Ranking 43 Kia Generations by Reliability

Nearly every model can be grouped into generations, which is a collection of years where the cars are continuously produced and very few, if any, changes are made. Sorting models by their generation gives us a clearer roadmap of potential problems.

Manufacturers don't always make it clear when a new generation begins, but we do our best to keep our generation data accurate to better predict problems. Use this information as a guide for making your decisions. Or don't (but you really should).

Rank Model Years Reliability PainRank (?)
43rd Sorento Gen 2 2011—2014
33.73
42nd Optima Gen 3 2011—2015
32.93
41st Sorento Gen 3 2015—2019
12.4
40th Forte Gen 1 2010—2014
9.96
39th Soul Gen 1 2010—2013
9.55
38th Sportage Gen 3 2011—2015
7.77
37th Optima Gen 2 2006—2010
6.69
36th Soul Gen 2 2014—2019
6.63
35th Sorento Gen 1 2003—2010
6.5
34th Spectra Gen 2 2005—2009
6.11
33rd Optima Hybrid Gen 3 2011—2015
5.03
32nd Sedona Gen 1 2001—2005
4.51
31st Rondo Gen 2 2007—2012
4.49
30th Sedona Gen 2 2006—2014
3.97
29th Rio Gen 1 2001—2005
3.95
28th Borrego Gen 1 2009—2009
3.76
27th Cadenza Gen 1 2014—2016
3.62
26th Rio Gen 2 2006—2011
3.15
25th Sedona Gen 3 2015—2019
3.04
24th Sportage Gen 1 1995—2002
3.02
23rd Sportage Gen 2 2005—2010
2.95
22nd Forte Koup Gen 2 2015—2015
2.86
21st Rio Gen 3 2012—2017
2.82
20th Spectra Gen 1 2000—2004
2.78
19th Forte Gen 2 2015—2019
2.74
18th K900 Gen 1 2013—2018
2.55
17th Optima Gen 4 2016—2019
2.54
16th Sportage Gen 4 2016—2019
2.44
15th Optima Gen 1 2000—2005
2.35
14th Niro Gen 1 2017—2019
1.7
13th Sephia Gen 2 1998—2001
1.63
12th Rondo Gen 3 2014—2016
1.36
11th Amanti Gen 1 2004—2009
1.28
10th Forte Koup Gen 1 2010—2014
0.99
9th Niro Plug-in Hybrid Gen 1 2018—2019
0.74
8th Sephia Gen 1 1996—1997
0.55
7th Rio Gen 4 2018—2019
0.43
6th Optima Hybrid Gen 4 2016—2019
0.22
5th Soul EV Gen 1 2015—2019
0.01
4th K900 Gen 2 2019—2019
0.0
3rd Stinger Gen 1 2018—2019
0.0
2nd Optima Plug-in Hybrid Gen 1 2017—2019
0.0
1st Cadenza Gen 2 2017—2019
0.0

Answers to the most frequently asked questions

What Are Vehicle Generations?

Generations are groups of model years where the vehicles are continuously produced, use similar engineering, and share features. Generational data is not always cut-and-dry – manufacturers might not always release generation information, some generations might last longer in different countries, and various trim levels and model variants can make the whole thing confusing. We do our best but make no guarantees about our generation data. When in doubt, we stick with data about US models.

Why Are Some Vehicles Missing a 1st / 2nd / 3rd Generation?

You might notice that some of our data starts at generation 5, 6, etc. So what happened to the older generations? One of two things. 1. some models have been around a long time and we don’t have any complaint or NHTSA data about them. 2. some new models share the same platform as existing models, so we typically tie them together. For instance, a new hybrid vehicle might be introduced during the 5th generation of its non-hybrid counterpart. We’ll typically start the hybrid’s generation at 5, unless it’s otherwise noted.

What is PainRank™? Where Does it Come From?

PainRank™ is a CarComplaints.com algorithm that uses complaint data from owners (the average mileage of failures, the cost to make repairs, etc), relative complaints analysis, sales numbers, NHTSA data, & owners’ own vehicle rankings to come up with a number representing how much pain a car inflicts on its owners. The higher the PainRank™ score, the more painful a car is to own (typically).