We looked closely at Kia’s new vehicle warranty and Kia extended warranty options. In this article, we’ll compare them to the best auto warranty providers to help you decide which coverage may give you the best peace of mind.
Often, you can find more affordable coverage if you consider purchasing your extended warranty from a third-party provider. You can also get factory-level coverage from a variety of reputable providers.
Kia Extended Warranty Coverage
The Kia new vehicle and certified pre-owned (CPO) warranties offer good coverage, but if you want more, the company has Protection Plans that offer several levels of Kia extended warranty coverage. Plans start with a basic Powertrain warranty and increase vehicle system coverage in levels labeled Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Plus. With each plan, you can choose from a variety of mileage limits.
|Kia Extended Warranty||Coverage Terms|
|Gold Plus||120,000 miles|
Kia Powertrain Warranty
The Powertrain plan covers many major parts of the engine, transmission, and drive axle, but is not as comprehensive as Kia’s original new car powertrain warranty. For example, the drive axle sub-section covers only the differential and axle housing. Without getting too technical, it leaves out things like driveshafts, half-shafts, and constant velocity (CV) joints. The latter assemblies comprise what many would consider the “axles.”
The lesson here is that you need to look at your Kia extended warranty options carefully to understand what is and isn’t covered.
Kia Silver Warranty
Choosing the Gold plan adds some additional coverage, such as more engine and steering system components, plus the drive axles (half-shafts) and CV joints. The “electrical” section expands to include critical parts like the electronic ignition module, windshield wiper motor, power window motors, and a number of parts essential to powertrain operation. Even this higher level of coverage still does not include rear suspension. For that, you need the Gold Plus protection plan.
Kia Gold Warranty
The Gold plan offers all the same features as Powertrain and Silver coverages, just more comprehensive. This plan protects your engine, transmission, drive axle, brakes, air conditioning, steering, front suspension, electrical and hybrid components for up to 120,000 miles.
Kia Gold Plus Warranty
Kia’s Platinum Plus coverage is an exclusionary contract like the Platinum plan. However, it goes beyond the Platinum level to include parts and repairs typically excluded from an extended warranty contract. These include:
- Replacement of one set of brake pads and shoes
- One battery replacement
- Up to $1,200 wheel and tire replacement allowance
- Wiper blades
- Belts and hoses
- Fuses, interior bulbs, exterior bulbs
- One wheel alignment
Kia Platinum Warranty
The Platinum plan includes everything in the lower levels, as well as what Kia describes as “many assemblies of your vehicle.” It then defines Platinum as “exclusionary coverage,” meaning that your contract will only list the parts that are not covered, and everything not listed will be included in the plan.
The list of exclusions is too long to feature here, but it includes many wear-and-tear parts, such as:
- Brake pads
- Clutch parts (for manual transmission)
- Door hinges
- Lock cylinders
- Exhaust system including the catalytic converter
- Shock absorbers
- And more
Those are things that many extended warranties, including third-party products, may not cover because they are designed to wear out or break down over time.
Kia Factory Warranty
If you’ve been considering buying a new Kia, you’re probably aware of the generous Kia factory warranty coverage that this brand offers. Kia is famous for its 10-year/10,000-mile powertrain warranty, and its basic new-vehicle warranty, at 5 years/60,000 miles, surpasses even many luxury brands.
Kia’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty covers the engine, transmission, and driveline components such as the front-wheel drive used on most Kia models, the rear-wheel drive on the Stinger sport sedan, and the all-wheel drive available on the Stinger and Kia SUVs like the new Telluride.
Here’s something critical to keep in mind: Kia’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty applies only to the vehicle’s original owner. If you buy your Kia used, the powertrain coverage drops to 5 years/60,000 miles from the date the car was first put into service. As an example, if you buy a Kia that’s 3 years old and has 36,000 miles on it, you’ll have 2 years/24,000 miles remaining on the powertrain warranty.
That’s still very good, but if you plan to keep the car longer than that, an extended warranty might be right for you.
Kia Certified Pre-Owned Warranties
If you’re buying a used Kia from a dealership, you will likely be considering a Kia Certified Pre-Owned vehicle. For these, Kia offers a range of extended warranty plans under the Kia Distinction Vehicle Protection Plan brand. The program includes Kia models that are less than 5 years old and with less than 60,000 miles, but vehicles meeting those criteria are not automatically eligible.
