Kia have spent the last few weeks trumpeting that their cars now come with a 7 year warranty. Which sounded pretty good to me when I first heard about it.
But if a reader asked me whether they should buy a used Vauxhall Astra or a used Kia Cee’d, my answer would be the Astra. Or possibly a Suzuki SX4.
The reason is that Kia’s warranty is only a manufacturer warranty. Which means if you can prove something failed because it had a manufacturing fault then they’ll replace it. If you can’t prove that – and after 3 years you probably can’t – then they can call it wear and tear and slap you with a bill.
So I would buy the cheaper Astra or Suzuki and buy a private ‘insurance’ car warranty which will cover items that wear out. Here's how I see them stacking up against eah other:
A stylish family hatchback that is capable as its main stream rivals. Although there are minor hints that it’s not quite as well made; the radio loses signal and the power steering can take a while to kick in and so on.
Most economical: 1.6 CRDi
Best used buy: 1.6 petrol or diesel
Used Car Expert magazine price guide: Most Kia used cars are still finding their way back to Kia dealers which keeps prices firm. So a 2007 1.6 CRDS will be £8,300 - £9,300
Strong engines, space and sharp handling make it a good alternative not just to the Focus but to the Volkswagen Golf. The build quality of later models really is comparable.
Most economical: 1.7 CDTI
Best used buy: 1.6 petrol or 1.7 CDTI
Used Car Expert magazine price guide: Lots of Astras on the market means lots of choice at keen prices. A 2007 1.7 CDTI Exclusiv is around £7,000-£7,900, albeit it may have 10,000 miles more on the clock than the equivalent Kia.
It's the small hatchback that comes in 4 x 4 and no one knows exists. It is actually good to drive and low priced when new, so good value when used. Lots of standard kit and fun to drive. Build quality is as good as Kia.
Most economical: 1.9 DDis
Best used buy: 1.6 GLX 4 Grip
Used Car Expert magazine price guide: £7,000- £8,000 buys you a 2007 1.9DDis with mileage slightly more than the Kai and slightly less than the Astra.
So you can put an insurance warranty on either the Vauxhall or Suzuki and you will still have change, but no fear of future repair bills.
Words by: Matthew Tumbridge