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Of all the new Kia models in the lineup, there are a couple that don’t exactly have what it takes to satisfy their owners. There are several compelling vehicles in the Korean manufacturer’s lineup. But, according to Consumer Reports, owners aren’t loving these 2021 Kia models. In fact, a survey shows comparatively low percentages of owners that would buy one again. But does this mean they aren’t good cars?

A red 2021 Kia Sportage driving
2021 Kia Sportage | Kia

Some models are consumer favorites, while these two new Kias score low predicted owner satisfaction scores. If you are shopping the Kia lineup, these models should be on your radar. Not because they stand above the rest, but because owners say they wouldn’t buy them again. 

That said, just because these two earned a low predicted consumer satisfaction score doesn’t mean they are all bad. Let’s check them out. Here are the least satisfying 2021 Kia models according to Consumer Reports

While the most satisfying 2021 Kia models scored in the 70th percentile for owners that say they’d buy the vehicle again, only 59 percent said they’d buy another Kia Sportage. The 2021 Kia Sportage starts at $24,090. The range-topping trim has a starting price of $35,350. 

Despite earning such low consumer satisfaction scores, the 2021 Kia Sportage still earned the recommendation badge from Consumer Reports. CR calls the Kia Sportage a “competitive small SUV that blends a spry appearance with somewhat sporty handling.” Standard automatic emergency braking is also highlighted as a strong point for this compact SUV. 

Only 59 percent of owners say they would buy the Kia Sportage again. That may not seem super low, but in comparison to Kia’s other crossover SUV models it’s on the low end. For example, 91 percent would repeat buy the Kia Telluride and 71 percent say they would buy another Kia Sorento. 

The 2021 Kia Rio ‘is one of the better subcompact cars, but it’s still basic transportation’

A blue metallic 2021 Kia Rio 5-Door Hatchback parked on a street overlooking a body of water at sunset
2021 Kia Rio 5-Door Hatchback | Kia

The 2021 Kia Rio is not recommended by Consumer Reports. In fact, there is missing data for most of the model years of this Kia sedan. It now comes as a hatchback and a four-door subcompact car. But it only received a score of 2/5 from Consumer Reports for predicted owner satisfaction. 

Consumer Reports doesn’t see owners loving this car or buying it again. Due to the fact that there are other options in the class that offer a far better experience for passengers, you may want to shop around a little more if you have your eye on the 2021 Kia Rio. For example, CR recommends places the 2021 Nissan Versa significantly higher than the Rio. 

Consumer Reports calls it “a loud car, with a stiff ride and leisurely acceleration from its 1.6-liter engine.” The S trim, which gives drivers a host of active safety features brings the price closer to the compact car segment, so opting to move up a class might prove a wise choice. Still, the 2021 Rio is not all bad. It features a user-friendly interface with straightforward controls and gets up to 48 mpg on the highway. It’s also priced in an affordable range of $16,050-$16,990.

The least satisfying 2021 Kia models according to Consumer Reports

Kia offers a good lineup of models for 2021. When it comes to consumer satisfaction, the 2021 Kia Rio and the 2021 Kia Sportage are the 2021 Kia models with the lowest scores. They both offer some high points and the Sportage is actually a CR recommended subcompact SUV. 

Regardless of the good things, these models aren’t expected to prove worthy of buying again. Owners of these two 2021 Kia models will likely opt for another vehicle when it comes time to buy again. That said, people tend to move on from lower budget entry-level models as soon as they can afford it.

You get what you pay for

A red 2021 Kia Sportage parked
2021 Kia Sportage | Kia

The 2021 Kia Rio Hatchback Is Practically in a Class of Its Own

Especially within the automotive market, it often circles back to the timeless phrase, “you get what you pay for.” Sometimes buying a brand new vehicle seems appealing for reasons such as a new car factory warranty. However, it’s important that consumers weigh their options because sometimes buying a used car in the same price point can offer a longer list of desired features than a basic budget car that’s brand new.