1996 Kia Sephia RS 1.6L from North America


Reliable, Affordable Car


I had to replace the water pump, and one belt. Passenger side seat is ripping apart. Check engine light loves to come on.

General Comments:

It's a fun car, good on gas, and I love driving it. The engine is great, plenty of trunk space.

Considering I paid 1500 for it, I'm very happy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th May, 2007

1996 Kia Sephia from North America


A very reliable car for a college student on the road


I replaced the battery and starter last year.

Brakes are constantly squealing; dealer said it was asbestos.

Oh, and that dashboard! It's badly burned, but besides being an eyesore, it really isn't bothering me.

Airbag light comes on when I hit a bump in the road.

General Comments:

For the car being almost eight years old, I have had relatively few problems.

Minor problems, such as wind noise, are irrelevant given that I have not kept the car up like I know I should have;i.e. oil changes, maintenance, etc.

I am in grad school now, and this car has been very reliable with me making about roughly a 200 mile road trip every weekend.

Considering purchasing a Spectra next year, if this one holds up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2004

30th Mar 2007, 07:34

I'm Bulgarian. I've just buy a 1996 KIA Sephia GSE 1,5L from Austria. Even that this country is not so sun-shined, the dashboard is already burned. As engine I could not say anything yet. Hope I will not many problems despite the opinions shared here.

25th Apr 2007, 12:00

I had one a couple years back. The heater didn't work EVER, I don't know what was wrong with the dash. It looked like there was a fire in it at one point. (It had overheated a few times before I bought it.) Tried to change the oil myself once. Then I brought it in every time after that. Part of the problem was the lot I bought it from. the passenger door didn't open and the window didn't close. Rust, rust, everywhere. The paint was coming off in random wierd places. BUT it got me back and forth to work everyday, with 80+ miles a day for 6 months before it died. I kinda miss the "brown growler".

1996 Kia Sephia RS 1.8 DOHC from North America


Power and Performance in a small car


The Air Conditioning was not functioning properly when purchased, but it was repaired and has worked wonderfully since then.

Check engine light stays on even though there is no problem.

The car looses oil at a rate of 1/2 quart every 4 months. But in all fairness I drive the car very hard.

The dash board is just now starting to curl.

General Comments:

All and all I would say that I am extremely pleased with my KIA. I have replaced all recommended parts per manufacturers recommendation at the times specified in the maintenance manual. It handles very well and is an exception to the KIA community. I'm told by dealers that do the maintenance that mine has more pick up and power than others they have serviced. Being honest though, I did not follow the break-in recommendations of the manufacturer and was doing 128 miles per hour within 2 weeks of owning the car. 128 miles per hour is also when the speed governor will kick in and stall out the engine. This car will literally sit there and smoke the tires. It will do this even with the air conditioner on and engaged. The interior has handled very well even in this Florida weather.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd March, 2004

15th Sep 2004, 16:32

Losing that much oil isn't good, although it isn't all that uncommon with some cars. It depends on the oil used, too. Some oils are just too slippery for a given motor. So you might want to find out what the recommended oil is for your temperature range. If it ever gets bad, you could switch to a high-mileage oil, which will "condition" the seals, but you have to keep using the high-mileage oil.

Also, the check engine light is there for a reason. That means the computer is throwing code (s). It might be nothing important (well, important, but not immediately threatening), but you need to get it diagnosed and find out WHAT it is saying.

12th Apr 2009, 00:55

I have my 96 and love it. Mine came with the 1.8, leather seats and all the bells and whistles.

The check engine light comes on, the SRS is on, the dash curls and a window switch doesn't work. But I have got a top speed of 130mph, and I have handed it to a lot of Z28s and Mustang GTs. If you have 1 exhaust (V6) I will not waste my time.