1996 Kia Sephia RS 1.8 DOHC from North America


A decent engine, good gas mileage, but completely disposable car


The alternator went out at 46000.

The dash has curled up, and is junk.

The check engine light is on often.

The headlight plastic turned yellow.

General Comments:

The car accelerates quite well, but seems very low geared.

The speedometer is off 5 mph.

I had it up to an indicated 115 mph and still climbing before I came to my senses and slowed down.

The car interior is absolute junk, falling apart, and the seats are uncomfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th December, 2003

1996 Kia Sephia GS 1.6 JARVIK from North America


Friends don't let friends drive KIA!!!


The check engine light comes on going up every hill.

The brake rotors warped worse than a vinyl record left in the trunk of a car in Arizona in July.

The water pump impeller rotted clean off.

The engine overheated and seized.

The driver's side window falls out of the track if lowered more than halfway.

The key no longer works in the driver's side door.

The headlight lenses have become frosted or fogged dull yellow.

The dashboard has a huge sunburned spot in the middle, and it has curled up 4 inches high.

The weather stripping for the rear window is falling into the door, causing air to whistle into the car.

The risk/reward ratio for this car makes it a sure loser every time!!!

General Comments:

This car has been a cause of great sorrow to me and my family. It is unreliable. It is always in need of some repair. The engine is weak and easily damaged. All of the plastic in the cabin is melting and warped. This is just a very poorly made car.

It was a gift that kept on taking.

It took too much to pay it off.

It took too much to fix it.

And it makes me feel bad to pass this burden on to anyone else, but I have to get rid of this lame mule.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th July, 2003

11th Oct 2003, 14:34

I agree totally with you. Everything you mentioned from the check engine light to the frosted headlights is what I have. This car is the worst I've seen and should never have been made or sold!

23rd Feb 2009, 15:13

I like my 1996 Kia, even though I have invested 3500 dollars into it... It is reliable car if it is maintained...

1996 Kia Sephia 1.8 from North America


Watch out for that dash it'll poke out your eye


Nothing really lots of brake noise though I just ignore it I'm so used to it now. Check engine light comes on a lot, but once again I just ignore that as well,. If you want to see something crazy come see the dash of my car its come un-glued and curled back I have never seen anything like it and find it very embarrassing, but wait I drive a kia so that should be enough to embarrass myself I guess.

General Comments:

Decent car for the 1200.00 I paid for it. Sounds like a horse and carriage coming down the road. Radio sucks, however this thing has never broken down on me so I can't say its all bad.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th May, 2003

29th Jan 2005, 09:41

I bought my 1996 Sephia LS back in 1996, brand new. It has been an excellent car to drive around town in, and to take on long journeys without it breaking down. The paint and the interior is impressive for a 1996. The check engine light has come on a few times, but hey, it happens. Oh, by the way, the dash on all of these cars was recalled back in 1997, and the dash I have in it now hasn't curled up or faded since. It was well worth it's money, and I hope to keep it as long as I live.

1996 Kia Sephia from Barbados


Lemon from the get go.


What hasn't gone wrong.

Brakes disks and rotors pads been changed to numerous to mention.

Turn signal unit is gone. When I go from bright to dim it stays on bright. If I make the mistake and leave the car on dim during the night the light will come on and drain the battery by morning.

Recently replaced the whole engine.

Console LED gone. Where the fan and ac controls are supposed to light up don't. LED in the cassette player gone. At night you can't see the radio station.

Driver side shock burst. Rear shocks and struts gone. The back of the car wiggles badly when cornering.

Had some problems with the power windows.

The Power antenna gave some problems. The driver side rear brake light keeps blowing.

The spoiler was not fitting back properly from the dealer. Had to get a replacement.

Power Steering pump went. I was driving with no power steering for about 2 days till we found a replacement.

Gas line problems. The top of the tank where the gas nozzle reaches, had rusted so I can't fill the tank right up with gas. When it gets under half tank it burns a lot of gas very quickly.

Had transmission problems. Had to replace the whole transmission.

General Comments:

This car should have never been put into production.

Get the feeling Toyota.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd April, 2003

22nd Apr 2003, 21:39

I have a 1996 Kia Sephia and its been a pretty good car, I have never had any major problems with it and it has 103,000 miles right now-

14th Feb 2004, 14:53

Maybe you had so many problems because your car was running on over 400,000 miles? These types of things usually go wrong before that time, it is a miracle in itself that it is still running. I think this owner is being a bit too inflammatory considering the mileage on this car.

18th Feb 2004, 10:18

I have about 150,000 miles on my 96 kia sephia.

It runs fairly well, the only problem I have had is trying to get it to smog. I had to replace the O2 sensor which cost 200 for the part, but other than that it OK