Kia/Hyundai are a hell of a lot better than they used to be, though they weren't too bad even from the mid-90's onwards as long as you ignored the styling of them over the 'standard' features you'd get compared to other larger manufactures. yes there's always a chance of dubious build quality but when the big car manufactures still hit such issues, it just levels the playing field on such things.
when i changed my Rover 114i (aka Metro) under the scappage scheme in 2009 here, i ended up with a Hyundai i20 (not sure what it's marketed as in the US, etc) as despite it not ticking all of the boxes on whizz & pow, etc (though would have if i'd wanted the higher power diesel unit), the overall cost and value for money along with the scrappage discount offsetting the diesel purchase 'premium' was going to better than what i was going to get on say a Vauxhall Corsa or a Mazda 2 which were also on my shortlist. plus i prefer the drive of it in that it just goes though it's not quite as fun as the Metro was, but at least it's not rusty
and looking back, it has worked out as the better car to go with e.g. the Mazda 2 wouldn't have been big enough for when i had to move house. and so far it has proven better on the fuel then we thought (the base 1.4 diesel was spec'ed at 64mpg) and with the gf averaging ~57mpg in her one (we both needed new cars and the i20 suited both of our needs in the end), i think that's pretty close (mine is low 50's due to doing short shopping trips along with the longer day / holiday journeys).