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Kia owes at least some of its considerable success in the U.S. to having one of the best new vehicle warranties available today. The headline maker in Kia’s warranty has long been its 10-year/100,000-mile coverage for the powertrain, but the 5-year/60,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty would still be outstanding in this segment even without it.
Even though Kia provides such long standard warranty coverage, there are some reasons to consider buying an extended warranty, either from Kia or the aftermarket. In addition to reviewing Kia’s extended warranty plans, we’ve also researched the best third-party extended warranty providers. Check out our top recommendations, then compare quotes between providers.
Table of Contents:
- Kia Warranty Coverage Summary
- Kia Warranty FAQs
- Kia Extended Warranty
- Third-Party Warranties Offer More Choices
- How Reliable are Kia Vehicles?
Kia Warranty Coverage Summary
Among mainstream automotive brands, Kia’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty and powertrain warranty coverage is matched only by its corporate mate, Hyundai, as well as Mitsubishi. Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand also offers these long coverage terms.
There are several parts to the 2020 Kia warranty:
|New Vehicle Limited Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Powertrain||10 years/100,000 miles|
|Hybrid system||10 years/100,000 miles|
|Electric vehicle (EV) system||10 years/100,000 miles|
|Audio/entertainment||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Paint||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Service adjustments||1 year/12,000 miles|
|Battery (not hybrid)||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Anti-perforation||5 years/100,000 miles|
|Emergency roadside assistance||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Replacement parts/accessories||1 year/12,000 miles|
|Air conditioner refrigerant||1 year/unlimited miles|
Audio and Entertainment Warranty
Kia’s UVO audio and entertainment systems are covered under a separate, shorter warranty that runs for 3 years/36,000 miles. While that matches coverage of most mainstream brands, it could leave some owners surprised when they discover these features are not covered under the 5-year/60,000-mile warranty.
Kia’s emergency roadside assistance program provides “reasonable reimbursement for meals, lodging or rental car expenses” if a warranty-related disablement occurs more than 150 miles from the customer’s home, and the repairs require more than 24 hours to complete. Other brands are more specific with their trip-interruption benefits, and many offer this service if the breakdown occurs more than 100 miles from the customer’s home.
Kia Warranty for Hybrids and Electric Vehicles
Kia has become a major player with hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. These vehicles carry 10-year/100,000-mile warranties for their hybrid and EV systems, with coverage for a number of components not used on conventional vehicles.
For Kia hybrids:
- Hybrid battery pack assembly
- Hybrid starter and generator
- Hybrid power control unit
- Electric traction motor
- On board charger and all internal parts
Coverage for the above parts extends to 10 years/150,000 miles if your vehicle falls under California Emissions Vehicle laws (excluding Pennsylvania and Washington).
For Kia electric vehicles:
- Electric motor
- Gear Drive Unit
- EV battery pack
- Electric Power Control Unit (EPCU)
- On board charger (OBC)
Kia Warranty FAQs
Q: Does Kia have the same emissions warranty as other brands?
A: Kia’s emissions warranty follows the federal mandate for 2 years/24,000 miles coverage for defects or performance. Kia does not voluntarily extend the emissions warranty to match its new car warranty term, as many other brands do. The emissions warranty coverage for all cars is longer in California and the 12 states that follow its regulations. In addition, coverage for some parts, including the catalytic converter and engine control module (ECM), follow federal regulations for 8-year/80,000-mile warranty coverage.
Q: Does Kia’s long powertrain warranty apply for Uber and Lyft drivers?
A: Kia says its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty excludes all coverage “for any Kia vehicle that has been placed into any form of commercial service, including but not limited to taxi, route delivery, livery service or rental.” So, no.
Q: Does Kia’s warranty cover any wear-and-tear parts, like brake pads?
A: Kia covers brake pads and clutch linings for 12 months/12,000 miles “if they fail to function properly during normal use.” If you hear your brakes making noise, get them checked quickly, because Kia’s warranty specifically states that it does not cover damage to brake rotors caused by failure to replace brake pads before they’ve worn to the point of causing such damage.
Q: Does Kia’s warranty cover the paint?
A: Yes, Kia’s paint warranty covers repairs for “due to discoloration, fading, cracking, chipping or flaking,” as long as those problems are not caused by impacts. Some carmakers, including Mercedes-Benz for example, do not include such paint coverage.
Q: Does that mean Kia will fix paint damaged by bird droppings or hail?
A: No, like most carmakers, Kia’s warranty does not cover paint and finish damage caused by weather and environmental factors. Also, Kia says paint damage caused by “applying chemicals to the paint surface” is not covered, so it’s probably wise to avoid using questionable “miracle” paint-care products on your Kia.
How Kia’s Warranty Transfer Works
If you sell your Kia, its warranty transfers to a new owner, but not all of it. The 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty applies only to the original owner. The next buyer gets only the remaining portion of the 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, which includes the powertrain within its term limits. Keep this in mind if you’re buying a used Kia from a private party. In that case, you would need to buy a third-party warranty in order to extend coverage.
