20th Jan 2003, 14:57

I have a 1998 Kia and it has been more headache than it's worth. The first year I owned the car it was in the shop more than I had it. Extensive engine work was done (including filing pistons down inside the engine!) As a result, they did extend our warranty. Wipers stopped working, the brain of the car had to be replaced at around 36,000 miles. Car is currently at dealership for starting problems (similar to year one!) It's only got 46,000 miles on it - we've had good customer service, but I would never, never, never, did I say never, buy another one. For the record - I did extensive research on Kia's before I bought this car. Everything sounded great - supposedly it was modeled after the Mazda Protege which was a good car. Next time I'm going with a name that's been around for awhile. Hopefully this will last till my son gets done with college!

9th Aug 2003, 09:01

Yes I recently wrecked my Kia. I am thankful that I am OK, but the seatbelt didn't catch me. I hit the steering wheel. I was almost hit head on and my air bags didn't deploy. Also, my Kia looks like a pop can now. So my advice is to get a car that will better protect you in a crash. Mine protected me, but the seat belt should have caught me better than it did. I will miss my car, but I won't miss the problems it has gave me.

19th Aug 2003, 19:20

For the record, the Kia Sephia uses the exact same Mazda engine that is used in the Protege, some 323, some Ford Escort GT, etc... Kia did not make their own engines for this year of the Sephia-- it's made by Mazda. So reliability of the engine should reflect the reliability of Mazda, not Kia...

24th May 2006, 18:48

I have a 1998 kia sephia ls and it has been nothing, but headache after headache. It currently has only 78000 miles on it and has had the motor replaced, brakes done I can't even count how many times and numerous other repairs that a car with 78000 miles just shouldn't have to be done to yet. It has got to be the worst car I have ever bought. I will never buy another one again.

18th Apr 2007, 00:28

Hey as an addition to this post...

I saw that it was mentioned that Mazda made 1998 Kia Sephia engines. That is the most untrue because Kia, actually since as far back as 1995, I think Kia advised me they have been making their own engines (I thought 1997 back had Mazda, but nope not the 1.5) now 1997 has Mitsubishi rotors, but 1998 is total Kia made in Korea. But I'd assume it's interchangeable with the b23 Mazda engine or 1.5 liter Proteges. My engine clearly states in my 1998 Sephia LS (manuf. 1-13-1998) Kia on the casting and that verifies that Kia was not just lying as they often do. Now transmissions are either Ford or Mazda (Mazda most likely in 1998), not made by Kia. 1.2 liters I have yet to see one in a Sephia, but those are supposedly Mazda made (not Kia cloned). My ENGINE is about all that's lasted my 157,000 miles and the trans. internal components (minus valve body solenoids) but the rest of the car is a real dog. Only thing it's worth anything for is engine/trans. They hold up LOL (thank god). Maybe it's my luck, who knows, I'm not the original owner, could've been rebuilt before.