1997 Kia Sephia RS 1.8 from North America


This car is speedy and handles great


None major.

General Comments:

I personally love the car and have another one, that is a 95 model with a 1.6 LS.

It has over 120,000 on it. It still runs like a champ.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2008

1997 Kia Sephia RS 1.8 Liter from North America


Best Buy for a Mountaineer


Most recently, I spent $1,200 to replace the CV joint boots, which were torn and leaking boot grease, to replace the brake pads and calipers, and to replace the steering arm boot which was torn.

Previously, I replaced the exhaust pipe which had rusted out and had several perforations, making for a noisy commute.

I also replaced two front tires after irregular wear patterns (cupping/scalloping) in a diagonal pattern developed across the tires. I only needed to replace the tires to correct the problem, although the tire salesman wanted to do the alignment as well.

Lastly, the engine leaked oil several times. In the first instance the plug where the oil temperature gauge sits was loose, and once tightened the leaking stopped. The second instance was simply caused by taking the car to a oil change place where the oil pan plug was not tightened sufficiently after the oil change.

General Comments:

I bought this car because it was far superior to any other car I came across for $2,700, which is what I paid. I have driven it across the country, from Virginia to California, up to New Hampshire and down to South Carolina. I even drove it up my rough dirt driveway for a summer in Taos, New Mexico, and up the 4x4 road to the base of Crestone Peak in Colorado.

An analysis of the cost of ownership will show that the price I paid ($2,700), minus current value ($1,300), and cost of repairs ($1,500), is about as good as you will find. The car is now worth $1,400 less than what I bought it for, and in the last 6 years and 52,500 miles I have spent a paltry $1,500 on total repairs.

The car achieves a decent 30 miles per gallon in mixed driving, and although it is not the tightest vehicle on the road (lots of little squeaks and noises) it has never caused me any trouble.

I am amused by the fact that sephia means squid in Latin - it is a little champ!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th June, 2007

1997 Kia Sephia 1.8 DOHC from Slovenia


Great car for almoust no money


Starter was rebuilt at 85000 km. The dashboard looks as if sun had burned it.

Some electrical problems.

Air bag contact was replaced.

General Comments:

I can sit comfortably inside and I am 200 cm tall.

Overall has been very reliable.

It has great power and I drive her to the max.

Fuel consumption is about 8.1L/100Km.

Top speed was 200 kmh (125 mph) with no problems, wind noise was rather loud.

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

Review Date: 27th February, 2006

1997 Kia Sephia RS 1.8 from North America


Most undependable car I never wanted to own


First thing is the thermostat.

Second thing is the radiator that went bad because of the thermostat.

Third is the starter which went out after the strut did.

Now its the Exhaust and oil leak.

General Comments:

This car is a "fair" car for six months then it's a lemon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th December, 2005

6th Dec 2005, 21:48

I think the issues you've run into aren't unreasonable for a 9 year old car with 160k miles.

1997 Kia Sephia RS 1.8L from North America


KIA: Can't live with it, can't get home without it


It all began with the dashboard. It became discolored and appeared burnt. Luckily we had it replaced with about 100 miles to spare under the warranty.

The brakes and rotors went out next. We had them replaced, and continue to replace our brakes every 8 months or so.

Soon after that the civic joints had to be replaced and the driver's side civic joint has torn again since.

Then the car began to switch out of overdrive, jerk and accelerate, then finally break down for three months.

After changing the fuel pump, fuel filter, distributor cap, and rotor, we finally found out it needed a new electronic ignition module thanks to a mechanic in Lubbock TX.

Then it did it again. Same problem, different solution. This time it was a loose connection to a relay in the black fuse box underneath the hood. I strongly recommend changing out that black fuse box. It has a lot of delicate connections that can cause major problems.

The cooling fan stopped working, caused by bad relay or relay connection, once again.

The water pump began leaking and had to be replaced after our antifreeze poured out all over the driveway.

We have replaced the spark plug wires around 10 times; spark plugs five times.

The car was overheating because water wasn't passing through the radiator, so we replaced that.

And just today we got it back after having all four motor mounts replaced because the car was jerking during take off and vibrated at stops.

Good news, now the car runs better than ever. It's smooth, it cools well, it's quiet... For the time being...

General Comments:

I've noticed a lot of others say it does well in races. Very true. I've beat a Mustang, a Grand Cherokee, a Camaro and a Dodge Ram to list a few. It keeps up well with so called muscle cars. KIA gets an A plus on that.

If you're going to buy or put money into a used KIA, remember to try to have a lot of patience.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th September, 2005

29th Sep 2005, 16:22

You drag race in a Sephia? bwahahaha.

9th Dec 2005, 01:15

I got an used 97 Kia Sephia at 2 months ago. At this moment my problems starting.

Do not attempt do the same.

20th Jun 2006, 03:17

I bought my 97 Kia Sephia with 56000 miles for $4,000. Driving this car is plain painful. The "check engine" light has been on since I purchased it two years ago, and I have taken this car to every mechanic around the town, however, none of them could get the problem fixed.

Right now the engine overheats, and it shakes like it is rolling down the hill on big rocks. The radiator is leaking and God knows what else is wrong with this car.

I just want to find someone to sell it for a fraction of the price I paid for two years ago.