From what ive observed, looked at and researched, Hyundai/Kia are good deals if you are the type that cycles new/late model cars every 2-5 years or till the lease ends, which is completely fine if thats your bag and aligns with your priority's. That is their business plan: as much features, sleek styling, for lower price, at the cost of thorough engineering and manufacturing of core components and it reflects how they design and build their cars especially since diverging from Mitsubishi designed engines. The cost savings are coming from somewhere.
Theta 2 bearing deburring fiasco, along with the myriad of other things on that engine(maybe im wrong but i have never seen a plastic water pump/thermo housing on a good engine), and now the SmartStream having piston slap and crazy oil issues from the factory and their solution is to make the dipstick indicator longer and up the oil capacity in the manual... is not a company that prioritizes robust engine design over costs any way you slice it. I get that every oem is guilty of this nowadays to some extent and especially on their workhorse 4 cylinders, but IMO hyundaiKia are at the forefront with stellantis and chevy(v8's excluded) not far behind in that order. Their more basic design V6's that have slightly more mitsubishi DNA remaining in them seem to be decent motors, however
I get that they have fans and their merits, thats fine, but I cannot call them "good" cars if we look at cars as pieces of equipment and not a gadget to cycle through every few years. I would never buy one as they do not fit my priorities when choosing a vehicle, but it fits the demo that buys cars with the same mindset as they do cell phones, which is fine.
Nice that they replaced your trans