I originally brought a 1998 Kia Sephia, that car was even worse then the 1999 it was taken back by Kia after a five month long fight with them.
Let me first start with this fact, the 1998 Kia Sephia is the same as the 1999. The 1999 uses all the same parts, all the parts are dated on the 1999, 1998. Event the engine and the body of the car were made in 1998.
The first problem with the care was in all of the electrical connections. A monkey with a soldering iron could have done a better job at soldering the connections.
All of the electrical connections on the car needed to be re-soldered, the wiring harness needed to be replaced, The car has broke piece by piece costing more the it was worth
The car is nothing more then a cheap disposable razor, and built like one. The cast iron engine block is to heavy for the displacement of the engine.
The car has no power up hill. the brake rotors warped all the time, braking is poor. the Manuel steering sucks.
The struts needed to be replaced at 35,000 miles.
The air flow meter broke at 40,000 miles, and cost allot. all the plastic parts break, because they were never tested. The dash board vents popped out and cracked at 50,000 miles, and the dash board rolled up at the vents. the glove box latch was made to break, the shifter linkage pipe to the transmission bent at 50,000 miles.
The seat covers started to come apart at the seams a 80,
This has been the most basic of basic cars: no A.C., manual windows and locks, and no power steering with the manual stick. Mechanically, other than routine maintenance, very little has gone wrong with this car in 12 years and 140,000 miles. I've been through 3 starters and had to replace both the front left and front right axles (totaling about $800 for both, including labor charges). Even now, the engine is still going strong and burns little-to-no oil between changes. Given its age and mileage, I've been somewhat surprised at its reliability. Cosmetically, the interior dash has curled around the air-vents (common problem), and the paint is beginning to peel on the front bumper.
- inexpensive - reliable - basic car
- door locks freeze during the winter - uncomfortable over longer driving periods - dashboard problem (mentioned above) - slow acceleration - mpg aren't really that great for the size of the car and engine - sheet metal dents easily
I really don't understand why everyone has so many issues with these cars. I've had mine for four years, and it still runs and drives great. No fluid leaks. Engine is clean. I have had the problem with the rolling dash by the vents, and some of the interior plastics have taken a beating. The biggest issue I have had is with the exhaust. I have had to replace the front catalytic converter twice because of it breaking off directly below it. The second time was due to poor service by the shop I had it fixed at originally. These cars are nice little machines, if you take care of them. Run Synthetic oil and make sure you change it regularly. Maintenance cannot be passed over.
I like the transmission. It has some snap to it. I must have been lucky, mine does not have a governor on it. engine and transmission allow for speeds exceeding stupidity.
It could use a little better interior. The side rails could be built better.
I've owned one since '99. Needs too many major repairs from $300 to $600 a pop for a cheap car. Put a $600 "precat", before that cost me $300 to get the lighting system fixed. Something else was wrong and it cost me a fortune (I've since forgotten exactly what) Now the fuel system is clogged and messed up for the 2nd time. The dash warped under the hot sun. Doors freeze solid in winter. Uncomfortable back seats. I would skip Kia brands. They are poorly made and you suffer with the major repair cost. Lousy stereo/cassette system.
Exterior looked nice when the car was new. New car smell. May hold its own under hail storms.
Needs sun resistant dash and interior. Better fuel system. Probably a total overhaul. I wouldn't purchase this again.
This is the 8th vehicle we have owned in 12 years. It has been awful. OD light is on, won't shift properly, replaced battery 3 times in 2 years, needs new CV joint and fuel filter, replacing simple spark plugs took 3 hours for trained mechanic, Glove compartment won't open, dash rolls up around vents, the carpet shreds in floor board, speedometer does not work, does not track mileage accurately, wiring is messed up, air has never worked right, we have spent thousands of dollars replacing parts, and we started replacing them at 50,000 miles. I have never had so many problems. I have not even listed everything we have had to fix. Don't buy a Kia. Parts are expensive.