Car - not so good. Warranty - worthless
Brakes have been turned twice, oil leak developed at about 25,000 miles, and the trans "twitches" and bogs.
Brake issues are a known quantity for Kia - the dealers we've been to always gripe and try to charge us, but so far just they have relented and fixed them under warranty. I expect they'll charge us next time no matter what.
The oil leak? That was "our fault", according to Kia's corporate offices: we failed to keep our records for oil changes, and Kia assumes we failed to appropriately service the car, therefore the oil leak is due to poor maintenance - it sludged, clogged something, and the pressure created the leak. Never mind the 3000 oil change rule we followed. Kia’s stance? We’re obviously full of crap, and it’s our fault. That’s pretty offensive.
Then there's the transmission. It started to, um, "twitch", for lack of better word. Rough hesitations occur when we drive - not under acceleration, but when cruising or stopped. Speed is irrelevant. We had the trans fluid flushed at about 18K, and recently at 52K, but the problem persists. The other problem that persists is our record keeping: I have no record for the first trans flush, and the service center that did it is gone. In other words: it’s our fault, too. Doubly offensive.
This car is cheap, and that makes it very attractive, but the warranty is the kicker here: 10 years, 100K miles my ass. Keep every receipt, keep every scrap of paper, and be prepared to do battle at the dealership, because even the brake repairs were a struggle. Time to own up - it was not particularly bright of me not to keep better records, but my Windstar (which I hated) was at a dealership a dozen times in it’s life, and I was never questioned, and I developed a bad habit. Never again.
We’re facing about $2,000 in trans rebuild costs, and given we have a relatively young car and two years of financing left, it behooves us to do it. Mathematically, with $2000 in repairs to the trans, we’re still talking $17,000 for the car, total, which beats the hell out of anything else out there. My assumption, though, was we’d have a car that didn’t spew oil and stutter down the road like a Model T for the agreed-upon price.
As for my view of Kia Motors, I am on a one-man campaign to talk people out of buying them. I have a pretty good record so far –15 people I know have ditched their plans to buy one, and I’m working on more as I write this. Just doing my little bit to save the world.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 11th August, 2007