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Discussion Starter #1
I am VERY interested in the PHEV Niro but have concerns about the distance to our KIA dealer(s). The closest one is 30 miles away. After that we are looking at 120 and 140 miles to the next "nearby" dealers.

I think I can deal with the 30 miles but the fact that there are no other reasonable alternatives could be an issue. I have read that some KIA dealers have closed (this was in the Southern California area) and if that was to happen here I would be left without any local support. The dealership has already changed ownership once in the past few years, but I have no idea what may have brought that on. Ford, Toyota, Honda, Chevrolet, Hyundai all have multiple dealers close by which makes it easier to shop and service a new car.

How far away is your KIA dealer and should I be concerned about the lack of multiple nearby dealers?

I appreciate any feedback.

Thanks
 

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I'd be interested in reading whatever you read about Kia dealers closing. Can you provide a link for that?


Personally, I regard Kia as being in the same situation that Toyota was in back in the 1980s: a quality manufacturer that is on the rise, but hasn't yet achieved the widespread recognition that would allow it to boost its prices .But its poised to do that in the future. In other words, I think Kia cars are somewhat undervalued and buyers are likely to be getting a good deal because of that.

As I think about this analogy, my first description was probably a bit off. Kia is probably more like Toyota was in the 90s or early 2000s (meaning, they are well on their way to being recognized as a decent brand). But Kia now has a black cloud hanging over it's head because of problems with the Theta II engines (used in other models) that Hyundai/Kia haven't yet addressed in the way that they need to in order to maintain a good reputation.

I'm not aware of any evidence to suggest that Niro owners need to fret about Kia's current publicity problems. Our Kappa engines are a different design, and as near as I can tell, were manufactured in a different plant. So there's not much reason to think that they'll suffer the same problems. (GDI carbon buildup concerns not withstanding). If we have to fret about anything, it's the idea that if Kia doesn't begin to do better in responding to the problems that Theta owners are confronted with, the brand will suffer, and every Kia owner's eventual resale value will probably take a hit because of that.

If I was hot to purchase a Niro today and my dealer was 30 miles away, this is what I would do:

  1. Try to determine the probability that the dealer will be around indefinitely. That's usually a foregone assumption, but if you are reading about Kia dealers closing shop, you might want to look into that concern specifically with the dealer you will be depending on.
  2. Plan to get the first oil change done at that dealer, six months or 7500 miles after your purchase. Among other things, it's good to do at least one change at the dealer so that you are sure you are in their computer system and will receive notifications about future recalls, etc.
  3. Maybe purchase a couple of Niro oil filters and drain plug washers during your visit, and have subsequent oil changes done at a more convenient garage. But keep all your receipts so that you can document that you had the service done, and insist that you get 0W20 synthetic oil at each change and that it's reflected on the receipt.
  4. Plan to visit the dealer once every two years or so, just so you can ensure that they have a current record of your car, you're getting any unpublished TSB service that you might need, software updates, etc.
  5. Verify that your purchase comes with some period of Kia Roadside assistance (this is included in the higher trim packages, not sure if it's in all of them). That should go a long way toward alleviating any concerns you might have about the dealer being far away.
  6. Some folks have mentioned that their car came with lifetime oil changes. If that's being offered to you, it's probably a good deal, unless you think you won't want to make the journey to the dealer for that service. In that case, maybe tell the salesperson that you don't want that and you'd like to know how much you can save on your purchase price by taking that off the package price.
 

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I’m a forum member who posted about Galpin KIA closing in the San Fernando Valley area of SoCal. I leased my Niro in April of 2018 and they shut their doors in last Fall. That makes my closest KIA dealer over in Glendale CA, 19 or so miles from me. Not a deal breaker except for LA traffic there and back ... 1 to 2 hours. There is a Keyes Hyundai dealer in The Valley that is much closer (9mi) so I may follow the suggestion of using that option if they honor the Galpin contracts. Heck I only need an oil change which I could do myself or not. During my Ford C-Max lease I did need warranty service on a failed HVAC, so warranty issues do come up on new vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tonepad - Thanks for your posting, that is the one I remember reading. While trying to find your old post I googled other Kia closings and found a few others over the past few years (Rutland,VT., Jefferson City, MO, Fairfield, CA.) Two of these dealers stated that sales were not supporting the business. I'm sure if I searched for other Manufacturer car dealer closings I would find plenty of those too, so I'm not trying to be an alarmist regarding Kia. Car dealers come and go. It is just that if my local dealer was to close I would not have options for another Kia dealer close by like you do. And the local dealer has recently changed ownership so I am not sure if that is a good sign or not.

yticolev - I never thought about Hyundai servicing KIA cars and will research that option some more. I doubt they would honor any warranty work though.

desltasmith - Appreciate your detailed response and like your ideas about planning dealer visits and oil changes.

badyellowvette probably summed it up best "If you want it you got to deal with it"

Thanks everyone
 

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Holly Crap. Here I have two Kia delerships about 4 miles away from me. The next one is about 7 miles the other direction. If I cast a 30 mile radius around me, there are about 18 Kia dealerships to choose from. Yet, ZERO of them have a PHEV niro. Not that they don't sell plug in cars. The one closest to me sells mosly the Kia Soul EV cars they have 4 of them on the lot. They do sell the HEV version of the Niro. Asked and they are not expecting the EV verision of the Niro either.
 

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Here in the Seattle area we have an abundance of Kia dealers.

There are two within 10 miles of me and three more within 25 miles.

There are 34 Niro PHEVs with 10 miles and 51 within 25 miles. Quite a few of them have been on the lot of more than a month, some several months. Great inventory, but sales perhaps not so much!
 

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I am no fan of dealerships. The sales process cost you a 10% commission between the dealer and the salesman and yes most people would rather have a root canal done than buy at a dealership. No matter that you have a specific car in mind the dealer's role is to get you into the car that has been on the lot the longest. After buying our Niro PHEV we bought a Tesla. Since Tesla doesn't use dealerships ( you buy online) all our future cars will be Tesla's. The buying experience of a Tesla is fantastic. Tesla service comes to your home or work just like the Geek squad.
 
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