Kia map updates: the final word

Riley Riley

We’ve received numerous emails from readers confused about updates for the satellite navigation in their Kia.

As we reported last year thousands of Kia owners were left high and dry after the company switched to an in house navigation system.

The two systems are not compatible and because it no longer had the licensing rights to the previous system, Kia could not supply any further updates.

To put this in perspective Kia started rolling out satellite navigation in its vehicles from 2012, with hardware provided by Motrex and mapping supplied by Here Maps.

Buyers were initially promised two complimentary map updates over a three-year period, one at the 12-month anniversary of purchase, the second at 24 months – as part of what it called Mapcare.

The trouble is many owners claim they have never received even one update – just check the forums.

The Mapcare offer was withdrawn from January 1, 2017 and no longer appears on Kia’s website.

Figures show 45,000 vehicles with the old system are eligible for updates, while up to 20,000 older models will probably miss out — those built in 2012, 2013 and some 2014 models.

Kia has been able to negotiate a partial solution to the problem with the help of TomTom that will see some people get free updates while others will have to pay for them — the unlucky owners of older models will never be able to get an update for technical reasons.

We’ve been working through this issue for the last 12 months and apologise for not getting back to those readers that have emailed us over the past few weeks.

It’s not that we have been ignoring you, we’ve just been working behind the scenes to get some answers for you.

A spokesman for Kia confirmed this week that:

If the car was purchased prior to January 1, 2016, there is an entitlement of two map updates within a three-year period from purchase.

If the car was purchased after January 1, 2016, there is no free mapcare program on the Motrex head units.

If a customer who purchased a car after January 1, 2016, was told by the dealer that they were entitled to two free map updates then they have an issue with the dealer who misinformed them.

Owners who find themselves in this situation and wish to update their mapping can purchase a map update from the dealer.

The price says Kia is $280: $220 for the map and $60 for labour.

The spokesman said If a customer can prove a dealer misinformed them, then they can seek to recover that cost from the dealer — not from Kia Motors Australia.

For cars fitted with the latest OEM head units — those that come with Apple Carplay and Android Auto — there is a 10-year free update program.

Be that as it may readers still seem to be getting the runaround from dealers who in our experience hate to give anything away for free.

  • Danielle said she tried to get the map updated in her Kia Sorento, purchased August, 2015.

She was told there were no updates available for her car unless she wanted to pay $300 for the TomTom one.

“I work in property management and need up to date street info. Very disappointed and annoyed,” she said.

  • Andrew McMahon purchased a Kia Sorento Platinum in 2016.

“At the time we were assured of free map updates for two years,” he said.

“My latest service saw me quoted $287 for the install of the new TomTom update. I queried this and dealer let me know there was a bulletin about it from KIA. Then calling KIA I was told that 2016 vehicles were not eligible for the free Mapcare updates (that never happened by the sounds of it) and also weren’t eligible for a free TomTom update.”

  • Matilda has a 2016 Kia Sportage.

“My 2016 Sportage just had it’s 30K service and I was told it would cost $250 to update the map data,” she said.

“I was quite shocked by this, as when I bought the car I was told I had two free map updates, when I’ve had none!

“I rang Kia customer service. They told me there is nothing they can do and I need to pay if I want the update. They were not interested in knowing anything about my car details, and not interested in discussing further or negotiating.

“They said the only way to get the fee waived was for the dealership to do it. I asked for some information about this new arrangement to be sent to me, they refused to do that too as it’s confidential. I’m very disappointed.”

  • Peter is one of those with an older 2012 model.

“I’m disappointed to read your article, but at last it explains things, because I’ve failed to get a clear answer from Kia,” he said.

“Add me to the growing irate Kia customer list. I have a Sportage 2012 Platinum. The map updates have always been a sore point with over the years, which unfortunately tarnishes an otherwise great car (and company).

“On my last service they bricked my navigation unit and I waited weeks for new one, being promised the latest Android auto head set, only to receive exactly what I previously had with the same 2015 Maps. I think it’s falls into some breach of contract not to provide timely map updates.

“More and more new roads are being created and speed limits changing. Updates should be very regular in this connected era.

“What’s the alternative? Buy a new car every time a company stops map updates. I don’t mind paying for an update or do I put in a third party Android auto system myself. I was going to be a repeat customer but I’ll be looking elsewhere. How hard did Kia try with Here Maps?”

  • The comment that really takes the cake however is that from Bob who has a car with the new system.

“I took my 2018 Kia Optima in for its 6 month/ 7500km service today,” he said.

“I enquired about map updates and was told that there was a TomTom update available but would cost $300 for the licence for the maps.”

What did we say about dealers hating to part with anything for free?

Let us know how you got on?


CHECKOUT: Thousands miss out on map updates

CHECKOUT: The map update that got lost

CHECKOUT: Kia map updates: did you get yours?

CHECKOUT: Kia map updates: share your experiences


  1. After repeated head unit failures in my Carnival (YP), Kia eventually paid just short of $3k to have a Pioneer head unit installed in my car. Prior to this, my car had no working head unit (including at times, no reverse camera) for well over half of the car’s life. At least I now have a working head unit but this is the last Kia I will ever own.

