car that has been in production since 2008. It offers multiple engine options and a lot of high tech features across four trim levels. It has excellent gas mileage, around 40 miles per gallon on the highway, and is extremely affordable, at well under $18,000 MSRP. That may be why it has sold more than 100,000 units in the US alone over the last few years.
The Kia Soul is a subcompact SUV, also introduced in 2008. This uniquely designed SUV immediately stands out in any lineup, instantly recognizable for its boxy shape. The 2020 Kia Soul is the first of the third generation of the Soul. It, too, has sold more than 100,000 units for several years and is one of the best selling subcompact vehicles in the nation. It can also be found for less than $17,500 MSRP.
The Kia Sorento is a crossover SUV and the largest crossover vehicle in the Kia family. It can seat up to seven, depending on the configuration. With a 3.3L V6 engine, the Sorento gets 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque, giving the Kia Sorento plenty of muscle for a vehicle of its size. The Sorento, even with a large body and powerful V6 engine, still manages to get 26 mpg on the highway. However, it will run you more than the Forte or Soul, at $26,290, but you are getting more for your money.
Shopping for a used vehicle can be a daunting task. Between make, model, trim level, model year, packages, and even color, you have thousands of possibilities out there. But, if you start with just one automaker, like Kia, your number is vastly reduced. You still have more than enough options to choose from, but with Kia’s lineup, it is certainly manageable.
Kia has plenty of used and new cars and SUVs to choose from, and they are even introducing a pickup truck sometime in the next few years. That pickup truck is still in the early stages of development and is not yet named. Nonetheless, while we wait somewhat patiently for this new truck, Kia still has plenty of other used options.
Be wary, however, of going too far back into Kia’s history. Like we said before, Kia wasn’t always as lauded for their quality as they are today. Insurance rates on Kias in the early 2000s were particularly high due to poor safety testing. Now, Kia routinely scores among the highest safety ratings in the entire automotive industry. You need to find a sweet spot between newer/safer and older/less expensive.
Certified Pre-Owned Kias
If safety is an issue for you as a driver, and it should be, consider spending a little bit more on a Certified Pre-Owned Kia. Certified Pre-Owned means that it was once a used car but has gone through an extensive certification process by Kia engineers to guarantee it is road-worthy and like new.
It starts off with a 164-point inspection of any Kia vehicle that is considered for the certified pre-owned program. Every aspect of the vehicle, from bumper to bumper, is thoroughly inspected. Inside, outside, top, bottom, and everything you can think of is inspected to make sure it is up to Kia standards. This not only includes all the mechanical workings of what makes a car go and stop, but the computer that regulates it all, plus all the interior surfaces and technology.
Once the vehicle passes the inspection to satisfactory standards, it will also go through a vehicle history report. This will let the inspectors know of any accidents the Kia has been in. This will usually kill any chances a Kia has of being certified pre-owned, as any accident, no matter how minor, could have a potentially serious and long-lasting impact.
Once it is certified, the new owner will also get perks such as roadside assistance and an extended warranty. Kia’s certified pre-owned program is not the greatest in the world, as it requires a $50 deductible for any shop visit. Most certified pre-owned programs do not require a deductible at all. Its powertrain warranty also goes back to the date of original purchase, not the date of the certified pre-owned car’s purchase. This could be a problem for most drivers as other manufacturers offer programs that have a powertrain warranty that starts with the purchase date of the CPO vehicle.
All things considered, though, other certified pre-owned programs have their drawbacks, too, so don’t be too put off by these minor flaws. A certified pre-owned vehicle gives the buyer a much-needed peace of mind, one that they would not get on just any used car. It is absolutely worth the extra money on the sticker price to have that safety net and added security.
Kia Motors has really done a great job in improving their brand and setting themselves apart from the pack of the international automotive market over the last several years. Their vehicles are among the highest quality you can find, they are affordable, and many of them are aesthetically unique enough to turn some heads. They have managed to introduce a vehicle for every niche driver out there while maintaining relevance in the overall public view.
You could do a lot worse than having a new, used, or certified pre-owned Kia. If you would like to see for yourself just how varied, yet popular, they are, visit your closest Kia dealership location. It may not be right around the corner, but it will be worth the trip.