1998 Kia Sephia LS 1.8 DOHC from North America


I wouldn't give this car the liberty to sit in a junk yard!


I first got this car about three months ago and it is already giving me problems. I bought it used and I can see why the previous owner wanted to get rid of it. The things that have went wrong in my 3 months of owning it is:

The overdrive goes out

It has a hard time going into reverse

It has shut off on me

The inside falls apart easily (for example I touched the air vent and it feel apart)

I was cleaning it and a piece of paint come of it about as big as my fist.

The heater went out of it momentarily

It has no power at all (I know it's a 4 cylinder, but it should have more than it does)

The radio doesn't pick up anything

Plus the service engine light comes on.

General Comments:

There has been other things that have went wrong with it, but I can't remember them now. I have this advice for anyone considering a Kia. Don't buy it, it will give you more trouble than you deserve.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th May, 2003

1998 Kia Sephia from North America


A surprisingly stable and reliable car for an extremely fair price


Battery died at 39,000 miles, 3,000 miles after the roadside assistance and warranty went out.

Had to have some minor exhaust system replacements made near 78,000.

Cassette deck (stock system) died after a few years.

General Comments:

Despite all the negative reviews here and the general snobbiness people have when talking about Kias, my Kia Sephia has been surprisingly reliable, especially considering the low initial cost.

It gets good gas mileage, usually around 30 mpg during average to-and-from-work Northern Virginia driving.

Service at two different Northern VA Kia dealers (Cherner and Dulles Auto) has been outstanding.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd April, 2003

1998 Kia Sephia 1.8L from North America


A high quality car


I've had my Kia for 3 years now. It has never gave me any problems.

General Comments:

This car has good pick up and handles really well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2003

1998 Kia Sephia from North America


This is the car from Hell!


After I had the car 1 week, I was stranded with an unexplained battery failure.

Car only starts when it feels like it.

2 coils had to be replaced on the engine.

O/D light kept coming on for no reason.

Horn was faulty.

Knob that controls heat broken.

There's a short in electrical system.

General Comments:

This car is the most unreliable car I have ever had. On the way home from the repair shop, it left me stranded once again!

You never know what's going to go wrong next, and I'm afraid to drive it!

The service department was disinterested and pretty much told me I should not have purchased a KIA.

I am now $4000 in the whole for this car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th March, 2003

15th May 2006, 15:18

I have a 98 Kia Sophia and it is too giving me problems when it comes to starting.

I have replaced the fuel pump $300.00 myself. I had the injectors cleaned and I cannot pen point the problem. Then, the TPS sensor $60.00 was my next choice.

My check engine light is not coming on so no one can help me. I have to wait until it fully breaks down. I have noticed that the Actuator $150.00 is making noise, but I was told that it just works with the TPS and it should have nothing to do with the way it starts. I will disconnect it and see if I will continue to have problems. If I see no difference then I guess I don’t need it.

If anyone of you have had a problem similar to what I am going though please reply back jfernandez827@hotmail.com.

15th May 2006, 20:21

A Cavalier & a KIA - you sure know how to pick 'em!!!

29th Dec 2012, 14:57

I recently had to replace my crankshaft positioning sensor in my Kia. I was told that sensor works with the fuel pump and the ignition. That might be something to check.