Kia's new car warranty is often referred to as one of the best in the industry. But how true are these claims, and does the Kia warranty contract itself have limitations, exceptions, or loopholes?
In this article, we’ll explore what Kia's factory warranty covers, the pros and cons of coverage, and how purchasing an extended Kia warranty can give you peace of mind on the road.
We’ve reviewed the best extended car warranties companies to aid in your search. You can compare free, no-obligation warranty quotes from our top recommended independent providers by clicking below.
In this article:
- How Long Is Kia's Warranty?
- What Does Kia Warranty Coverage Include?
- What’s Not Covered By Kia's Warranty?
- What Does The Fine Print Say?
- Our Thoughts On Kia Warranties
- Should You Consider Third-Party Extended Warranty Coverage?
How Long Is Kia's Warranty?
A car is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime, and when you buy any new product, you expect it to perform to the seller’s promises and your expectations. In a nutshell, this is why car warranties exist. Car manufacturers like Kia stand behind the quality and durability of their vehicles by providing new owners with one or more warranties that promise repairs will be covered in the case of defects or a breakdown.
|Bumper-to-Bumper||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Powertrain||10 years/100,000 miles|
On average, most new car factory warranties last 3 years/36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Most automakers also include a separate powertrain warranty, which usually lasts 5 years/60,000 miles, whichever comes first. A powertrain is your car's engine and the driveline that transmits its power to the wheels.
Kia, however, stands at the forefront of the industry with one of the longest powertrain warranty terms on the market. Kia debuted its 10-year/100,000-mile warranty on January 1, 2008, and, according to one Kia dealer, every Kia vehicle manufactured and sold since then has come with that coverage. As of today, only a few other car manufacturers provide warranties as long as Kia, such as Hyundai and Mitsubishi.
The length of time a company is willing to stand behind its product is a strong statement about the company’s belief in its own workmanship, materials, and the overall quality of its products and services. If this weren’t the case, Kia would essentially be putting millions of dollars on the line by honoring warranties for such a lengthy period of time.
What Does Kia Warranty Coverage Include?
Kia's warranty is known as the 10-year/100,000-mile warranty program, and while those numbers have massive initial appeal, it’s important to pull back the curtain, shine a flashlight on the fine print, and determine whether this warranty is all it’s cracked up to be.
The 10-year/100,000-mile Kia warranty program provides the following coverage for new Kia vehicles:
- 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty: The lengthiest coverage, this warranty applies to the powertrain only (engine, transmission, and elements like the axles and driveshafts).
- 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty: This is Kia’s bumper-to-bumper warranty, which covers almost all of the vehicle’s elements with exceptions like common “wear and tear” items such as brake pads, windshield wiper blades, and tires.
- 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty: This warranty provides protection against corrosion and perforation of exterior body panels from the inside out. It does not, however, protect against perforation from the outside in, such as sand, hail, stones, or perforation by accidental damage.
- 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance: These services, limited to $75 per occurrence, include towing to the nearest authorized Kia dealer, gas delivery, flat tire assistance, jump start assistance, trip interruption benefits, and more.
Again, the most noteworthy aspect of Kia's warranty is the term lengths. Both the powertrain and limited (bumper-to-bumper) warranties are almost twice as long as the industry standard.
What’s Not Covered By Kia's Warranty?
Keep in mind, like most manufacturer warranties, Kia warranty coverage doesn't include everything. Below are some of the expenses you can expect to pay for if you're just relying on your Kia warranty:
- Damage from collisions
- Damage from "misuse" of your Kia, such as driving over curbs or hazardous objects
- Alterations or modifications
- Damage due to a lack of regular maintenance or incorrect fuel, oil, or lube
- Environmental damage, such as road salt or hail
- Wear and tear
- Damage caused by the consumer, such as spills or burns on carpet or surfaces
- Window scratches and breaks
- Damage from installing incorrectly sized tires
What Does The Fine Print Say?
Kia makes affordable and generously backed vehicles. The 10-year/100,000-mile Kia warranty, offered on all Kia models sold in the U.S., is the automaker’s claim to fame, and it’s one of the reasons the brand has become more popular among consumers since 2008. Without a doubt, it's one of the longest warranty periods in the industry, but the warranty itself has several conditions that shouldn’t be overlooked.
