1998 Kia Sephia 1.8 DOHC from North America


A money pit


I have had three sets of rotors and pads. The clutch hydrolics have to be replaced. The part listed in the Kia service directory is not the part on my car. The clutch will have to be replaced after the hydrolics are fixed. The customer service and warranty lines on not the least bit friendly or helpful. I would never purchase a Kia again. I think their warranties keep getting longer because they are aware that they manufacture inferior products. Kia should change their name to Lemons are Us. This has been the biggest rip-off I have encountered.

General Comments:

Never-ever-buy- a-Kia.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th July, 2002

1998 Kia Sephia 1.8 liter 4 cylinder from North America


A poorly designed car that needs to be treated like a lame horse


The "check engine" light has been constant since I bought the car. I was told it is the O2 sensors, but every time I take it in to have them replaced, it just comes right back on again (once before I even left the dealership!).

The brakes went after 3 months. I had to have all four replaced. I had to have them replaced again a year and a half later. Unfortunately, it was in an accident shortly after I bought it. I was partly at fault, but I believe that I had enough room for any other car to be able to stop in time. So when the brakes went out two months later, it didn't really surprise me. However, due to the accident, I am unable to claim "Lemon Law."

The battery has gone three times and the starter went once, but it is about to go again. The third time the battery went, I said forget the dealer and went and bought a retail battery out of my pocket so I wouldn't have to deal with the hassle anymore.

It is impossible to find replacement parts anywhere other than the dealership and their prices are outrageous! They recommend a weight of oil that you cannot find in normal auto parts store (Guess where you can find it? Dealership!!!)

The interior of the car is literally falling apart at the seams and the exterior paint is no better than spray paint.

A recall issued for the wiper blade was refused by my dealership because it had been in an accident. So you can bet I was a little more than perturbed when the wiper fell off during a 3 am thunderstorm while driving through the mountains in Tennessee. The dealership reluctantly fixed it then without so much as an apology.

Not that I wanted the airbags to go off during my accident, but the impact was enough to cause $4,000 in damage and give myself and the two occupants in the other car whiplash. Yet the airbags did not go off.

General Comments:

It's no wonder that Kia now offers a 10 year warranty. You'll definitely need it.

If your looking to buy a vehicle and basing your decision on your budget, you'd be better off strapping a lawn mower engine to a roller skate than buying a Kia.

The engine design is very poor. Whoever heard of having to take the valve cover off just to change the plugs? That's right, the plugs are completely within the case.

When I want to go out, I do everything I can to get my friends to drive their cars instead.

Whatever you do, do not buy a Kia!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th June, 2002

28th Aug 2002, 19:49

I have a '98 Sephia and I replaced the plugs myself. You must simply remove the black plug cover, not the complete valve cover! It took me about thirty minutes and was about the easiest plug change I've ever done. Last Saturday, at 51,000 miles, I replaced the front pads. It took a 7mm Allen Wrench and about 10 minutes a side. Paid $22.95 for lifetime pads at Autozone. I will give you one thing. Kia Batteries are junk.