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Kia is shining this year with the Rio, Forte, K5, and Stinger. Each ranked highly among owners in the J.D. Power 202q3 APEAL Study. Owners rated those Kia cars the best in satisfaction. Here’s why you’ll probably love owning one of these affordable cars as well.

Owners rated Kia cars the highest in a recent J.D. Power study

A set of 2023 Kia K5 midsize cars park under overcast skies.
2023 Kia K5 | Kia

Each year, J.D. Power releases the U.S. APEAL Study Awards. This study covers 10 areas that gauge the emotions owners feel about their vehicle, such as how they feel approaching their car, setting up and starting it, getting in and out, the interior, powertrain, and driving feel, how safe owners feel inside, how it drives, the ability of the car to keep passengers safe, the infotainment system, comfort while driving, and the fuel usage are all part of the study. 

For the 2023 J.D. Power APEAL Study, 84,555 Kia customers who have owned a new 2023 Kia for at least 90 days responded to the survey. The study was conducted from February through May 2023, and the owners who participated registered new vehicles from November 2022 through February 2023.

The reason so many Kia cars stood out is that owners are so satisfied with what Kia has delivered for an incredibly affordable price. For example, even though the Rio doesn’t seem to be on most people’s wishlists and will soon be being discontinued, it won in the small car category. J.D. Power awarded the Stinger the midsize car award, and the Kia Forte won the compact car award. 

However, the Kia K5 did the best of all. It took home first place in the midsize cars and midsize premium cars categories. J.D. Power also gave it the model-level award for the third year in a row.

The Kia Carnival, Telluride, and EV6 also won awards in their segments. That gave Kia the most brand awards. 

2023 Kia Forte

2023 Kia Forte exterior
2023 Kia Forte | Kia

The 2023 Kia Forte has an MSRP of $19,690. While it may cost a little more than the Rio, it’s worth it. This is especially true if you go for the GT model. Kia has equipped the 2023 model with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that can generate up to 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. 

Experts expect the 2024 model to have some notable changes. These include more tech and styling updates.

2023 Kia Rio

A blue 2023 Kia Rio subcompact car travels on a city street
2023 Kia Rio | Kia

The Rio is the cheapest Kia car. Indeed, its low price contributes to its high rating among owners. The 2023 Rio starts at $16,750 for the sedan and $17,690 for the hatchback. The 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder, which can produce up to 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque, isn’t fantastic. Still, this car is hard to beat for the price.

Critics love the Rio and praise it for its relatively upscale interior for a very affordable price. The option for either a sedan or hatchback is also appealing.

2023 Kia K5

While the Carnival minivan and Telluride SUV garner attention, the K5 is like the quiet kid sitting in the back of the class. However, you should absolutely take note of this Kia car because it provides plenty of value for the money.

The 2023 Kia K5, which replaced the better-known Optima midsize sedan, has a starting MSRP of $25,390. The K5’s base model packs a 180 hp 1.6-liter inline-four engine. It can generate 195 lb-ft of torque.

2023 Kia Stinger

The 2023 Kia Stinger is faster than the 2023 Acura Integra
2023 Kia Stinger | Kia

Sadly, the Stinger is also on Kia’s cut list. It’s the most expensive sedan in the Kia lineup, but it’s worth the $36,690 sticker price.

The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 300 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. Higher trims pack a 3.3-liter V6 harnessing 368 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque.

Together, these four Kia cars make up the South Korean automaker’s entire sedan lineup. The fact that each earned at least one award in the J.D. Power APEAL Study just shows Kia is a brand to watch.


America’s Favorite Kia Car Also Has Great Resale Value