2000 Kia Sephia Base 1.8 DOHC from North America


From 63k to 86k, still very few problems. Bought in winter 2000, 86k miles in 2.5 years!

Just lost my catalytic converter. Horrible horrible rattling noise after the car warms up. At 86k I am over my emissions warranty, which ran until 80k. I haven't replaced it yet, since it failed AFTER emissions testing. Part is $170 online, may change myself.

I still change my oil/filter religiously every 3k miles. To me this makes a huge difference in any car. I also add a fuel injector gas supplement every once-in-a-while to a full tank of gas.

I also hit all the 15k services at a dealer. 90k coming up! Reminder: 60k service does not replace timing belt! Definitely replace the timing belt at that time; if not during the service, then somewhere else (Pep Boys for me).

Overall no problems. Have a roof rack for carrying bikes. This is our travelling car due to the high mileage & incredibly poor resale value.

Forgot to mention in my earlier post that the tires were so horrible I lost my traction in snow while just going straight. The car slid sideways and I regained control in time to move it up a curb. No damage except to the underside of the car where the bumper hits the frame. Just bent some welded on angles that hold the bumper. Bumper sits lower, but is still hanging on, no problems with steering! These were not the Kumho tires. I replaced them with GOOD Kumho's from TireRack.com and have had no problems.

General Comments:

This is the way I feel about my car:

"Seems I got a Kia produced in the middle of the run when things went right.

In the beginning of manufacturing they didn't know how to build anything, in the end of the run they just didn't care."

Resale value prevents Kia from entering the market of the "smart" car buyer who has money (I was a poor grad student when I bought it).

Though I like the car and it gives me little problems, I wouldn't buy another Kia. I'm just not in their type of market any more, plus the horror stories of the many many many others put me off.

The service I had at the dealer was pretty good. But I have moved and will go to a new dealer soon. They reminded me of the timing belt issue (see above).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd April, 2003

11th Jun 2004, 14:34

My 2001 Kia Sephia currently has 53,000 miles. After the initial problems that include among others; Passenger side rear view mirror glass fell out, body side molding fell off one of the doors, cover on window visors mirrors both fell off, door weather stripping on rear door fell off each time the door was opened, and finally and probably the worse problem (especially since I live in Florida) the air conditioning broke. I would trade this car in however the poor resale value prevents that option at this time. I would not be a repeat buyer of Kia nor would I recommend anyone to purchase this brand. The service I received at the car dealership is very poor. The initial price was good, however the old saying prevails "You get what you pay for" G. Durbin.

2000 Kia Sephia from North America


Good car, bad resale value


The only physical problems that I've had so far is that the wheels tend to go out of alignment very often. But, I do drive the car a lot more than most probably do, so maybe this is to be expected.

Also, the paint scratches and chips very easily.

Oh yeah, and after a year of using my lighter for charging my phone, it completely fell out. Nothing major.

My major complaints are with the dealerships I've dealt with. They put very bad quality tires on the cars when you buy them new, and the hubcaps are just crappy!

Had an accident immediately after buying the car, and had to have the front bumper replaced. Had this done with the dealership, and 6 months after having it installed the paint started to all fall off, and the left side of the bumper began to become loose. I've heard common complaints from other owners when dealing with KIA dealerships.

Parts for these cars are very expensive, and sometimes you can't find very simple things, like headlights and wiper blades, at auto parts stores. Most of the time, you are forced to go back to the dealer for your parts, at which point they charge you far too much. Of course, you have no choice, but to pay it.

The BIGGEST complaint that I have about these cars is that the resale value is NOTHING. My car is three years old, I paid $11,000 for it, and it's only got a resale blue book value of $1,100 for "good" condition!

General Comments:

This car was a wonderful buy for me when I first got it, because I needed a good dependable car, but I couldn't afford anything major. This was my first brand new car. It's very reliable and fun to drive.

I would have to say that, while I really really like the car, I've been disappointed by the resale value and the quality of service, and I would not buy another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th March, 2003

5th Apr 2004, 13:07

I totally agree with the assessment of the car quality and dealership experience. I bought a PONY 2000 Sephia (all manual) and with 51000 miles on the odometer, it still runs good on the road. The alignment is starting to go bad and there is a small exhaust leak, but other than that is still going strong (knock on wood). Parts are very scarce and very pricey when you do find them. The internet in addition to the dealer seem to be the only two places to buy parts from. The purchase price at 7500 dlrs when purchased in 09/2000 was just right.