Kia dealer technicians inspect each vehicle following a pretty exhaustive 164-point checklist, including running a CARFAX report. If an item on the inspection list does not match Kia’s standards, it is repaired or replaced using factory-authorized parts.
Kia CPO vehicles come with a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty that Kia calls Platinum coverage that applies to almost “all assemblies in your vehicle.” It is similar to, but not the same as, the car’s original 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle basic warranty.
Kia CPO vehicles also come with a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, but this coverage is from the vehicle’s original in-service date. Again, that means you’ll need to subtract the CPO Kia’s age/miles from the 10-year/100,000-mile coverage to see what coverage you get with your car. The answer may give you a reason to buy an extended warranty.
Kia, which is part of Hyundai, has been cited for good quality, a far leap from the early 1990s when the first Kia cars sold in America were, to be kind, less than stellar. The J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM for 2020 showed Kia with 132 problems per 100 vehicles. That’s better than the industry average of 134 problems per 100 vehicles and ahead of Mercedes-Benz (152), Nissan (136), and Honda (139). (Genesis was best with 89.)
Another trusted source, Consumer Reports, ranks Kia 9th in reliability, also putting Kia ahead of Nissan (11th place) and Honda (12th place), among others. Finally, the website RepairPal ranks Kia third out of 32 brands studied for reliability.
Yet, no car is perfect. For example, according to RepairPal, you could pay between $342 and $532 to replace the water pump on a 2015 Kia Sorento SUV. A larger repair for this vehicle, like a head gasket replacement, you could pay between $916 and $1,761. If you don’t have a warranty to cover these costs, you’ll need to pay them out of pocket.
Is A Kia Extended Warranty Worth It?
There are two critical trends that many car buyers might not think about. One is that today’s drivers keep new vehicles an average of nearly seven years. Some owners are keeping their cars up to 15 years. The potential for expensive repairs only increases with age and mileage for any vehicle.
Some Kia owners will therefore be out of the basic new-car warranty but possibly still covered by the powertrain warranty when their car is finally paid off. If you bought it as a used vehicle, you could be out of all warranty coverage long before you’ve finished paying for the car, unless you purchased a Kia extended warranty.
Think for a moment what it would be like to make a car payment of, say, $350–$400 a month, plus the regular maintenance that gets more expensive at higher miles, and possibly hundreds of dollars or more in surprise breakdown repairs on top of that. Putting those expenses on a credit card can add further increase cost from interest charges.
What We Look For In An Extended Warranty
A Kia extended warranty may be a good choice, but it’s likely that purchasing coverage from an independent warranty company would be an even better investment. To help aid in your decision-making process, we’ve researched the extended warranty field to make some recommendations.
In our look at the top extended warranty companies, we considered:
- Variety and flexibility of plans
- Company reputation
- Product value
- Strength of insurance backing (extended warranties are basically insurance policies)
- Extras, like roadside assistance, towing, and trip interruption coverage
We recommend that you read the full report, but we’re confident in our choice of Endurance as the best, with CARCHEX and CarShield trailing just behind.
Best Extended Car Warranty For Kia
Like the Kia extended warranty plans, Endurance offers multiple tiers of coverage. In this case, though, there’s more to choose from, with six distinct levels. Within those, you can choose your desired length of coverage, up to 200,000+ miles for some plans. You can review a sample contract online to see exactly what is and is not covered.
With an Endurance warranty and with most other third-party warranties, you can have repairs made at any licensed repair facility, including Kia dealerships, national chains like Firestone, or your favorite local licensed auto service shop. Automakers generally require you to have your vehicle serviced at the dealership, but in Kia’s case, you can actually visit Kia dealerships, more than 6,000 “authorized service centers,” and any licensed repair facility in the U.S. or Canada.
Kia Extended Warranty Vs. Third-Party
|Kia Extended Warranty||CARCHEX||Endurance||CarShield|
|Start date||Date of contract purchase||Any time||Any time||Any time|
|Max length of coverage||120,000 miles||10 years/250,000 miles||8 years/200,000+ miles||300,000 miles|
|# of plan options||5||5||6||6|
|Repair network||Kia dealerships, > 6,000 authorized service centers, and licensed repair facilities||> 30,000 facilities nationwide||Repair shops certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE®)||ASE-certified repair facilities|
|Cancellation policy||Unknown||Refund if within 30 days||Refund if within 30 days||Refund if within 30 days|
|Availability||From local dealer||Free, instant quote||Free, instant quote||Free, instant quote|