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Kia is the second-largest South Korean automaker. The company began in 1992 with the Sephia, followed by the successful Kia Sportage compact crossover SUV. After experiencing a financial crisis in 1997, Hyundai Motor Company acquired 51% ownership of Kia, creating a beneficial collaboration of technology and innovative ideas between the two South Korean automobile manufacturers.

Kia has worked hard over the years to build a brand that offers exceptional performance, enhanced equipment options, and impressive styling. While it still competes in the entry-level market, the automaker today creates several class-leading luxury models. Here are three top-rated Kia models worth considering when shopping for a new or used vehicle.

2023 Kia Rio 

MotorTrend ranked the 2023 Kia Rio as the No. 1 choice in the subcompact hatchback and subcompact sedan segments, receiving an overall score of 8.6 out of 10.

Considered an overlooked hidden gem, the base model of the Kia Rio LX Sedan trim has a starting MSRP of $16,570, with the five-door S Hatchback starting at $17,690. When equipped with the technology package, the 2023 Kia Rio S has a median list price of $20,240. Featuring a four-cylinder 1.6-liter engine paired with an IVT continuously variable automatic transmission, the small car generates 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque, achieving an EPA-estimated combined 36 mpg. named the Kia Rio the 2023 Best Value New Car, saying, “It’s hard to beat a small sedan or hatchback when it comes to affordability and value.” While the Rio may not offer massive cargo space, it does meet all technology and safety criteria, featuring pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility.

2023 Kia Telluride 

Kia Telluride grille, one of the top rated Kia models.
2023 Kia Telluride | Kia Media

When it comes to larger vehicles, one of Kia’s most popular midsize crossover SUV is the Telluride. With an MSRP of $35,890 to $52,985, the 2023 Kia Telluride is the No. 1 pick by MotorTrend for the three-row SUV category, earning an overall score of 8.9 out of 10. 

The eight-passenger SUV features a V6 3.8-liter engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission to generate 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 to 20 mph in the city and 24 mpg to 26 mph on the highway, which is average for its class.

Also ranking the Telluride as its top pick among midsize SUVs, U.S. News claims the best-selling vehicle “impresses with its luxe and roomy interior, intuitive tech features, refined driving dynamics and outstanding value proposition.”

2023 Kia Stinger

The 2023 Kia Stinger ranked among the best full-size cars, featuring a four-cylinder turbo 2.5-liter engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission to push 300 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque.

While the special edition sports models have ended production, the Kia Stinger sedan still exists until at least the end of the 2023 model year. Kia officially announced it will release a special Tribute edition, capping it at a 1,000 global production run to end the line.

Car and Driver said the 2023 Kia Stinger “is a good-handling car with surprisingly comfy ride quality plus sharp styling and a premium interior.” It has an MSRP of $36,690 to $54,090 and contends with high-end models such as the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback.


Kia Telluride 1-Year Ownership Verdict: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly