Kia Vs. Hyundai Reliability (Which Brand Is More Reliable?)

Last Updated on December 17, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

Kia and Hyundai are the most popular South Korean car brands in the USA, each with loyal customers. The brands are closely related since both are from the Hyundai motor group. Customers appreciate these brands because they are affordable, reliable, and with excellent performance. According to various surveys, Kia is more reliable than Honda.

Key Takeaways

  • According to J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, both Kia and Hyundai ranked above the industry average when it comes to reliability ratings
  • Kia has a reputation for offering value in its vehicles with luxurious features, safety features, etc.
  • Hyundai is known for its quality construction and durability with features like a fully digital instrument cluster, various safety features, etc.
  • Kia has a better performance record than Hyundai in the small car category while Hyundai outplays Kia in the compact car and midsize car categories

How do you know if a car is reliable?

 You can use several methods to tell if a car brand is reliable. These methods include:

  • Reliability index
  • The average cost of repairs and maintenance
  • Warranty and After-sale benefits
  • Fuel consumption

Let’s look at all these methods in detail to compare Kia and Hyundai’s reliability better.

Reliability index

The reliability index is a universal measure computed by accounting for all the times a car fails, the cost of repairs, and the average time a vehicle spends off the road due to repairs. It is comprehensive and considers the vehicle’s mileage and average age.

Gong to RepairPals’ reliability rating, Kia is more reliable than Hyundai. Kia has a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it 3rd out of 32 car brands. Hyundai also has a 4.0 out of 5.0 rating, ranking it 4th out of all 32 brands.

The average cost of repairs

Another popular method used to determine a car brand’s reliability is the cost of repairs. The average annual cost of repairs of a car brand compared to the average in its class can tell you whether the brand is reliable or not.

According to repair, the average cost of repairing and maintaining a Hyundai is $468, while that of a Kia is $652. Going by these figures, it is more expensive to maintain and improve a Kia than Hyundai. However, the figures differ by model; some Kia models are cheaper to maintain than Hyundai. Let’s look at how much it will cost on average to repair and maintain different Kia and Hyundai models.

Kia modelThe average annual repair costHyundai modelThe average annual repair cost
Kia Soul$437Hyundai Santa Fe$515
Kia Sportage$462Hyundai Sonata$526
Kia Optima$471Hyundai Elantra$526
Kia Sorento$533Hyundai Tucson$521
Kia forte$451  
Kia Rio$434  
Kia Sedona$495  
Kia K900$697  

Cost of basic maintenance

Every vehicle comes with a manufacturer’s manual that provides guidelines on its maintenance schedule for optimal performance. The program includes oil changes, checking the brakes and tires, and general maintenance. You will also need to replace some components, such as filters, from time to time. 

The cost of servicing and maintaining your car will vary depending on the specific model and mileage. The average cost of maintaining a Kia is almost the same as that of a Hyundai. This is because the brands are almost similar and share parts

Warranty and After-sale benefits 

The warranty details and after-sale benefits from the manufacturer can also tell you if the brand is reliable or not. A warranty guarantees quality, so the better its terms, the better you expect the car to be.

Kia has a more extended warranty term compared to Hyundai, making Kia more reliable in that sector. Below is a comparison between Kia and Hyundai warranties.

Bumper to bumper60,000 miles or 5 years60,000 or 5 years
Powertrain100,00 miles or 10 years100,000 miles or 10 years
Anti-perforation100,000 miles or 5 yearsN/A
Roadside assistance60,000 miles or 5 yearsN/A

Fuel consumption 

With the current fuel prices and the state of the economy, fuel consumption is a significant consideration when choosing the car brand to buy. Both Kia and Hyundai make fuel-efficient vehicles. They also have hybrid and electric cars on their lineup to help drivers save on gas as they keep the environment free from pollution. Both brands have proven to stand out by being fuel-efficient.

Valuable Tips for enhancing the dependability of your vehicle

If you want to rely on your car regardless of the circumstances, you must take care of it. Here are some helpful tips for improving your vehicle’s reliability:

  • Use a washable and more efficient filter for air filtration.
  • Protect your combustion chamber by adding an oil catch that captures and filters any recirculated oil or junk.
  • Catch excess coolant by using a pressurized radiator cap and an overflow tank.
  • Use the best-quality spark plugs and replace  worn-out wires with better-quality ones
  • Go for  braided brake lines over the usual factory ones
  • Flush your engine oil  regularly
  • Be a careful driver 


Kia and Hyundai are South Korean car brands taking the US car market by storm. Both brands are reliable in various situations and very affordable to buy and maintain. It is not unusual to have a dilemma when choosing between the two.

Kia is great if you want a spacious and comfortable ride with value for money. On the other hand, Hyundai is great if you want luxury and tech features on a budget. Their car has been designed with great attention to detail. Kia comes with a well-thought-out warranty that ensures most owners don’t spend a dime on repairs in the first five years. Now that we’ve compared the brands, you already know where you lean toward and can decide which brand is more reliable overall.