1. Not Fully Transferable
The vast majority of new car factory warranties are fully transferable to a subsequent owner whenever the used Kia is sold. However, the famous powertrain Kia warranty is not fully transferable to subsequent owners. Once the vehicle is sold, the length of the powertrain warranty is automatically reduced from a 10-year/100,000-mile term to a 5-year/60,000-mile term.
This shouldn’t turn buyers off from purchasing a Kia, as the second owner will still enjoy a warranty term comparable to other manufacturers in the automobile industry, but it’s an important distinction to note.
2. Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty Exceptions
Something else we noticed is many items that would be covered under the limited basic warranty for the full five years have shorter terms. For example:
- Air conditioner refrigerant charge is covered for 12 months/unlimited miles.
- The original battery in any Kia is only covered for 3 years/36,000 miles. Only a completely defective battery is deemed replaceable.
- The same 3-year/36,000-mile coverage length applies to the vehicle’s audio system, entertainment system, and paint.
3. Surprising Limitations
While Kia's warranty covers a lot of parts, it doesn’t cover everything. Expected exceptions caused by things like inept maintenance by the car owner and accidental damage are listed, but surprising exceptions like some repairs related to the UVO system (Kia's in-vehicle media controller and infotainment system) are also in the contract. Also, in order to receive warranty service, owners are required to have their Kia serviced at an authorized Kia dealership.
4. Kia Warranty Benefits
Kia’s Roadside Assistance Program offers 5 years/60,000 miles of roadside assistance. This is a nice safety net for drivers, as they’ll have access to a Kia-staffed, toll-free hotline 24/7, even on holidays.
Benefits also include towing to a Kia dealership or alternate service location, gas delivery, flat tire assistance, and more, with up to $75 in coverage per occurrence. According to the Kia warranty contract, there is no limit on the number of roadside assistance incidents covered per car or driver. However, Kia does reserve the right to limit or deny these services when the claims or service requests are excessive in frequency.
Our Thoughts On Kia Warranties
A simple way to describe Kia’s new vehicle warranty is, in fact, the way they choose to describe it: limited. While powertrain coverage is exceptionally lengthy, certain parts only receive protection for a few years. There’s quite a bit of fine print when it comes to eligibility for certain parts and what coverage is transferable.
The company’s automobiles consistently rank among the most reliable in the industry, according to RepairPal and Autotrader. The Initial Quality Study by J.D. Power surveyed problems owners had with their vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership, and Kia came out on top.
However, studies like this don’t examine long-term reliability, and not all Kias are perfect.
According to RepairPal and YourMechanic data, most Kias have at least a 10-percent probability of needing an extensive repair within the vehicle’s lifetime, and even simple repairs can be costly. For example, alternator repairs for a Kia Soul can cost several hundred dollars, and a Kia Sportage with a bad air conditioning compressor can run you close to $1,000 to replace.
Should You Consider A Third-Party Extended Warranty Coverage?
Everyone wants to have a reliable car that’s affordable to repair or maintain. That’s one of the reasons many opt to purchase a Kia extended warranty or third-party providers after your original Kia warranty has expired.
Extended car warranties provide peace of mind throughout a car’s lifetime – especially if your factory 10-year warranty has expired or the coverage exclusions have increased (after the 5-year mark). These are service contracts that offset the costs of covered repairs and replacements, which can save you thousands of dollars and make extended car warranties worth it.
The best way to protect yourself against expensive repair bills after Kia's factory warranty has expired is by purchasing coverage from an independent provider. We recommend getting a quick, free quote for your Kia vehicle from our reviews team's number one pick, Endurance:
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of extended auto warranty companies to formulate rankings of the best providers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Warranty providers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of extended warranty plans available, coverage terms, and added benefits like roadside assistance.
- Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of plans and vehicles. Companies with lower prices per year of coverage receive the best scores.
- Transparency: This score takes into account contract transparency and the availability of a money-back guarantee.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each warranty company.
Read our guides to other warranty providers: