Kia capped price manufacturer service review
Korean automaker Kia has two seemingly competing characteristics: a budget reputation and a line of reliable, sharply designed vehicles.
The company started in 1944 making pushbikes, before producing Mazda-licensed trucks (in the ‘60s) and cars (by the ‘70s).
They started exporting their own models in the mid-1980s and grew quickly in Europe, the US and Australia.
Their expansion, however, proved a little too rapid – mounting debts pre-empted a 1997 bankruptcy; a year later Hyundai bought a third of the company.
In 2006 Kia recruited Peter Schreyer, lead designer of the iconic Audi TT, to spearhead an aggressive modernisation of their range, a hire that has produced almost two decades of sporty, angular vehicles.
Kia Capped-Price Servicing
Like most smaller automakers selling in Australia, Kia offers a pretty generous servicing package to compensate for their weaker brand loyalty.
While Kia make perfectly good cars, they need to offer buyers some tangible bottom-line benefits to build the sort of trust Australians have in brands such as Holden and Toyota.
Their answer is Kia Capped Price Servicing and a very tasty seven year / unlimited kilometre warranty (most competitors offer three and five-year new car warranties and cap the Ks).
Kia’s seven-year warranty started in 2014; so to put the timeline into perspective: Kia models bought back then are still covered under warranty today, with a couple of years of coverage still to go!
And with Kia Capped Price Servicing, you know upfront what you’ll pay for your first seven scheduled services at Kia workshops.
Owners can go online, type in their VIN and the confirmed price for their next service pops up - no bill shock.
Service intervals for most of Kia’s current range are every 12 months or 15,000kms (whichever comes first), which takes you through your first seven years of ownership or 105,000km of driving.
Their turbo models do need slightly more frequent servicing (check kia.com for details) but their overall warranty offer is still competitive.
Pricewise, Kia’s per-service pricing sits slightly above industry standards. You’ll pay an average of $348 for each Rio service, and $504 per service for their 3L Carnival (a Holden Captiva’s average service price is $324).
Their plan is, however, transferable to a new owner, a little sweetener to bump your Kia’s resale value.
It’s worth noting that in 2015 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission rapped Kia over the knuckles over its capped-price service offering.
The ACCC took issue with Kia quietly raising its capped servicing prices a few times, while advertising that their listed capped prices were the “maximum” consumers would pay.
To their credit, Kia bent over backwards to comply with the ACCC’s investigation, offered refunds to affected owners and ensured all owners paid only the capped prices listed at their date of purchase. Good sports!
And while servicing your Kia with a qualified third-party mechanic will not void your warranty, Kia do have a mechanism in place to keep you in their workshop.
They offer eight years of free roadside assistance with each new car, which renews for another 12 months after each official Kia service (up to a maximum of eight years).
All data gathered in January 2019.
Sam Cleveland is a Queensland writer and media producer.
He was the foundation editor of the award-winning MBGC – the Mercedes-Benz Gold Coast magazine.
For Motorline BMW, he wrote and directed Continue to Drive with composer Timothy Fairless, a cinema ad that was added to the National Film & Sound Archive.
His association with luxury European manufacturers goes back to his first cars: a trio of (t)rusty 1970s Volvos.