1999 Kia Sephia LS from North America


I bought a new car to last at least five years without repairs, bought the wrong one


After a month of ownership I had to take the car in because of a whining sound in the engine.

Brakes grinding.

Windshield wiper went off the car windshield.

Power steering pump noises.

General Comments:

The transmission was bad and they promised to replace it, but couldn't get a new one so they rebuilt the old one and I drove it one day and heard a pop noise and now it growls down the road. When I took it in they say it is a normal noise.

There was a recall on the wiper problem so I had to take it in, the arm was overshooting this they fixed.

The brakes went out after the 12000 mile warranty, but do to poor customer service they finally agreed to fix them.

20000miles later I am having the same braking problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th August, 2002

1999 Kia Sephia 1.8 from North America


Not a bad car for the price


Front brakes needed to be replaced within 6 months of new purchase.

The "Check Engine" light came on at 25,000 miles. Diagnostics checks at the dealer ($80) found that my gas cap was not tight.

General Comments:

It is a little noisy on the highway, but has adequate power.

Everything about this car is "no frills" but it has proven to be reliable and economical.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th August, 2002

1999 Kia Sephia from North America


This is the worst car I have ever had the misfortune of owning/driving


The windshield gasket was loose and vibrated against the window, I had that replaced only to realize that the windshield is improperly sized and the problem continues.

Every latch on this car is faulty, the glove box and console have broken off entirely; the front doors occasionally will not latch, this causes the doors to fly open while driving, very unsafe! Also, the drivers side door cannot be unlocked with the key, I have to crawl across the seat to unlock from the passenger side.

The seat belt light is faulty, and stays on even after I buckle up.

The dome light has to be left in the off position because it goes on for no reason, even when the car is locked up and parked.

The tires went completely bald, all 4 of them, with less than 24,000 miles on them.

The battery went dead due to the fluid in it evaporating.

The car lighter does not work any more.

The E-brake is frozen which causes the wheels to lock up and not move, I have not been able to use the car at all in over a week.

The repair manual is not yet available to the general public, this causes repeated, expensive, towing and repair bills.

General Comments:

The 1999 Sephia is nothing more than a piggy bank, with no way to get the money back out of it.

I still have 2 years worth of payments left on it, and it won't last that long.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd August, 2002

1999 Kia Sephia LS from North America


Kia is not worth the headache


Brakes were bad when I drove it off the lot.

Door handles freeze up really badly in NY winters, every year.

Makes this horrible sound every once in a while when it's been sitting for awhile. It will make the noise from 1st to 2nd gear and of course the dealership can't replicate the noise when we take it in. We don't know what the noise is ourselves though.

We also now have a very bad vibrating in the steering wheel which we are taking it into the garage for soon.

Starter died leaving my husband and I totally stranded.

Don't receive recall notices.

Lots of little things wrong with it: the trunk cover (over the spare tire) caved in, the heat turning knobs get stiff and stop working, the passenger side stereo speaker does not work.

General Comments:

Kia dealerships are horrible. They don't want to hear all the little things wrong with it. They basically tell me not to complain, that I got what I payed for. What a way to do business, heh?

Do NOT finance through the dealership with Kia.

Kia tells us all these problems with our Sephia are unique. Most sephias don't have these problems. But obviously this is not true.

My Sephia actually got hit while parked at the dealership in Syr. and the dealership didn't want to pay to fix it until I made a fit in front of customers looking to buy their cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th June, 2002

19th Jun 2002, 15:07

If "the brakes were bad when you drove it off the lot" then I have to ask why did you drive it off the lot?

23rd Sep 2003, 18:32

And you must be, the dealer? Kia salesman? I have a Kia problem too. Other than a mechanical problem, one thing that really really bother me is the seats! If you spill water on it, it turns dark dirty color and it becomes stains. Even sweats will stain it. So you can't clean it with water. I tried shampooing, but the stains reappeared. We have kids and the seats, back and front, are filthy, but it is stronght. It is a very strong material. The dealer said, it's a life time material, probably true. None the less, we want to sell it when it is paid off... only 3000$ left to go.

13th Mar 2004, 14:05

The first two commentaries on this car must have been from a dealer. I just got my Kia 3 months ago from the dealer and it's already a nightmare. I cannot drive it and the dealer won't cover it and of course the remainder of my powertrain won't cover it. I will never buy one again and the dealer will be lucky if I don't picket their lot, looking into getting a permit now.

20th Sep 2004, 16:15

99 KIA Sephia with 58k. Door seals fly loose on the highway. I have already had to replace the transmission. Dash lights burned up causing major problems.

Car stalls on the highway. Horrible shaking while trying to accelerate. Dealership says nothing wrong with the car.

14th Jul 2008, 18:07

I have a 1999 Kia Sephia, and I must say that I know now that it's not just my car. These cars are just horrible. Everything that can go wrong with it will!

My brakes are sticking, have replaced the CV joints, spark plugs several times and brake pads several times, it's one thing after another.

And it's off and on. Sometimes the car runs perfect, and while I'm driving something goes terribly wrong. It's the biggest lemon I've ever driven, and I will never ever buy another Kia again!