1999 Kia Sephia Base 1.8 DOHC from North America


A point A to point B with a little bit of creativity


Glove box compartment latch broke.

General Comments:

I must also be a very lucky customer as I have not had, but that one problem and I am reaching 100,000 miles. I had purchased this car after seeing my best friend's mom purchase one, and I had liked the car. I didn't research the car any, but his parents did. They were considering a Ford Focus and a Kia Sephia. They too have not had any problems and they are about at 60,000 miles.

The car has made successful trips to Junction City, Kansas; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Dallas, Texas; from my home town of Oklahoma City. All without kinks and gas usage was acceptable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th June, 2004

1999 Kia Sephia LS 1.8 from North America


This car has too many problems


The spark plugs wore at 24000 miles. The windows always have electical problems. I had to replace brakes and rotors at 40000 miles. Now there is something wrong with the transmission.

General Comments:

Buyer beware for some serious issues!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th May, 2004

9th Oct 2005, 19:50

Any car will need the brakes and rotors changed by 40,000 miles.

Every car has issues, you pay a premium for toyota quality.

Our 99 Sephia has had some issues too, but nothing out of the ordinary. The water pump bearings have gone bad at 75k, but that is expected and its being changed with the timing belts. Clutch Slave Cylinder went at 65k. OK a bit early, but still not that out of the ordinary.

It is a cheap car. You get what you paid for it. We paid nearly nothing for it when it had 50k on it. It is as I expected.

For brake reference: I had a 2001 Corolla and put 80k on it. I did the rotors twice and the pads on the front brakes 4 times. It was because of the traffic I drive in.

16th Feb 2006, 11:32

My 91 Toyota pickup has 289000 miles, still on the original brakes.

1999 Kia Sephia from North America


A bicycle would be more reliable


Total transmission failure at 32,000 miles. Now the transmission is so sensitive, sometimes takes a few tries to get exactly into reverse.

Replacement of rack and pinion steering not once, but twice!

New tires required at 17,000 miles.

Had to replace the fuel pump 3 times.

Brakes have made noise since the first day I got the car - after numerous replacements, still make noise.

Water pump replacement at 60,000 miles.

Starter replaced twice.

Replaced battery 4 times.

General Comments:

I would never buy a Kia again.

The only reason I still have is because it is paid for, but it seems like it is now costing me more money in repairs.

This is an extremely poorly made car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th April, 2004

1999 Kia Sephia Base 1.8L I4 from North America


The worst of the lot, please don't buy!!


Since I bought the car my transmission had to be replaced, which cost me a lot, after that my KIA started to make weird noises when turning and the car wouldn't start form time to time.

Since then nothing else went wrong until now. My KIA Sephia now shows me the check engine light and the Over Drive system turns on and off on it's own, making it impossible to drive until I have the car checked out and another $1000 will go down the toilet.

One more thing, my air bag light comes on now and then, and I am really afraid to drive this car.

General Comments:

KIA might be making better cars presently, but the cars that they sold when they tried to be one of the big dogs on the market are dangerous to drive.

The Sephia especially, because it is a very dangerous car to drive. I don't know what these people were thinking, they put the catalytic converter right under the engine. This car is so poorly made that when I look at it I laugh. KIA should be sued and they will if they aren't already.

To finish this I will say to you:

Never buy a KIA and don't be tempted by the low price because you will spend twice as much on repairs than on the car alone. Trust me and have a nice day.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th March, 2004

21st Jul 2005, 15:52

I agree 100% with this article, I bought a Kia Sephia brand new 1999 (liked the low price) I had my breaks and Rotors changed several times and they need changing now, the Battery twice. the factory tires wore out at 8000 miles. Plug and plug wires faild and had to be replaced twice. there are many other things that have gone wrong with this car and I only have 61000 miles on it. never ever buy a Kia!!!

10th Nov 2008, 13:29

I have never owned a Sephia, but I did purchase a new '04 Kia Optima in August of 2003, and I have never had a moment's problem with the car. It has proved to be extremely reliable and dependable and drives like a Camry. Very comfortable and quiet. I did have a minor accident 2 years ago (not my fault) and Kia was nothing but very helpful and timely in repairing my Kia. It was a good experience. The only thing I've noticed is that, around town, the gas mileage could be better... but on the highway, it's great. Don't knock all Kias just because of one model. The Sorentos and Optimas especially, are great vehicles for the money!