1998 Kia Sephia Base Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1998 Kia Sephia - Consumer Reviews

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1998 Sephia Consumer Reviews

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Ok overall.
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By alex_mosley
on

Vehicle

1998 Kia Sephia 4dr Sedan


Review

I got this car when i was 16(so almost 2 years ago) with 48k miles on it, it now has almost 78k and it has been an ok first car. the main issues i have is, the relay to the fuel pump stopped working so sometimes if it doesn't have a good connection it wont start, it just turns over, and the poor wiring job kia did! the wiring is awful! some lights only come on sometimes but overall everything else is ok. Good starter car i guess, just go easy with it!


Favorite Features

Decent gas mileage, Quite a bit of room in backseat, seats are more comfortable than i thought they would be, above average trunk for size of car, nice speakers.


Suggested Improvements

better wiring job, nicer material for seats.


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Not Too Shabby!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ken1
on

Vehicle

1998 Kia Sephia 4dr Sedan


Review

Owned since new--11.5 years now. Only lightly used, but fun and peppy engine with manual (Mazda made I think.) Had brake recall and exhaust repair made under warranty. Other than that, only had to replace old battery. Some of the interior fittings are a bit too cheaply made, but if you take care of it, it will take care of you. Very inexpensive to own; costs almost nothing to insure. I have read that due to relatively high HP to weight ratio (125 HP vs 2400 lbs.) some convert this model to rally car. You could not find a less expensive platform than this one!


Favorite Features

Engine and manual transmission. Lots of fun to bang it through the gears. Tan fabric interior holds up well over years, as has paint.


Suggested Improvements

Body sheet metal needs to be thicker. Wind noise fairly severe. But remember, this was among the least expensive cars in the U.S in '98! About $7500 new.


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My Favorite Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Maggie
on

Vehicle

1998 Kia Sephia 4dr Sedan


Review

I love this car. It was four years old when I bought it used with 30,000 miles on it. It is now nearly 12 years old with over 75,000 miles on it and with regular maintenace has never given me any trouble. Very reliable, parked outside and always starts on cold winter mornings. Have definately gotten my moneys worth out of it, if they still made them I would buy one new!


Favorite Features

Fun to drive, very reliable.


Suggested Improvements

Use different material for the dashboard, summer heat warps it. Needs higher quality external paint job. Bring back the Sephia!


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Faithful till the end....
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Muttly
on

Vehicle

1998 Kia Sephia 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought my Kia new in 1998 in FL. It made many cross country trips and up and down the coasts thanks to travel for the military. It was a great reliable car, had good gas mileage and was fun to drive. The only complaints was the electrical system which was sometimes questionable. A blown fuse or connector shut the car down a few times but was a quick, cheap fix. The battery never quite seemed to last and had to be replaced ever other year or so. Handled great and was a blast to drive in curves. Great fuel economy. Was a bare bones vehicle but great for being on a budget. Great for reliability if you just need a dependable mode of transportation. Am looking at a new Kia today.


Favorite Features

Price, Kia's can be bought new for the price of most used cars.


Suggested Improvements

In newer models the electrical system has been upgraded. In hindsight I see this as a great start for the Kia brand.


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do not buy a 98 sephia
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By joe someguy
on

Vehicle

1998 Kia Sephia 4dr Sedan


Review

I have had this Kia Sephia since 1998 when I got it brand new. What convinced me was the cheap price but two days after I got it the a/c stopped working. And ever since then it has been nothing but new transmissions, dashboards, etc. Now we're having problems with the transmission again, the engine is failing, the brake fluid disappears, the turning pinions rattle, the paint is chipping and the air conditioning broke again.


Favorite Features

None. It's a horrible car. I'm never getting a Kia again. And I heard about a guy whose radio caught on fire in a '97 Sephia.


Suggested Improvements

I'm grateful they stopped making it and I wonder if the Spectra and Rio are just as bad.


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Watch the tranny
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By chgobrd
on

Vehicle

1998 Kia Sephia 4dr Sedan


Review

I have replaced the transmission 4 times on the '98 KIA. I even had to replace the dashboard because it warped. The fan switch has gone out a couple of times.


Favorite Features

The stereo has excellent sound and good range for picking up stations. The air conditioning is strong.


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Good Car Experience
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By chance89
on

Vehicle

1998 Kia Sephia 4dr Sedan


Review

I have had my Kia for 8 years since I bought it new in 1998. It has been a great reliable car that is fun to drive, even in not so great weather conditions. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a good car at a great price. This car has taken me up and down the east coast several times and I have only had trouble with it last year when I had some problems with the fuel injection. Had no problems before or since.


Favorite Features

Reliability, fun to drive. The car has a lot of interior room and I like the wide view you get out of the windows. There is not much to obstruct your view, not many blind spots. My car has over 120,000 miles on it and I'd expect it to last even a couple more years.


Suggested Improvements

The interior started to go down hill after a while. The molding and the dials for the air conditioning were the main problems. Other than that, it has been great.


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beware......
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Ynot
on

Vehicle

1998 Kia Sephia 4dr Sedan


Review

I got this car with 75000 miles on it, after having the transmission replaced. Now at 94000 transmission is acting up again among many other things. Poor design. Cheap car. Not reliable.


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1998 Kia Sephia
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jim McFarland
on

Vehicle

1998 Kia Sephia 4dr Sedan


Review

I am generally pleased with the car, except have had a few mechanical problems. The most expensive being the air conditioning compressor. Fortunately I have an extended warranty coverage and it only cost $35.00 out of pocket. Other problems-(2) rear wheel brake cylinders replaced, also under extended warranty, minimal out of pocket expense.


Favorite Features

Handling (superior cornering). Like the arrangement of dash controls. Power is adequate but more would be "better"


Suggested Improvements

More power if possible!


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82,000 Miles Little Problems
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Lawguy
on

Vehicle

1998 Kia Sephia 4dr Sedan


Review

Yes there were some recalls. All of these were fixed at no cost to me, so why should I complain? Air conditioner hose broke at the fitting in only 2 years. Hose and repair cost me about $250.00. This item should not have broken quite so fast. Struts went at about 80,000 miles. The strut dealer (KYB) told me this mileage was very good, so again no complaint. Gas mileage around town 32 - 33 mpg Highway 37 - 38 mpg (std 5 speed and no power steering). Out the door in 1998 I paid $9,000.00 Lets see.... Toyota Corolla ... $13,998.00 Kia Sephia ... $9,000+250+180=$9430.00 Yup I'm still ahead even with air and strut repair.


Favorite Features

Fuel mileage when gas is $1.45 per gallon. (I see the cringe on the SUV owners face as they pull up to the pumps)Yes this is a cheap car. Do not expect the fit finish and ride of a Cadillac. This is a utilitarian car. Go, comeback and do it cheap!


Suggested Improvements

More aftermarket parts. Kia is proud of their parts and you just can't find Kia parts anywhere else.


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