1998 Kia Sephia LS from North America


Beware of KIA's service department


I have had this car for almost five years.

I've replaced the brakes three times and they're bad again.

My air conditioner line broke.

My tires have been replaced twice.

It falls out of alignment every six months.

The door panels are so weak you breath on them and they dent.

The paint on the rear view mirrors has worn off to white.

General Comments:

The worst part about owning this car is the service department. I took my car in for an undetermined loud squeak, which is still there, and they wanted to replace my clutch. Six hundred dollars later the squeak is still there and I had to fight with the service department to get half of my money back. I took the old clutch to another mechanic and they told me it was not even worn. The service department was also supposed to change my oil and top my fluids while getting the clutch replaced. They didn't do it. I had to again battle with the KIA service department for reimbursement. I would never again own a KIA mostly due to their service department.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th September, 2002

1998 Kia Sephia from North America


This is the most unsafe, unreliable car I've ever driven, and I would not recommend it to anyone


When I first got the car, the man I bought it from told me that it would be a good car if I treated it well. I don't drive it hard; I'm very light-footed, and have still had an unbelievable amount of problems.

The car has had to be taken into the shop at least once a month, and usually more often than that. I've put almost as much money into repairing it as I actually payed for it initially.

First, I took it to my mechanic because the car would "jump" around a bit whenever it changed gears (it also shimmied around when I was idling). The mechanic told me that KIA just makes bad transmissions and that there was nothing he could do about it. Since then, in addition to more transmission problems, I have had problems with the wiring underneath the car (first a transmission line busted while my mother was driving it, leaving her stranded. Just weeks later, my fuel line busted, leaving me stranded with gas puddling around my car), and the brakes. I almost got into a really bad accident recently as a result of the brake problems. Also, the car has decided that it doesn't want to start sometimes. The lining around one of the rear doors has begun to come off, my windshield wipers stopped working once (and now that they're actually working, they don't effectively wipe off the rain - they actually make it more difficult to see), and on occasion, the driver-side door doesn't unlock. Also, the tape player makes a high-pitched squealing sound.

General Comments:

This car, although it looks nice and is comfortable, terrifies me.

Every other Sephia owner I've ever talked to has had similar problems and similar dissatisfaction.

My Mazda (which I still own) is an '89, and has not had nearly as many problems as the Sephia.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th August, 2002

25th Feb 2003, 15:38

First of all, who would compare a Mazda to a Kia. Second of all, the money that was spent on the car, what did you expect and thirdly my Kia Sephia LX has had no problems, and as to the person who talks about "dings" on the car, well, it doesn't drive itself now does it?

1998 Kia Sephia LS from North America


My Kia Sephia saved my life!


My brakes weny on me after 30,000.

The wires to the engine needed to be reconnected.

My over drivw had to be replaced.

A lot of dents and dinks had to be popped out.

A huge ripe in the driver's seat.

General Comments:

I know that most reviews made on the Kia Sephia are bad, but I have to give the car a lot of credit. My Sephia really held up for the price I paid for it and it was well worth the money I paid for it. I would also like to add I owe my Kia my life. Just two weeks ago I got into a head on car accident, and my car did exactly what is was suppose to do. The protective glass help the window shatter in a way that it didn't fly at me in huge chunks. The hood bent the way it was suppose to and the side impact beams also did their job. Also to add the my seat belt locked into place and my air bag came out on impact. You might not like the Kia for its little problems, but to know someone got into an accident that was classified as "serious" and all I got was a bruise on my knee you might understand and trust Kia. I owe my life to my Kia, and tomorrow I am going to pick up my brand new 2002 Kia Spectra and every time someone calls it a lemon, I am going to say "well this lemon has already saved my life once".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st August, 2002

9th May 2004, 15:44

Hi there,

I am really glad to know that the Kia Sephia is a safe vehicle, I really appreciate your feedback on it. :)

28th Jun 2009, 16:04

When I first got my car there were so many problems with it. Brakes, putting in gas, air conditioning, my lights and a billion other things wrong with it. When it came to my accident, that little Kia saved my life. I was in a head on crash going about 40 miles an hour, when another car came from a side street and cut me off. There was no time to stop or move out of the way. So of course it hit pretty hard. Although my car was totaled, it saved my life. Sure I was banged up, but the air bags and seat belts worked, which was the biggest thing, especially for a car that is 11 years old. Police officers and doctors both told me that the little crappy Kia, I hated.. saved my life. I'm in the same boat as the person above me. Go Kia!

29th Jun 2009, 21:18

I agree with that.. although my Kia Spectra is a lemon, but it saved my life with its ABS and braking system.. I could brake just in time to avoid a lorry...

Thanks Kia.

Sham, Malaysia.