Some WeeL Members have been shopping for a new family car, and they have turned to WeeL for suggestions on makes and models worth test driving. Our recommendations from small cars to SUVs consistently include models from the Korean manufacturers, Hyundai and Kia. However, we often receive mixed reactions when making these suggestions.
Some people react surprised, saying “Hyundai or Kia – we never thought about them.” Some people are already in the know, saying “Hyundai and Kia – I heard they were good vehicles.” And others are not so receptive, saying “I would never buy a Hyundai or Kia.” For those of people who are not considering models from Hyundai or Kia, you are doing yourself a disservice.
The days of Hyundai and Kia models being “lesser than” when compared to the competition are over. While I maintain some of the fit and finish, engine noise, and general engineering may not be perfect, it’s pretty darn close. Combine that with lower prices, better financing terms, longer warranties, and in most cases, pretty attractive styling, it becomes a winning combination. Yes if you drive a Honda Accord back to back with Hyundai Sonata, you may conclude the Honda is superior. However, you may not find the Honda is that much better to justify the additional premium.
And its not only WeeL who feels strongly about the product lineup from Hyundai and Kia – there are stats to back it up. Korean cars had eclipsed Japanese autos in quality. In 2015 J.D. Power rated the mass-market auto brands tops for initial quality, with Kia just behind No. 1 Porsche and Hyundai, No. 4 behind Jaguar. Porsche and Jaguar are niche luxury brands.
The automotive press has awarded Hyundai and Kia with other top industry awards, including:
- 2016 Kia Sportage. J.D. Power – “Highest Ranked Small SUV in Initial Quality in the U.S.”2016 Soul.
- 2016 Kia Soul. J.D. Power – “Highest Ranked Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle in Initial Quality in the U.S.”
- 2017 Hyundai Elantra – Top Safety Pick+ – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
- 2015 Hyundai Accent – Initial Quality Award – Small Car – J.D. Power & Associates
Everyone’s tastes and preferences are different, and there are no shortage of great new car options. However we highly recommend giving Hyundai and Kia some serious consideration.