For the first time ever, Kia Motors tops the latest JD Power Reliability Study, which ranks automakers as reliable based on the number of problems owners experience in the first three years of ownership. The fewer reported issues, the higher the manufacturer’s ranking. Kia finished third last year.
Kia Motors was not known for its reliability or safety when it entered the US auto market in the mid-1990s. A few years and a merger with Hyundai later, the auto brand has become a household name.
Kia has steadily climbed the reliability rankings over the past two decades. David Amodeo, director of global automotive at JD, Power said Automotive News “[Kia has] hard driving and a relentless focus on quality, reliability and ensuring vehicles last longer. It was certainly not an area in the past where they were so strong.”
Korean automakers like Kia took three of the top four spots on the reliability list: Kia came first with 145 problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai third with 148, and Genesis fourth with 155. American automaker Buick came second with 147 problems. .
Affordable vehicles with high reliability include the Kia Soul, Buick Encore, and Hyundai Sonata.
The Buick Encore ranked first in the small SUV category. You can pick up a new 2022 Buick Encore for a suggested MSRP of $25,195. This is on the more affordable side of things as far as new cars go. Prices for used models vary by year, a 2019 Encore can cost as little as $19,477, depending on CarsDirect Used Car Listings.
Even more affordable and still ranked among the most reliable small SUVs, the Kia Soul can be found new for an MSRP of around $20,005. A 2019 Soul can cost as little as $16,888, depending on your region.
The study found that mass-market cars have fewer problems per 100 vehicles than premium cars, due to the increase in mass-market build quality in recent years. Luxury vehicles can also include more technology, which is prone to issues.
Buying a reliable vehicle is important, and this study helps show which cars, trucks, and SUVs may be more reliable than others. This is especially important if you’re struggling with bad credit or credit issues and can’t afford to invest a large sum of money in a vehicle every few years.
In this case, buying a reliable and affordable car can be a winning combination. Reliability means having a vehicle that can experience fewer problems over time, and can mean higher resale value when it comes time to buy again.
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