Ford vs Kia: Which Is More Reliable?

Ford vs Kia Reliability

You're making plans to buy a new or used car, and you are stuck between choosing Ford or Kia. This is because you don't know which of these brands is more reliable than the other.

Ford and Kia are popular car brands with a range of vehicles available for users. However, there are specific features that differentiate them from each other.

The truth is, Kia is more reliable than Ford. You'll get higher safety ratings on Kia, better warranty coverage, cheaper repair and maintenance costs, and higher reliability and dependability scores.

Kia tends to invest heavily in the reliability of their cars, so it might seem difficult for Ford to beat the standards set.

You must understand that the reliability of a car brand will vary amongst the different models that they offer. Some Ford models offer longer frames than Kias, with better gas mileage.

Here's a detailed comparison of all you need to know about Ford vs. Kia's reliability.

A Detailed Comparison

Gas Mileage
High Safety Ratings
Higher Safety Ratings
Kinetic Design, traditional designs
Simplicity, sleek, modern
Ford cars last up to 200,000 miles, with an average lifespan of 10-13 years.
Kia cars last up to 200,000-250,000 miles with an average lifespan of 13-17 years.
Repair and Maintenance Cost
Engine and Performance

Which Is Better?

Kia and Ford are both well-established car manufacturers with a wide range of models available. Both brands have a reputation for producing reliable vehicles, but some key differences may make one brand a better choice for some drivers.

Regarding the reliability of Ford and Kia vehicles, Kia is better. Kia has higher reliability ratings, amongst other advantages that it offers over Ford.

According to RepairPal, Ford gets a 3.5/5.0 rating, ranking 21st out of 32 car brands. This is compared to Kia, which ranks 3rd out of 32 car brands, with a 4.0/5.0.

In the 2022 JD Power Dependability survey, Kia beats Ford with better scores but also appears as the most dependable car brand for 2022.

Kia beats Ford by offering higher safety ratings, better warranty coverage, and cheaper repair and maintenance costs.

Ford offers a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, shorter than Kia's.

Kia offers one of the longest warranties in the industry, with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty. The powertrain warranty from Kia is almost double what Ford offers.

However, to get a broad understanding of Ford vs. Kia reliability, we'll need to study both brands' features alongside the models they offer.


There are huge differences in the design of Ford and Kia. Kia has been consistently praised for its sleek and modern designs, especially in its newer models such as the Kia Stinger and Kia Telluride.

On the other hand, Ford has a more traditional design aesthetic, with models like the Ford F-150 and Ford Mustang being popular for their rugged and classic look.

Ford and Kia are two of the most popular car brands known for their reliable and stylish vehicles. Both companies have a rich history and a wide range of models to choose from, but their design philosophies are very different.

Ford adopts an American-style design, often featuring bold lines and sporty and aggressive looks. Ford cars are designed to stand out on the road and make a statement.

The company's signature design elements include a large grille, a powerful stance, and sleek curves. Ford vehicles are also known for their spacious interiors and comfortable seating.

On the other hand, Kia has a more understated, European-inspired design. Kia cars are designed to be elegant and refined, with clean lines and a sleek, aerodynamic look. The company's signature design elements include a sleek front fascia, a bold stance, and a sporty profile.

Kia vehicles are also known for their high-quality materials and attention to detail in the cabin. While Ford adopts a design philosophy of Kinetic Design, Kia adopts 'opposites United.'

Ford is interested in offering a design that presents its cars as always in motion, while Kia believes in creating a distinctive shape by blending the idea of opposition. This includes using natural elements, employing reasons and different strategies to integrate evolution into its designs.

However, it is important to cite that Kia is not big on truck production as Ford. Another major difference is their target market.

Ford cars are designed to appeal to a wide range of drivers, from families to sports car enthusiasts. On the other hand, Kia is more focused on younger, urban drivers looking for stylish, affordable cars with a touch of luxury.

Winner: Both

Safety and Technology

Both Kia and Ford have received high marks for their safety features, with many models earning top ratings from organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Kia models like the Kia Soul and Kia Sorento have received particularly high marks for their crash test performance.

Ford also has a good reputation for safety features in models such as Ford Explorer and Ford Ranger. However, when comparing the safety and technology of Kia vs. Ford, Kia is better.

Kia has higher safety ratings than Ford. This is evident in the number of Kia cars earning the 2022 IIHS Top safety pick(+) award as against Ford.

Kia invests heavily in new technologies, and its newer models feature advanced infotainment systems, driver assistance features, and connectivity options.

Ford also has a wide range of technology features, including the Ford Co-Pilot 360, which is a suite of driver-assist technologies, but Kia has more cars doing better than Ford.

Kia offers almost all features available in the Ford CoPilot 360 system but also introduces more driver safety and comfort features.

You get the Kia UVO eServices and Harman Kardon sound system.

The truth is the availability of safety features and technology varies according to the model and trim level of any car you choose.

Winner: Kia

Repair and Maintenance Cost

It is cheaper to repair and maintain a Kia than a Ford. According to RepairPal, Kia gets an annual average repair cost of $474. This is compared to Ford, which gets $775.

With Kia, you get a 0.2 chance of visiting the repair shop and a 10% probability of severe damages.

On the other hand, Ford gets a 15% chance of severe damages and a 0.3 chance of visiting the repair shop.

Kia's extended warranty coverage also gives users reduced costs of expenses compared to Ford.

Winner: Kia

Engine and Performance

Kia and Ford offer various engine options to suit different needs, with both brands offering a balance of power and efficiency. Ford has some of the most powerful engines in the market, while Kia has been focusing on fuel efficiency in its newer models.

The differences between the engines and performance of Kia and Ford vehicles go beyond just fuel efficiency and power. Let's study some popular models from both brands to give you a better understanding of what to expect.

Ford focuses more on the delivery of power. This is essential in providing great engines that can power its trucks. For instance, the 2024 Ford Mustang has a 5.0-liter V8 engine that delivers a whopping 500 horsepower on the dark horse model and 480hp on its base model.

The Ford F-150 offers a range of engine options, including a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that produces 400 horsepower.

Kia doesn't focus on power but rather on fuel efficiency. For example, the Kia Niro is a hybrid crossover SUV with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that returns 139 HP and an electric motor; the EV Model delivers a combined output of 201 horsepower.

The Kia Soul, a compact crossover SUV, has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower.

Your decision between Ford and Kia's engines depends on whether you are willing to sacrifice power for fuel efficiency or vice versa.

Winner: Both 

Gas Mileage

In terms of gas mileage, Kia models are more fuel-efficient than Ford models. Kia models such as the Kia Niro and Kia Soul EV have received high marks for their fuel economy.

Ford models like the Ford F-150 and Ford Mustang have lower gas mileage than the Kia models, although with a higher power.

Winner: Kia


In conclusion, both Kia and Ford offer reliable vehicles, but Kia has slightly better overall reliability. Kia also offers a longer warranty, better safety ratings, and more specs that assure users of their safety and reduced expenses.

Not to mention that Kia has better overall value. You can consider Ford if you need a truck. The Ford F150 is an amazing vehicle. Both Kia and Ford have their strengths and weaknesses. Your choice between the two brands will depend on your individual needs and preferences.