If you buy a Kia Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle, you get a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the car’s original in-service date. What you don’t get is the remainder of the original 5-year/60,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Instead, Kia provides a Platinum Coverage limited warranty that runs for 1 year/12,000 miles. (Kia models must be under five years old and with less than 60,000 miles to be eligible for the brand’s CPO program.)
For example, if the CPO Kia you buy is three years old and has 40,000 miles, the powertrain coverage would last another 6 years/60,000 miles, whichever comes first. Using that same example, the 1-year/12,000-mile Platinum Coverage limited warranty would expire when the vehicle became four years old or reached 52,000 miles (whichever comes first). That would be sooner than if the car had remained in its original owner’s hands.
You also get roadside assistance for the powertrain warranty period.
Kia Extended Warranty
If you plan to keep a new Kia for a long time, the standard warranties may suffice for you.
If you’re purchasing a Kia CPO vehicle or non-CPO used model, Kia’s Distinction Vehicle Protection Plans offer extended coverage. You can purchase up to 120,000 miles of coverage, depending on the vehicle’s age and mileage.
Kia’s Distinction Vehicle Protection Plans offer five levels of coverage: Powertrain, Silver, Gold, Gold Plus and Platinum. As you might guess, the coverage gets more extensive (and more expensive, of course) as you go up the precious metal name ladder, peaking with Platinum. While Platinum is the most comprehensive, it excludes many wear parts, including the exhaust system and catalytic converter.
Kia’s protection plans function somewhat like aftermarket warranties in that these pay for covered repairs not only at Kia dealerships, but also some 6,000 “authorized service centers,” as well as any licensed repair facility in the U.S. or Canada. In contrast, many other brands restrict extended-warranty repairs to their own dealerships.
Kia offers three deductible copay options: $0, $100 and $250. Unlike some other car brands’ extended warranties, Kia’s does not offer a “disappearing” deductible option, where you don’t pay the deductible if you have repairs done at the dealer where you bought the car.
Curiously, some of the added perks that come with the Kia Distinction Protection Plans are more clearly defined than with the company’s new car warranty. For example, these Kia extended warranty plans include:
- Rental car reimbursement: Up to $35 per day for up to 10 days per covered mechanical breakdown
- Towing reimbursement: Up to $75 in towing charges per covered mechanical breakdown
- Travel coverage: Up to $100 per day and up to $500 per occurrence for food and lodging if a covered mechanical breakdown occurs more than 100 miles from the owner’s home
Third-Party Warranties Offer More Choices
With a third-party warranty, such as from CARCHEX, you can choose from Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium plans. Bronze can run up to six years, and Silver up to seven, while the top three tiers can extend coverage for up to 10 years. Mileage maxes out at 250,000 miles.
For Kia vehicles, the top three plans would be the best choices for non-CPO vehicles, which will likely have more than 60,000 miles.
Like the Kia extended warranty plans, CARCHEX and our other top picks, Endurance and CarShield, pay for covered repairs at most licensed repair facilities – up to 30,000 across the country, in fact. We recommend getting a minimum of three quotes to compare your options. Prices vary based on your location, vehicle and more.
Also like the Kia plans, our top aftermarket warranties include added benefits like towing, rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance and travel interruption reimbursement.
How Reliable are Kia Vehicles?
Many new car buyers consider reliability in their purchase, and this should also be a factor when considering an extended warranty. You can have confidence in the quality here, because Kia has a solid reputation. One respected source, the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, rated Kia 10th out of 31 brands in its 2019 edition. That was several spots above the industry average.
Among brands rated below Kia were competitors including Volkswagen, Nissan and Honda. This J.D. Power study looks at three-year-old vehicles. Consumer Reports, which surveys a wider age range of vehicles for its reliability ratings, also ranked Kia ahead of Nissan and Honda. (You need to be a Consumer Reports subscriber to access most of its content.)
Finally, RepairPal, a repair-cost estimating tool, put Kia in third place among 32 brands it ranked based on its own repair data.
According to RepairPal, Kia repairs average $474 per year, versus $652 across all models. That’s excellent, but remember that number is an average. Individual repairs, if needed, can be costly on any modern vehicle. Here are a few examples pulled from RepairPal’s data for four-year-old Kia models:
|Kia Model||Repair||Estimated Cost|
|2016 Kia Optima||Replace cylinder head gasket||$1,141–$2,287|
|2016 Kia Soul||Replace CV axle||$802–$1,676|
|2016 Kia Sorento||Replace fuel pump||$1,455–$1,755|
|2016 Kia Forte||Replace air conditioner compressor||$1,006–$1,152|
Note: The price ranges may reflect different model and engine options.
Your Kia, Your Warranty Choice
Now that you know the Kia warranty and extended warranty plans better, you can compare what they offer to the options from the best third-party warranty companies. Particularly for non-CPO Kia used vehicles, these plans offer added peace of mind with coverage options extending to 10 years and more than 200,000 miles in some cases.
To get an extended warranty price quote for a Kia, contact one or more of the providers we recommend in our in-depth review of the best third-party-warranty-companies.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock, © Raisaliya