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Kia FAQs

Q: What does Kia mean?

A: In Korean, Kia essentially means "to rise from Asia." The first syllable, "Ki," means "to rise from," and the "A" is used to represent Asia.

Q: Who is Kia owned by?

A: Kia is owned by Hyundai and has been since 1998, when the automaker purchased a 51% stake in Kia Motors.

Q: What is the largest Kia?

A: While Kia does offer a minivan (the Kia Sedona), the largest vehicle offered by this car brand is actually the Kia Telluride—a full-size, three-row SUV that's new for the 2020 model year and offers seating for up to eight people.

Q: Is Kia a luxury brand?

A: Kia itself is not considered to be a luxury brand, but the car maker has begun to offer some luxury models in recent years. This includes the Kia K900, which includes such standard equipment as a turbocharged V6 engine, sunroof, leather upholstery, and tri-zone automatic climate control in its 2019 model year.

About Kia

Established in 1944, Kia is a car brand with headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Today, Kia is known for their lineup that includes a wide range of cars, crossovers, SUVs, and even a minivan. The automaker also offers hybrid, plug-in-hybrid, and electric versions of several of their vehicles, including the Optima and Niro.

The Kia Optima has been a staple of the Kia brand since its initial release in 2000; this midsize sedan offers comfortable seating for up to five people, as well as a standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine at 185 hp in its base LX trim (2018 model year). Other standard features for the 2018 model year include a seven-inch touchscreen display, HD/satellite radio, a rearview camera with parking sensors, and heated mirrors.

Those looking for a Kia with more seating capacity and storage space may want to check out the Kia Sedona or Kia Telluride. The Sedona is a minivan with seating for up to eight passengers, as well as such standard features as a 3.3L V6 engine (2018 model year), Slide-N-Stow seating, stain-resistant upholstery, and maximum cargo storage space of 142 cubic feet. Meanwhile, the Kia Telluride is an all-new full-size SUV model for the 2020 model year that also features seating for up to eight people and boasts an even larger profile than the Sedona. It comes with a 3.8L V6 engine at 291 hp and up to 87 cubic feet of cargo storage space.

Those interested in an electric vehicle may want to check out the 2019 Kia Niro EV, which is equipped with a 64 kWh lithium battery and electric motor rated at 201 hp—and gets an EPA-estimated 112 MPGe.1

In recent years, Kia has also begun to offer luxury vehicle options, including the K900 sedan. The 2019 K900, for example, includes a standard turbocharged V6 engine, leather upholstery, tri-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch touchscreen interface, and a premium 17-speaker sound system.

From sedans, wagons, SUVs, and minivans to hybrids, electric cars, and luxury vehicles—Kia has a little something to offer for every driver's tastes.

1Range figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Range will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition, and driving conditions. Battery range may decrease with time and use. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See

Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.

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Kia customer ratings

5 Stars1148
4 Stars500
3 Stars72
2 Stars33
1 Star32

Kia at CarMax

CarMax rankings for Kia

Kia reliability rating (by RepairPal)

RepairPal gave Kia an overall reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Kia 3rd out of 32 among all car brands. This rating is based on an average across all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.
  • Cost RepairPal reports that the average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on all Kia models is $371, compared to an average of $543 across all the models RepairPal considered in its dataset. This includes both scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repairs.
  • Frequency According to RepairPal, Kia owners bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.8 times per year, compared to an average of 1.2 times across all the models RepairPal considered in its dataset.
  • Severity RepairPal reported that the probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 9% across all Kia models, compared to an average of 11% for all the models RepairPal considered in its dataset.

**RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2006-2020 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features. RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. These ratings are based on RepairPal Reliability data as of 09/01/2021. Learn more about RepairPal reliability ratings

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