Could Kia be the next Toyota?

The Corolla, Camry, Rav4 and Hilux. These cars are world-renowned and equally loved in New Zealand for their reliability, fuel efficiency and ability to just keep on going. These cars are everywhere, from ’96 models with over 300,000kms to brand new nippers fresh off the lot.
Their solid reputation holds prices high for new and older cars, turning some buyers towards cheaper options.

Kia have not been known for reliability. Some of their older models do not stand the test of time, but that appears to be changing.
Kia has topped the Initial Quality Study for two years running, with a 7% improvement from last year. Five of their cars won their categories with the Soul, Cerato, Cadenza, Niro and Sorento; whereas Toyota had just the trusty Camry and Lexus GS in 2017.

An unfavourable reputation can be hard to shake and the majority of New Zealanders aren’t buying brand new cars. However, as these new Kias enter the used car market, old favourites may be passed in favour of newer, lower km and cheaper models with a reputation for reliability.

The IQS surveys new cars after a short period of ownership, so overall reliability may not be properly representative over time, but it is clear that attitudes towards Kia are changing and that could result in a big shake up of the New Zealand fleet.