  2. I have Kia Sportage 2018 model and need some help how to update the latest maps myself. I am quite happy to pay for the maps or someone can help me to do that. I live in Western Sydney, NSW. I have tried to do online through my laptop but been unsuccessful.

  3. I’ve had my 2022 Kia Sportage (MY22) for 4 weeks, and I already need to correct map errors.

    Whose maps is my car using?
    Can I use HERE Map Creator to make corrections (my Alpine unit recommended that I do so)?

    Kia (and others) simply won’t talk to me.


      1. 1. I was directed to make an illegal turn into a one-way street.
        2. I want to remove non-existent service stations.
        3. I want to add service station (company name) name-changes.

      2. And my Alpine head unit definitely used HERE Maps, as I witnessed my changes/corrections being published in new releases of HERE Maps.

        I used to make these changes in “HERE Map Creator” and it will be a blessing if Kia’s navigation also uses “HERE Maps” (so that I can make changes with confidence).

        1. Kia uses TomTom from memory. The sort of stuff you are describing is common. Some systems allow you to report road changes etc. and hopefully these changes make it into map updates. I’m still getting new cars that know nothing about the new M8 tunnel in Sydney.

          1. Ouch, something as major as the M8 tunnel (scary)!

            Thanks for your help, Riley.


  4. Ok I spoke to Kia today (23 July 2021) and they confirmed with me that the map update actually IS available for my Sorento (MY 2016). I quoted them the VIN so there was no misunderstanding. They even double checked by contacting their supplier.

  5. Bought an MY 2016 Sorento in December 2015. Trying to get a map update is proving impossible. I’m more than happy to pay for one. It’s just that I can’t get a clear answer either from the dealer or from Kia as to whether one is available.

  6. Kia Sportage GTI 2018 (before the new model release) – I was quoted today $550 for the update of the Tomtom map. And that is a one-off update. Ridiculous…. not sure how much was the actual Tomtom cost update and how much the Kia dealer sevice labour and margin but I walked away with a very bitter taste about the Kia brand and service.

    1. Kia really needs to address this problem. The bad PR is going to cost them sales and customers and – worse still – tarnish an otherwise spotless reputation.

  7. We bought a new Kia Sorento in March 2014 from Melbourne City Kia and it came with navigation and maps. Despite the promise of map updates during the services in the first 2 years, we never received them and our maps still say they are from 2012 (Q3). Recently I took our car in for its 7 year service and asked about a map update. Initially they told me that I could buy a license for $350 to get 2020 maps from Motrex, but later I was told those maps would only be 2018. $350 for 3-year old maps is not worth it, and I am disappointed in this aspect of our Kia.

    1. Hi Matthew,
      To be honest I’ve lost track of this issue. It’s been a couple of years since I last visited this topic. If you search the site there were three or four stories at the time about the map updates and you should find a definitive answer to your question there.

      1. I was promised map free updates way back in Oct 2017 when I bought the KIA, but none came and finely I was offered the Tom Tom update for $300 which I rejected, so instead of going back all the time I gave up and bought an off the shelf GPS with lifetime updates for $250. I did not know at the time nor was I told by the dealer that the navigation system in the 2017 KIA was already out of date and was superseded when I bought it, of course the dealer already knew that, but told me maps updates would be available (wish I had it in writing) otherwise if he had told me the truth I would have not bought the KIA. Pity though the navigation system is real good, best I have ever used except the speed limits and roads have long gone out of date. I think that is why KIA hoped that Android Auto with google maps would placate disgruntled KIA owners, but Google maps needs a constant flow of map data from your phone and the display resolution is poor. So I use the off the shelf unit. Even though the KIA has been a good car so far I won’t buy another one. KIA and the dealers gave me the run around so I won’t give them a second opportunity when I trade this model in.

        1. You might have worked out by now there is a world of difference between car companies and the dealers who sell their cars. Dealers have historically been a bit of a law unto themselves. Buyer beware!

          1. I had one other problem with the vehicle and that was the original tyres fitted to the car, they developed cracks between the tread and at that time they had only about 30K on them, I know that tyres have a DOM on them them and I think they were over 12 months old when I recieved the vehicle, of course I showed this to the dealer and they advised me KIA does not warrant the tyres only the manufacture and they sent me to the local agent for those tyres who advised that those new car tyres are not covered by any wrranty, this of course is contrary to KIA’s warranty booklet which states tyres are covered under the manufactures warranty. I called Fair Trading which was a waste of time, so I got rid of them and bought a new set. Incidently the 7 Year warranty on the KIA does not cover the head unit which has the built in navigation system, it has only a 3 year warranty, and map updates for that unit as per the warrant book you are directed to “MapCare” at KIA .com.au which of course when I went there did not exist. This won’t happen a second time.

          2. And then there is the MY21 Stinger. Map is several years out of date! The FREE map update in January 2021 is dated Q1 2020, but is unable to update the car!

            My disappointment in this nearly AUD $70,000 car is only exceeded by the pathetic local dealer and their (lack of) response on this and the inability to fix a repeatable loss of power when climbing a hill under acceleration.

            Never will I ever go with KIA again.

          3. Marty, you can update the maps yourself via this link. It’s a legitimate Kia link, and it’s worked for me on the current and previous update. It only takes a few minutes I also have a Stinger (and a Sorento)

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