Skip to main content

When shopping for a used or new car, most people research finances, determine which features they want, and look for the best fuel efficiency rating they can find. But, one of the most important items in determining which vehicle to get is projected maintenance and repair costs. When it comes to a Kia vehicle, the two models to look out for are the Rio and the Soul

One of those two has the lowest annual maintenance costs across the whole brand lineup. Which one is it, and how much will each version cost you in regards to repairs?

How the Kia brand stacks up with annual maintenance costs

The Kia brand has an annual maintenance cost of only $474, indicating that those who own one of its models would have 0.2 visits to the repair shop. You would also have a 10 percent chance of having the repair work be severe and costly. According to RepairPal, reliability scores made the brand rank 3rd out of 32 vehicles due to its four out of five points rating. 

Kia’s most commonly reported problems across its lineup include headlight bulbs burning out prematurely, malfunctioning door locks, and faulty throttle position switch. When it comes to the most expensive repairs, three are two that stand out for the brand. 

The first repair is an oil pump replacement, which will run you from approximately $964 to $1,132. The most expensive is an AC condenser replacement repair, which runs an average of $1,558 to $1,611. The least expensive repair is an air filter replacement, which only costs around $37 to $43. 

Which Kia model has the lowest maintenance costs?

Out of several Kia models, ranging from sedans to SUVs, the one that stands out as having the lowest prices for maintenance is the Kia Soul EV. This model has annual maintenance costs of only $267. What’s even more impressive of the Soul EV is that out of all the commonly reported issues for the brand, the Soul EV SUV has no problems associated with it, according to RepairPal. 

As for average repairs on this model, the most expensive would have to be Brake Master Cylinder replacement, which can run from $3,048 to $3,104. The second most expensive is the airbag control module replacement, which runs from $543 to $568. The cheapest repair on the Soul EV is the Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switch replacement, which is only $67 to $74. 

There are four recalls on the Kia Soul EV. One has to do with the high-voltage battery packs, which can short-circuit and cause a fire. Also, airbags can sometimes not deploy when a crash occurs, causing injuries. Another reported recall is for the shift lever; when it’s placed into the ‘Park’ position, there’s a chance that the vehicle will move on its own. Lastly, the Kia Soul EV can have a problem where the Pinion separates, which could cause steering failure. 

Where do the Kia Rio models stand when it comes to annual maintenance?

The Kia Rio is a pretty durable car; however, it didn’t have the cheapest maintenance costs for the brand. This model averages $434 for annual maintenance costs, while the Kia Rio 5 has $467. When it comes to common problems, the Rio has ignition coil and transmission control module problems. The Rio 5 has soundless speakers, and only Kia-approved transmission fluid can be used with this version. 

The most expensive repairs for both the Rio and the Rio 5 models are water pump replacement, which will cost $605 to $734, and exhaust pipe replacement, which will run you about $1,310 to $1,330. Kia’s cheapest repairs include a transmission leak inspection, which costs $44 to $56. For the Rio 5, the least expensive is an air conditioning refrigerant recovery, which will run you $35 to $44. 

Between the two Kia Rio models, there are 10 recalls. For the Rio, they include:

  • Detaching steering column
  • The trunk won’t release from inside
  • Rear seat belt malfunction
  • The inner oil seal from Brake Master Cylinder fails
  • Problems with child seat anchors in rear seats
  • Wheels could crack
  • There’s a chance the front passenger airbag will deploy with a child in the seat
  • Leaks can occur at the fuel distributor assembly
  • Fuel intake nipple could fracture

Only one recall was reported for the Kia Rio 5: the warning of the front passenger airbag deployment while a child occupies the seat. 

Kia has decent durability ratings from RepairPal, which puts it in the top three reliable brands. The cheapest vehicle in its lineup for annual maintenance costs is the Kia Soul EV, which is just under $300. Its Rio models, however, will cost you almost double what the Soul EV is priced at. 


Over 3,000 Kia Soul EVs Are Being Recalled Because of a Rolling Hazard