‘Kias Suck’ or ‘Why You Should Pay for Value’

Ever wonder why Kia cars are so cheap?The above is an interesting graph of car reliability.  It’s no surprise that Japanese automakers lead the way, but I was surprised that the American manufacturers aren’t too far behind (~25-30% more problems.)  Kia still seems to be WAY behind the curve… (apologies to my Korean in-laws.)

Does anyone know how Hyundai stacks up?  If so, please post a comment with some data.

It’s good to keep things like this in mind when buying anything you want to last or use a lot.  The general lesson is to consider total costs of ownership over the lifetime of your purchase (not just the original purchase price.)  This applies to thinking about future car repairs as well as dry cleaning costs & time for dry clean-only clothes.

Remember that a low up-front price doesn’t always mean less costly over the long term (that’s a lesson that a cheap bastard like me still has problems learning.)  Value is what really matters; a combination of the price you pay and the quality you get.  As I’ve gotten older, busier and more crotchety, saving time & headache has become more valuable to me.

In light of all this, I recommend buying quality, hassle-fee products & services, and keeping those quality items for as long as they’ll last.  It’s better to own fewer items that you’ll really love and use rather than a lot of cheap stuff that wears out or needs to be constantly replaced or maintained.  This rules goes for clothes, cookware, cars, etc.

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