1998 Kia Sephia from North America
Rough around the edges maybe, but I love this car
As an 11 year old car, this vehicle has just been fantastic. Despite Consumer Reports regarding the unreliability of the automatic transmissions, I have a manual, and this car really just is the little engine that could.
I got the car with only 86,000 miles on it, and I put over 30 grand on it in the first year I owned it. As is expected when purchasing vehicles with age, my Kia Sephia needed a replacement clutch around 100,000 miles. It needed a starter replacement at 120,000 and the clutch fluid line was rusted through when I first got the car (a byproduct probably of living in New England, not the car's manufacturing).
Seats have worn well, and even after 12 years on the road, they're still as comfortable as one can expect from the "I Failed My Credit Report" version of the car. I added modifications to the body, such as mud flaps and rain guards, and literally the only thing I wish this car had sometimes was A/C.
As far as 4 cylinder engines go, this little thing just PULLS. The car has been reliable - it has gotten me places on fumes many many times, and with a good oil change, this 13.2 gallon tank gets over 500 miles on a tank.
It's a true trooper in snow, and despite not having anti-lock brakes, it still stops on a dime.
As a speed junkie, this car may not have a turbo, but I've taken on an 05 Mustang and a SAAB 99 1.2 Turbo, and done just fine.
The trunk space is great, the car runs just as smoothly weighted down as it does without anything in it. It handles well, and despite being a "heavy" car on the hands (as it does not have power steering), it grips the road well and can takes corners just as well as a Mitsubishi Lancer, or a SAAB 99.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 25th December, 2010