Agreed, 100%. I like Kia's designs. They are actually decent cars. I drove a new Optima and came away impressed. Has their reliability improved? Yes. Are they more reliable or just as reliable as Honda? Well, if I'm betting with my hard earned money, I'd say not. My biggest concern: How reliable will the car be long term, like 200K and beyond. I'm guessing it would be very rare for a 200k Kia to have few problems.
My 2002 Accord had 190k with very few issues.
I have no doubt there are real quality differences between makes - even if the gap has been closing.
But, one thing I've noticed over the years is that people who buy (or can only afford) say, a Kia Forte over a Honda Civic primarily because the Kia is less expensive, also tend to defer or neglect proper maintenance.
I mean, how many people a Chevrolet Malibu and change the oil when required, keep it washed and vacuumed, and are really proud to have it in their garage?
From where I stand, Honda Accord buyers follow the Maintenance Minder, keep their vehicles clean, and are proud of their smart purchases.
Even if both the Malibu and Accord were of equal quality, I guarantee you'll see people take better care of Accords and they'll be on a road a lot longer. The Malibus will eventually end up filthy, dented, scratched, with mismatched tires, sitting at a used-car lot that'll sell that same car 10 times because they keep having to repo it after each buyer misses the first weekly payment.