New Kia drivers can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they’ve purchased a vehicle from a reliable manufacturer—and that the extensive Kia warranty is there to back up their investment.
Not only does Kia offer the longest powertrain warranty in the industry, but it also has impressive bumper-to-bumper coverage and additional perks like emergency roadside assistance. But is the manufacturer’s warranty really as good as it seems?
Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of Kia warranty coverage and how an extended warranty can come in handy when factory coverage expires.
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Kia Warranty Coverage Basics
Since 2008, Kia has offered a market-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, matched only by a few other manufacturers, including Hyundai and Mitsubishi. Comparatively, most automakers only offer either a 3-year/36,000-mile or 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Kia’s lengthy term limits show that the manufacturer has a lot of confidence in its quality of products and services. It also shows customer care, offering peace of mind for longer than many competitors.
The Kia factory warranty is broken down into several individual warranties:
|Kia Warranty||Term Limit||What It Covers|
|New Vehicle Limited Warranty||5 years/
|Comprehensive, bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers most parts of your car, with a short list of exceptions|
|Engine, transmission, transaxle, and other powertrain system parts|
|Rust or other types of corrosion due to material
or factory defects
|Emergency roadside assistance||5 years/
|Access to a toll-free hotline 24 hours a day, including holidays, for incidents like dead batteries, flat tires (if you have a spare), or running out of gas|
|Air conditioner refrigerant charge||12 months/
|Refrigerant addition if car stops blowing cold air|
|Replacement for original, completely defective batteries|
|Brake and clutch linings||12 months/
|Brake linings, including pads and shoes,
and clutch linings
|Repairs due to non-impact discoloration, fading, cracking, chipping, or flaking|
|Audio/entertainment system||3 years/
|Vehicle’s original radio, CD player, rear seat entertainment system, or navigation system|
Additionally, emission control systems in Kia vehicles are protected through the federal and California emissions warranties, which can range from 2 years/24,000 miles to 15 years/150,000 miles depending on where you live.
One added benefit of the Kia warranty is its trip interruption coverage. If your car breaks down due to a warranty-related disablement more than 150 miles from your home, and repairs require more than 24 hours to complete, Kia provides reasonable reimbursement for things like meals, lodging, and rental car expenses. Additionally, Kia will cover up to $75 per occurrence for towing to a dealership or alternative service location, gas delivery, flat tire assistance, and more.
Kia Warranty Exclusions and Caveats
Just as important as what is covered is what’s not included in your Kia warranty. Like with all manufacturer warranties, there will be some things that Kia does not cover:
- Vehicle misuse
- Theft or vandalism
- Environmental damage from hail, tree sap, floods, road salt, etc.
- After-market alterations or modifications
- Normal deterioration or “wear and tear”
- Scratched, chipped, or cracked window glass
- Damage caused by the user, such as carpet stains
- Damage from lack of or improper regular maintenance
- Repairs to the UVO system (Kia’s in-vehicle infotainment system that includes touchscreen displays and features like Apple CarPlay)
- And more
There are also a number of factors that limit the convenience of the Kia warranty. Important caveats to note include:
|Repair facilities||In order to receive warranty service, you must have your vehicle serviced at an authorized Kia dealership.|
|Warranty periods||The warranty period starts the date your vehicle was manufactured, not when you bought it. So, a 2018 model that was manufactured at the end of 2017 but sold in 2018 would end its 10-year warranty in 2027, not 2028.|
|Transferability||The 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty isn’t fully transferable to subsequent owners. It is automatically reduced to a term limit of 5 years or 60,000 miles. (However, if the car becomes a certified pre-owned Kia, it continues its original 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.)|
Kia Warranty vs. Other Manufacturers
As mentioned, Kia’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is among the longest in the auto industry.
On the surface, that term length alone seems like it would grant a hands-down win over competitors. However, there’s a lot of fine print that limits the benefits of the full warranty, and Kia leaves off some features that companies with comparable term limits offer customers, like free maintenance.
Even still, Kia ranked third out of all manufacturers in our comprehensive review of best new car warranties.
