1997 Kia Sephia 1.6L from North America


The Working Mans Car


Water pump.

Clutch parts master and slave cylinder needed replacement.

All new front brakes, rotors and pads.

Spark plugs, new wires, cap and rotor.

Both front CV joints.


Fuel filter.

Radio (original was stolen).

Timing belt kit.

Extensive exhaust work.

Both CV joints.

PVC valve.



General Comments:

I bought this car in 2005 for $1700 from a college kid when I just needed something to drive. I have abused and driven the snot out of this thing for years, and it's still going.

It's needed a few parts here and there, but besides the water pump, nothing too major. I chose to replace the timing belt while the mechanic was replacing the water pump. The other repairs I have been able to do myself.

Parts are often not in stock at the parts house, but can be ordered next day delivery. The air cleaner is now not in stock at most auto parts stores, but the oil and fuel filter are still readily available.

All in all, a great car for the money. Kia's don't have a very good resale value, so you can pick up a used one very cheap. Buy the book on this car, and learn to do a lot of the repairs yourself. The car has a lot of little issues and squeaks, and my dash has started to peal. Not to mention, the seats are uncomfortable on long road trips.

At this point, I'm just driving it and replacing parts until the engine blows or the transmission gives out. I don't know when that will happen, but hopefully I can turn 200000 miles on it first.

I would definitely buy another KIA in the future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th December, 2010

1997 Kia Sephia GX 1.5 from Jordan


A good limited car


The dashboard cover went up for a few centimeters.

Suspension not as good for a light weight car.

Front headlights become yellow, you can polish them or buy new ones.

General Comments:

1- It's suitable for a man weighing not more than 200lbs, height 5.5 feet. Driver space is not good enough, especially for knees.

2- Don't expect too much from a cheap used auto.

3- Acceleration is very good for the automatic version on flat terrains, and so hard for steep terrains, especially when full loaded with people.

4- You can't drive this car roughly and expect to handle this way of driving, it needs smoothness and easy commuting.

5- Buy a good shape one from the beginning. If you don't, you'll regret it, and end up spending twice twice the cost of a good one.

6- Very cheap spare parts, with full availability. Easy to repair by mechanics in most shops.

7- Be fair, and do not expect too much from a compact cheap car.

8- It's good for every day driving, not for long distance (about 200 miles a day) or severe weather conditions (desert or snow, mud); it was not engineered for this.

9- If you're lazy with regular maintenance checks... it's up to you.

10- When it's the time to dump it, don't wait, just look for another car.

11- I heard once that Sephia I is better than II, I really can't judge. What about your experience?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th November, 2010

1997 Kia Sephia RS 1.6 from North America


A waste of money


I bought my 1997 Kia Sephia back in May.. I paid 1000 for it - it was used so I assumed it was a good deal.

The dash looked as if it was burned, but I didn't care. It was my first car..

So a week after I bought the car, the entire exhaust system fell from under the car. I got that fixed, and then I noticed the car stalled a lot after take off, and just during the drive to wherever I was headed..

Then - the brakes were bad so I replaced the pads and rotors..

Now, my car turns off and on by itself! You'd almost miss it if the radio were on.. It turns off and on as fast as you can blink your eye!

Then last night, it just turned off mid-drive!

General Comments:

I have three mechanics who play the guessing game, and none of their suggestions have helped.. Anyone experience anything similar, and if so - any suggestions on how to fix it?

You can email me at jsilva2720@yahoo.com

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th October, 2009

29th Nov 2014, 05:48

As far as it turning off and on... I discovered (after looking in my Kia factory "Electric Book") that the ignition switch has many "layers and contacts" in it. Our A/C, radio and digital clock were going off and on. I replaced the ignition switch made by Standard, on eBay for $25. Fixed it and it's "so smooth!" (to operate).

Norm K. nrkrell1@aol.com

21st Mar 2015, 17:58

For the off and on problem (with the A/C AND radio), I changed the ignition switch after looking in my KIA electrical book, and this problem was solved. These ignition switches are really cheaply made!

Norm K.