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The Kia brand has come a long way over the past several years, with each new line of cars being miles better than the last. Compared to other mass-market car brands for the 2023 model year, Kia has received more vehicle awards than any of them, currently sitting at five model-level awards for the 2023 K5, Rio, Sportage, Soul, and Telluride

How has Kia improved?

A Kia Motors dealership store in St. Petersburg, Russia
A Kia store in St. Petersburg, Russia | Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Kia was once considered one of the worst car brands regarding reliability, but the automaker’s models now take the number three spot in reliability out of 32 other car brands, according to CapitalOne. It ranked above Buick, Hyundai, Genesis, and Toyota in 2022, with consumers only reporting 145 problems out of every 100 cars. According to Business Insider, Kia users reported 169 problems out of every 100 vehicles in 2012, so the company has come a long way in the past decade. Compared to the national average of 192 problems out of every 100 cars, it’s safe to say that Kia is one of the best brands out there in 2022. Since the reliability of these cars is so high, the resale value also depreciates slower than average for most car brands.

Additionally, Kia models are some of the most reasonably priced vehicles, so, along with improved reliability and high resale value, Kia cars are quickly becoming more popular than they were 10 years ago. In fact, it’s become one of the most popular car brands in America

Resale value on Kia models

According to Edmunds, the resale value of a car should be important in your purchasing decision. While a cheaper car may be more appealing, if the car’s resale value is low, you’ll lose money over the years. This isn’t just true for buying a car, but leasing one too. If you lease a vehicle with a high resale value, your monthly payments will be lower than they would be for a car that depreciates quickly. Vehicles with a high resale value are also likely more reliable than cars that depreciate quickly. 

Having a high resale value car means getting more for your money. If you decide to trade in or sell the vehicle, you’ll be offered a higher price depending on how long you’ve had it. For example, the resale price of a 2018 Kia Rio can be as much as $14,000, though the average is around $12,000, according to Edmunds. Compared to the retail price of $17,000, that’s only a $3,000 – $5,000 price difference. This means that, after four years, a 2018 Kia Rio is worth about 80% of its original price. 

Maintaining resale value

It can seem difficult to maintain a high resale value on your car, but it’s actually pretty easy. According to How Stuff Works, there are only a few things you need to do to maintain a high resale value, and none of them are difficult.

  • Keep your car clean
  • Don’t repair it on your own 
  • Keep track of the mileage on your car (the higher it is, the less it’s worth)
  • Properly store your vehicle
  • Avoid smoking in your car
  • Get your car serviced regularly

Which awards did Kia win for the 2023 model year?

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Five of Kia’s models won awards for the 2023 model year, including the K5 midsize sedan, Rio subcompact, Sportage compact SUV, Soul CUV, and Telluride midsize SUV. These were for the J.D. Power 2023 ALG Residual Value Awards. The models that received an award have a higher resale value than what is considered average for a vehicle, meaning they won’t depreciate quickly.

  • Rio – Top small model
  • K5 – Top midsize model
  • Sportage – Top compact SUV
  • Telluride – Top midsize SUV 3-row seating
  • Soul – Top micro SUV

Although Kia used to have a bad reputation, the company is quickly climbing up the ranks as one of the most reliable car brands with a high resale value.