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5 Best and 5 Worst SUVs Kia Has Ever Made

Kia Telluride Dark Blue Front Driving

Over the years, kia is one of the most improved car manufacturers. While customers have long associated the Korean automaker with cheap parts and rampant problems, that’s far from the truth now, as Kia ramped up its game to compete against each other, undermining even bigger players in the industry with versatile, high-performance and comfortable sedans, hatchbacks and even SUVs.



While the SUV market is certainly dominated by American and Japanese manufacturers (with the European luxury machines not too far behind), Kia is also a brand that has produced some great SUVs worth writing home about. With a brand like this it’s natural to expect mistakes and cars that miss the mark, and when those cars are SUVs it’s even harder to stay competitive. In that vein, here are five of the worst SUVs Kia has ever made, as well as five when they definitely hit a home run.

10 Best: 2019 Sorento

The 2019 Kia Sorento is one of the best models in Kia’s entire lineup history. Packed with features, the 2019 Sorento is stylish and sporty and offers enough space for an entire family. It even offered luxury finishes that raised the bar when it came to cabin plushness.

The car has no safety recalls, meaning it came off the assembly line with no flaws or anything that threatened your routine when you first brought it home. Plus, recent Kia cars are known for their abundance of safety technology, and the 2019 Kia Sorento is no exception. It has a five-star safety rating, making it Kia’s ultimate urban SUV, as well as the number one choice in terms of reliability

9 Best: Sportage 2018

In its early generations, the Sportage was not known for its reliability and left a bit of a bad taste in customers’ mouths. With the renewed Sportage in 2017, that changed, because the car finally came into its own in terms of construction and reliability. However, it was the 2018 model where Kia really tweaked its engineering.

The Sportage 2018 came with a ton of features and tons of safety technology, all of which led to it being a top safety choice for the IIHS† The 2018 Sportage’s safety features made it so appealing to families, and with a combined fuel economy of 30 MPG, Kia had ticked all the boxes to add the 2018 Sportage to its ‘best ever’ list.

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8 Best: Niro. 2023

Kia’s next-generation electric crossover SUV exemplifies the Korean brand’s rise in auto-manufacturing skills and brilliance. It comes across as a mix of quality and performance unprecedented for Kia and is simply a mighty impressive SUV. Even the old Kia Niro EV set sales records in the US, and now the newer version delivers a state-of-the-art and stylish look with improved technology and performance.

Kia promotes sustainability and has used recyclable materials in the interior, even in the seats. Plus, it has all the driver assistance features a next-generation car should have, making your life ever easier behind the wheel of a Niro. Looking at Kia’s past years in which they have undoubtedly done their best work, it’s a safe bet that the 2023 Kia Niro will sell like hot cakes and become one of Kia’s best SUVs.

7 Best: Sportage 2007

A bit of an anomaly since the 2000s were full of faulty Kia models diminishing the brand’s name, the 2007 Sportage seemed to be doing it all right. Customers are happy to sign up how the 2007 Sportage never gave them any problems, despite plodding over 100,000 miles through city traffic.

Even today, many happy 2007 Sportage users swear by it because they didn’t break a sweat. Extremely reliable, the 2007 Sportage also came with optional 4WD, and the exterior, as well as the interior, still manage to hold up well.

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6 Best: Telluride 2022

The Kia Telluride was introduced in 2020, so it’s a fairly new model. Of course, there were some creases on the first outings that needed to be ironed out, so it’s the 2022 Telluride that shines like a nearly flawless car. received one 5-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA doesn’t hurt either.

JD Power also ranks the Telluride 2022 as the most reliable model years for the car, and with no recalls of the 2022 Telluride yet, it’s safe to say that it will also be one of Kia’s most reliable SUVs across its range, and not just among the Telluride models.


5 Worst: 2012 Sportage

The Kia Sportage has always had a bit of an on-and-off relationship with reliability, and by extension, customers. However, the 2012 Sportage was by far one of the worst Sportage models, and also one of the worst SUVs with the Kia logo on the hood.

The 2012 Kia Sportage was bursting with engine problems and received as many as 300 NHTSA complaints, most of which were about excruciatingly excessive noise the car was making, and more seriously, shutting down while driving, which could have disastrous consequences on the road. lead. Doubtless CarComplaints rates the 2012 model as the worst

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4 Worst: 2016 Soul

Second on the list of the Kia SUVs people are complaining about, the Kia Soul SUV has 256 complaints against it. Although it is in fact the 2014 Kia ​​Soul that has the most number of unhappy customers, the 2016 soul is undoubtedly Kia’s worst model

The engine problems were numerous, and led to engine failure for several customers, which is also a more expensive affair to repair, which also resulted in it being rated the worst Kia Soul model by CarComplaints. It’s certainly a long way from the award-winning 2021 model year.


3 Worst: Sorento 2011

The Sorento was one of the Korean manufacturer’s most complained about cars from 2011 to 2016. It seemed that everything that could go wrong with the cars, did. When it comes to complaints, The 2011 model year is the year most complained about

Any disgruntled customer who wanted to complain about their 2011 Sorento seemed spoiled for choice, as the car had a plethora of problemsranging from AC compressor failure, wrong airbag sensors and problematic headlights to faulty ignition coils and complete engine problems. In addition, if you were sitting on the side of the road in your 2011 Kia Sportage with a dead engine and chose to wait to listen to music while help arrived, there is a good chance that the speakers may also not work

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2 Worst: 2017 Niro Hybrid

The new Kia Nero is arguably one of Kia’s best SUVs, and the 2021 model even set sales records here, but the road to success wasn’t flawless, and the 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid was a downright horribly made car, which proved how problematic it was.

Both the 2017 and 2018 Niro Hybrid models was at risk of fire due to overheating of the power relayand the clutch actuator was leaking oil making the problem more likely. In addition, the loss of electric steering and transmission problems also plagued the 2017 model. This is just one black sheep in the Niro’s history, and it’s also remarkable how far the brand has come a few years later.


1 Worst: 2016 Sorento

The 2016 Kia Sorento is considered the car’s worst model year, and Kia simply seemed incapable of it solve the problems with this car† Sure, there were a lot of recalls and they were transparent, but the repair costs of the 2016 Sorento rightly deserve it the credit of being the worst Sorento ever.

Even the welding on the car was inadequate and the brake lights were faulty, which again shows how much was wrong with the car. Engine problems with the Sorento were not unheard of and the 2016 model followed, with the vehicle cannot accelerate and the high pressure fuel pump which is prone to leakage. Owning a 2016 model will likely put customers off any car with Kia’s name on it.