We rented a 2011 Optima and loved the car, so we had no plans to buy a Kia, but the Optima drove so good for the 2-weeks that we had the car, that we just bought one.
The rear sun roof was leaking a bit of water into the car. As I backed down the drive way and hit the brakes real hard, I'd see a small stream of water fall down onto the back dash. Kia gladly fixed it with a new gasket, but they did leave some small scratches on the roof around the sun roof. We didn't say anything, because our sales guy goes to our church, and it is hardly noticeable.
The little circular light around the the ignition key hole by the steering wheel only lights up about half the time. My husband is bugged by this, but we think it would be stupid to let the repair shop take the whole steering wheel assembly apart to change out the bulb. We are afraid they may not get something back just right.
A gear in the driver's door fold in mirror stripped out. The car was covered in ice and the mirror tried to move open and just popped. The repair shop said the gear should have not broke. No big deal. We no longer use the auto fold in mirror when parking on the narrow streets. Probably the fault of the ice.
I can't tell that the cooled seats really work or not. Kia says that they do. The cooled glove box will still let your candy bars melt on the way home.
Fog light bulbs keep burning out too fast. Kia doesn't know why. We just quit using the fog lights.
Some sensor went bad on the turbo that made the car not be able to get much past 45mph when at full throttle. It was fixed in one hour and was a fluke; no big deal as the car still drove and didn't have to be towed.
Sometimes we hear a popping sound coming from the dash, and it sounds like a little motor has a stripped gear or something, but everything still works great. Kia has not been able to reproduce the popping. It is loud enough that if someone is riding with you, they will ask about it.
The car looks great.
The car has fairly good interior room and a good trunk.
The car drives very light and handles very good.
The fuel economy has never been as good as the sticker says, but we have never got what the sticker says on any car ever.
The heated seats are a bit slow to heat up as compared to our Acadia.
The doors open and close very well, and the car feels well built, but the interior is dark, and tons of dark cold plastics make the car feel smaller than it is.
The bar that holds up the back roof is too thick, and creates a blind spot when backing out of a parking spot.
The engine feels very coarse when pushed real hard, and the transmission shifts very hard when gassing the car real heavy, unlike the Acadia, which is silky smooth no matter how hard you gas it.
The dash is starting to get little bows and unevenness in it. You can especially notice it as the sun is going down and shining in thorough the windshield at a low angle.
People look at the car and say it is an amazing looking car, and then when you tell them it is a Kia, the look on their face changes to a look of confusion and suspiciousness of the car's quality and abilities, which I think is unfair to a big degree for the most part.
We got a lot of car for the money, and still feel like we got a good deal so far, but I think if we keep having more little things break, we will trade the car off way before the real "bumper to bumper" warranty is up.
I am concerned about the resale value, as we have seen cars just like ours with the same trim and miles selling for $8000 less than what we owe on ours, so I'd say we are way upside down. I just don't think the public places a lot of positive brand equity in Kia at this point. We didn't even think about this until well after we had bought ours.
Rumors are going around that our dealership is going to close due to money problems. We'd have to drive 90-miles to the nearest Kia dealership for service. We didn't think about this as well. We have 4 GMC and about 6 Chevy dealerships within 40 miles of our house.
I am still going to try and stay positive about this car, and our dealer told us if they close, that we could take the car to a big city and trade it off, and the value of the car would still be good in a big city as they'd still have lots of Kia dealerships, and people wouldn't be afraid to buy a car due to fear (super low resale value), or the lack of servicing facilities that would be built into the local area.
We will see.
I think Kia will become a great car company and be very successful, it will just take time. Our car has had a few issues, but not every car is 100% perfect, and this car was built in a brand new factory with brand new employees and brand new machines.
I have mixed feelings about the car at best, and we might trade it off for a better, less risky brand, but we are likely way upside down at this point.