How to Find Out if Your Kia is Under Warranty
If you purchased a certified pre-owned Kia from a dealership, your car is still considered under its original warranty. If you purchased a newer-model car from an individual, the factory Kia warranty—including the reduced 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage—may still be in place.
The easiest way to find out if your Kia vehicle is still under warranty is to call a Kia-specific dealership and provide them your vehicle identification number (VIN). The dealer should be able to look up the status of your warranty, even if you bought a used vehicle.
Should You Consider Extended Warranty Coverage?
Kia is confident enough in its vehicles to offer up to 10 years of warranty coverage. But what happens when your coverage runs out and all repairs become your responsibility?
According to RepairPal, Kia has an above-average reliability rating based on the cost, frequency, and severity of both unscheduled repairs and maintenance. Only about 10 percent of repairs are considered severe over the lifetime of Kia vehicles. The average annual cost for all Kia models is $474 per year, which is low compared to a $652 average across all models. However, Kia vehicle owners who run into more serious problems can expect to pay much more.
For example, RepairPal reports the average cost for a Kia Sportage water pump replacement is between $409 and $519. And Kia Sorento owners can expect to pay in the ballpark of $696 to $1,064 if they need to replace their vehicle’s air conditioning compressor.
At the end of the day, even the most reliable cars can have issues. Those generally become even more frequent as the vehicle ages—and after the factory warranty expires.
Kia Extended Warranty Coverage Overview
The Kia Distinction Vehicle Protection Plan offers several levels of Kia extended warranty coverage. As with the factory Kia warranty, there’s lots of fine print detailing what is and isn’t covered, but here are the basics of what you can expect from each level of coverage:
|Kia Extended Warranty||What It Covers|
|Platinum||Comprehensive plan that excludes some wear parts, including the exhaust system and catalytic converter|
|Gold Plus||Covers rear suspension, front springs, and a wide array of fuel system parts and vital electronics that can be among the most expensive repairs to make|
|Gold||Covers many engine and steering system components, electrical components like electronic ignition module, windshield wiper motor, power window motors, and a number of parts essential to powertrain operation|
|Silver||Covers some parts of the steering, braking, and air conditioning systems, as well as front suspension, alternator, starter motor, and an expanded list of hybrid components|
|Powertrain||Covers many major parts of the engine, transmission, and drive axle, plus some key components for hybrids|
Like any manufacturer extended warranty, there are pros and cons to sticking with Kia for protection after your factory Kia warranty expires.
Kia extended warranties include reimbursement for rental car and towing expenses, as well as travel coverage for meals and lodging if a covered mechanical breakdown happens more than 100 miles from your home. The plans also expand the original factory warranty’s requirement to make repairs at dealerships, allowing you to take your vehicle into one of about 6,000 “authorized service centers” or any licensed repair facility in the United States or Canada.
However, the Kia extended warranty falls short compared to third-party providers when it comes to coverage length. The maximum term you can purchase will only cover your vehicle up to 120,000 miles.
Benefits of a Third-Party Extended Warranty
According to USA Today, Kia owners are among the most loyal in the world. But extended car warranties are one area it might be worth it to consider your options beyond what the manufacturer offers.
- Coverage for older vehicles: Many of the most expensive repairs will happen later in your car’s lifetime. Third-party companies often provide protection that outlasts manufacturer extended warranties. Some will even cover your vehicle for up to 250,000 miles.
- No timeframe for purchasing: There’s no need to buy a third-party extended warranty at the same time you purchase your vehicle. You can wait until well after your factory Kia warranty expires to avoid paying for unnecessary overlapping coverage.
- More mechanic options: Although Kia’s extended warranty does not require you to get repairs done at its dealerships, an extended auto warranty from a third party may open up even more options in your area.
- Plan flexibility: Each provider offers a number of coverage options, so you can find one that’s best suited for your needs and budget. We highly recommend shopping around and getting quotes from multiple providers before signing on the dotted line.
In order to help narrow down the right plan for you, our team reviewed a number of third-party providers and compiled a list of the best extended car warranty companies. Use the tool below to start comparing our top picks for extended protection.