1997 Kia Sephia Consumer Review: Good build quality, lousy mate

1997 Kia Sephia - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

21 Total Reviews

LS Sedan (1.8L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)

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Build Quality
Reliability Value
Good build quality, lousy materials
By Ben Dare on


1997 Kia Sephia LS 4dr Sedan


The sign in the Toyota dealership said, "You pay twice for poor quality. Once in repairs and again in resale." How true. This Kia really seemed like a great car. It was faster and felt more substantial than a Civic or Corolla, but that was when it was new. I've never had spark plug wires burn up, or disk disks warp, or dashboards completely rupture. The engine seems OK, but it coughs up oil frequently. All the emission control components have had to be replaced. Meanwhile, I've bought a 1992 Honda Civic which has twice the mileage (230,000) and is worth twice as much. So long Kia!

Best Features

Build quality. Really felt good when new. Engine power, ride comfort, especially back seat. Elegant design and appearance for an economy car.

Worst Features

Better quality materials - it's that simple. Other cars don't warp their brake disks, spark plug wires, or have their dashboards rupture. The only design problem was the front headroom, but then it was my wife's car anyway and now it's my daughters to drive and mine to maintain.
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